When BroadBased CEO Jan Korb’s stepmother, Gail, passed away in December, she left behind nine beloved housecats — and one of the most daunting marketing challenges of Korb’s career. A family member immediately adopted two of the precocious kitties, but the remaining seven cats also needed new homes, giving Korb a purrfect opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of a well-designed integrated marketing strategy.
Through blogging, social media, printed flyers and word of mouth, the task of finding homes for the cats was accomplished in about eight weeks. “The first thing I did was set up a blog titled Gail’s Kitties,” said Korb. “The blog talked about Miss Gail and featured photos and bios of each of the cats. This was the centerpiece of the marketing effort to which we drove all traffic.” Social media, including Facebook and Twitter posts by Korb and her family directed traffic to the blog, where it was re-shared. Flyers posted in workplaces and pet supply stores also directed traffic to the blog.
“We were amazed that we accomplished our goal in under three months,” Korb said. “Two of the older cats are on medication and we weren’t sure they were adoptable, but they found loving homes.” While the blog and social media definitely helped spread the word, don’t underestimate the power of traditional advertising, Korb said. Four of the cats found homes via traditional flyers placed in pet stores and workplaces. “This is a lesson that correlates to any marketing effort,” Korb said. “Integrated plans using a variety of outreaches touch the most people.”
In the end the cats traveled far and wide to find their new homes. Gandolph currently resides in Jacksonville, Frodo in southern Alabama and Beethoven went to Peachtree City, Ga. Socrates, Hamlet, Sabrina and Pepper remain in the Carrolton, Ga. area.