Page 1

Digital Marketing Campaign TimberTrails Low-Cost Veterinary Services JRNL 307

Spring 2014

Jacoby Duckworth Rachel Fabian

Southern Illinois University

Monica Gibbs Jesse Hood

Table of Contents Overview .................................................................. 2 Start of Situation Analysis ................................... 3 Client Profile ........................................................ 4 - 5 Market Analysis ...................................................... 6 - 7 Current Marketing ..................................................... 8 - 9 Start of Media Strategy ........................................ 10

Objectives and strategy ......................11



Social Media.............................................................. 16-17

Mobile.......................................... 18-19

Evaluation ....................................................................... 20




TimberTrails Low-Cost Veterinary Services, a non-profit veterinary clinic located in Murphysboro, Illinois, recently opened its doors to the southern Illinois area. After opening its doors only two years ago, TimberTrails has grown significantly as a strong veterinary competitor. TimberTrails is unique because it is partners with Wright-Way Rescue, a no-kill shelter that rescues animals from rural animal control facilities, and donates its profits back to the rescue shelter. In addition to the clinic’s profits being donated back to a no-kill shelter, TimberTrails also promotes its services to people residing in rural areas of southern Illinois. While many veterinary clinics are searching for high-end clients that will pay large sums of money to treat their animals, TimberTrails is doing the opposite. Its reasoning behind this is to allow low-income households to access quality vet care, resulting in less animals being surrendered to animal control facilities and more animals being spayed/neutered. TimberTrails currently has a small advertising budget due to financial issues, so the group had to be creative with this campaign when allocating advertising dollars. As a group of marketers, we believe that our assistance in setting up social media accounts, creating strategies to gain more clients, and optimizing search and display advertising will result in success. With intention in its marketing, TimberTrails’ can grow by leaps and bounds in the southern Illinois area.


Situation Analysis

Client Profile




TimberTrails Low-Cost Veterinary Services

8459 Old Hwy 13 in Murphysboro, Illinois

Goods and services offered TimberTrails offers the following services: wellness exams, spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, blood work, microchipping, dental care, feline leukemia/FIV testing, canine heartworm testing, flea/tick prevention, Fromm pet food, and pet retail items.

Number of employees The veterinary clinic is comprised of approximately five full-time employees, and the staff consists of one licensed veterinarian and three licensed veterinary technicians. The clinic is managed by Heather Couhty, a licensed veterinary technician. Couhty is responsible for administration tasks, social media posts, caring for animals, assisting Dr. Angie James in surgeries and appointments, and scheduling for community outreach events.

Social Media Management Its online presence started 1.5 years ago. Its website can be found at, which is hosted by, or on its Facebook page at Its Facebook page currently has 569 likes. TimberTrails is only active in social media with its Facebook page, but it could benefit from other accounts like Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare.

Age of the company TimberTrails opened two years ago in June 2012.

Website Management It is hosted by and is managed by clinic manager, Heather Couhty.

URL — website age is 1.5 years

Client Profile


Key online marketing personnel: None

Company presence and sales via online and offline channels The non-profit clinic does not have a presence with online or offline sales since it is primarily service-based.

Other relevant information: TimberTrails is unique because it is partners with Wright-Way Rescue, a no-kill shelter that rescues animals from rural animal control facilities. It donates its profits back to the rescue shelter. This veterinary clinic is unique in its mission because it directs its services to low-income households with pets. It also discounts its services even further for families that can demonstrate financial need or prove they are on government assistance.

Market Analysis


Current and potential customers TimberTrails has 1,167 clients and 2,007 patients. Clients consist of those that are needing preventative veterinary care for dogs and cats and ones that are on a budget. TimberTrails does not have an x-ray machine or an emergency vet service, so that limits its clients to those not in need of high-risk surgeries or x-rays. However, those that are in need of basic care, including vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and flea/ tick prevention, can come to TimberTrails for low-cost prices and quality care.

Current and potential competitors The clinic’s main competitors are: Cache Creek Animal Rescue, Central Hospital for Animals, Spears Animal Hospital, Lakeside Veterinary Hospital, Striegel Animal Hospital, Creekside Veterinary Clinic, TO Miller, and Little Egypt Veterinary Clinic.

Overview of the industry TimberTrails consists of the veterinary options in the southern Illinois area. The industry is somewhat competitive, yet it is not heavily saturated. In the general area, there are approximately 10 other vet clinics that offer TimberTrails’ services and more. Despite being a smaller community, Murphysboro actually has a higher concentration of veterinary clinics compared to Carbondale and Marion. While all of these vet clinics offer the same or similar services as TimberTrails, this clinic is one of the few that offers low-cost services to lower income households in rural areas of southern Illinois.

Market position/specialties When it comes to TimberTrails’ market position and specialities, the clinic is unique because of the following: it targets low-income families versus others that may prefer high-end clients; it targets families that are in rural areas; its mission is to reduce the number of animals euthanized in rural areas by promoting spay/neuter surgeries; it is non-profit and donates its proceeds back to Wright-Way Rescue; and it’s overall not as expensive as other clinics.

Projected and historical online spend for the industry TimberTrails’ does not have a historical or projected online spend since the veterinary clinic is service-based and the few retail items offered are not for sale in an online storefront.

Market Analysis


Unique selling points of the goods/services offered The most unique selling point of TimberTrails’ service is that proceeds benefit a nonprofit no-kill shelter. This is a great selling point for consumers because clients can get their needed veterinary services while also feeling positive about paying for them. Additionally, all products and services sold are considered low-cost and affordable, which is a unique selling point compared to traditional expensive veterinary care.

Seasonality of their goods/services Timbertrails’ goods and services are offered all year long; however, products like heartworm prevention and flea/tick prevention are more popular in the spring and summer months due to the increase in pests. Vaccinations are more popular in the spring and summer months as well.

Current Marketing


Existing advertising and promotion TimberTrails is not currently pursuing any advertising. Due to financial issues with Wright-Way Rescue, its partner and financial provider, all advertising was cancelled in October 2013 due to a bus that crashed through Wright-Way Rescue’s Adoption Center in Niles, Illinois. The incident occurred on the opposite side of the state, but the lack of revenue streams impacted TimberTrails’ staffing and marketing. Before the bus crash, TimberTrails paid for the following advertising:

Radio - 60 second commercial with River Radio.

Newspaper - Business card ad in Carbondale Times and Nightlife.

Television - 30 second commercial on HGTV and Animal Planet.

Event sponsorship- Co-partnered with Wright-Way Rescue at the event Howl at the Bluff, which was a benefit 5K located at Walker’s Bluff.

Effectiveness in advertising The effectiveness of its previous advertising was difficult to track due to multiple advertising mediums going at the same time. However, radio seemed to be very effective for promotions of special events. For example, TimberTrails exclusively advertised with southern Illinois’ RiverRadio for a vaccine clinic at Rural King, and it received a huge turn out.

Website uses, e.g. sales, customer service TimberTrails’ website provides coupons, monthly specials, information on its services, and contact information. It does not provide items for sale or customer service communication. The clinic’s staff prefers phone communication.

Website strengths and weaknesses The website’s strengths are: its use of coupons and specials; its use of warm inviting colors; its clean and simple interface; the ability to download client forms from the website to save time at the appointment; easy readability of the clinic’s location and hours; easy navigation; a feedback box for staff and clients; a map integrated with Google Maps; and its complete list of services. The website’s weaknesses include: the list of services tab could be a drop-down for easier navigation; more pictures of animals could be beneficial; and there is a misspelling of “Services” in the website’s title.

Current Marketing


Website visibility TimberTrails’ website visibility is overall strong with its page appearing on the first page of Google. However, its website’s visibility is weak as a location in Google Maps. The vet clinic came up in different spots with a variation of keywords, including third for “Southern Illinois Vet,” third for “Southern Illinois Veterinary,” fourth for “Vets in Carbondale, IL,” fourth in “Vet clinic in Carbondale, IL,” and its Facebook page comes up first in “Southern Illinois Vet Clinic.”

Google Analytics There is not a Google Analytics available for TimberTrails’ website at this time, but the option is accessible when using This is one suggestion we will propose to the staff at TimberTrails.

Other online advertising and offline promotion of the URL TimberTrails is not using any other online advertising of the URL besides Facebook, but the website was being used in all previous advertising and on its business cards. It seems that Wix’s SEO capabilities and low competition is placing TimberTrails very well in the online world.


Media Strategy

Objectives & Strategy


Objectives TimberTrails Low-Cost Veterinary Services is still somewhat new to the southern Illinois veterinarian market despite its impressive growth since its launch. The reason for this digital marketing campaign is to grow the clinic’s share of the veterinary market and create a solid foundation with stable clients in the southern Illinois area. The goal for this digital marketing campaign is to: Increase TimberTrails’ number of clientele by 10 percent

Increase the number of weekly appointments by 5 per-week

Create a presence and familiarity online with potential clients

Creative Digital Strategy As a group, we will achieve these objectives through an integrated digital marketing campaign that focuses primarily on social media, search advertising, display advertising, and a personalized mobile application. Because TimberTrails’ current branding is strong, we will integrate its design appeal with digital advertising. This will attract potential clients in the southern Illinois area to the clinic’s very clean appearance and give reason to establish a new veterinarian. Additionally, our search engine advertising associated with the appropriate key words, location services, and Ad groups will establish an appeal as well. What TimberTrails is lacking is a social media presence to connect with potential consumers on different platforms. By utilizing common advertising practices, like coupons and monthly specials, with new media and social media, TimberTrails will be able to reach pet owners in the community that it isn’t reaching already, and it will successfully reach its objectives.



In order to obtain new customers and have the clinic be advertised in search, we decided to use Google’s AdWords. In today’s society, people are no longer are looking in the Yellow Pages when they are trying to find a service; however, they are moving towards search engines like Google that are easily accessible. With our many keywords chosen, our ad through AdWords will help potential clients to find our clinic with their related searches. As we know, people tend to choose the services with the highest listing or at least on the front page. By having our ad visible and on the front page through several keywords, this will help us to rank above our competitors, resulting in new potential clients.

Keywords Our strategy with keywords will focus on ‘low-­c ost’ and ‘veterinary’ search-related terms to help us reach our target audience. Our target audience is pet owners located in southern Illinois who have a lower income. We have several keywords that will bring attention to our ads as well as our service.

Ad Groups Ad groups will be divided into two groups. One will focus on dogs and the other will focus on cats. Keywords will be under both:




Dog Owners

Dog vaccines

Cat Owners

Cat vaccines

Veterinary low cost Cheap pet care Low­ cost veterinary Cost of veterinary services Carbondale veterinarian Murphysboro veterinarian Marion veterinarian Low cost veterinarian services Cost of veterinarian care Low­ cost veterinarian care Reduced cost veterinary care Low­ cost veterinary care Southern Illinois vet care



Ad Groups, Continued And ad group is essentially a container for our keywords searched in our marketing campaign. Effectively using ad groups can help to create more traffic for our clinic pertaining to our specific clients. We decided to break our ad groups into two groups. One being for dogs and the other for cats. In both groups, we found it would be most effective to have the same list of keywords to allow us to get a greater chance of being seen.

Cost-Per-Click When trying to research the cost-per-click, there was limited data for our keywords displayed. For the campaigns purpose, we are to assume it is the automatic cost given to us on AdWords of $0.01 per-click.

Landing page Our landing page after using any of the keywords and clicking our ad will have one arrive at TimberTrails’ website home page,

Campaign Our campaign will run for three months during the summer season. It will run from May 12­to August 12. This will be an effective amount of time to target our audience and track how successful the campaign was by analyzing call numbers and appointments.


14 Displayed on WSIL new’s website People get their news from many different places depending on what kind of content they are looking for. If they were looking for national news, they may go to CNN or Fox News. If they wanted sports news, they may go to ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, or Fox Sports. However, if they want local news, their options are limited. WSIL is a fixture in southern Illinois as a great source to get local news since they are based in Carterville. WSIL has a highly-active Facebook page with links to its online content. Therefore, we have decided to put our banner ad for TimberTrails on the WSIL website’s homepage. This page will get a large amount of traffic because of its high traffic from social media and for locals’ desire to know top stories in their area.

Facebook Display Advertising Social media is obviously a very important factor in a local business’s marketing strategy. A majority of people are on Facebook, it’s an easy way to get information, and its a cheap and effective way to send out information. We will be putting ads on Facebook on the right side of the page. These will only show up for people in the southern Illinois area. We don’t want people from irrelevant states seeing them, considering that would do the clinic no good at all.



Facebook Display Advertising, Continued We would be targeting the southern Illinois community and primarily focusing on college students. College students in the southern Illinois area would consist of students primarily at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and John A. Logan College. Many college students are living on their own for the first time and are getting apartments, and in result, many of them also adopt pets if they live in a pet friendly apartment. These students are in need of veterinary care, and because they are students, they are likely to need vet care that is affordable. These ads will be targeting those students because they are likely not local to the area and are in need of budget-friendly vet care. We would like to establish loyalty from these students since it may be easier than targeting a loyal customer of a competitor’s vet clinic.

Outdoor Retail and Pet Retail Websites We will place banner ads on outdoor retail and pet retail websites. We will place them on websites that offer pet food, pet toys, pet health items, etc. We will also place them on outdoor retail websites due to the high amount of local residents that love the outdoors. Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example, is one of the most well-known sporting goods stores in the nation. People go in the Carbondale store and online store to look for their outdoor needs. When southern Illinois residents go on websites that associate with outdoor or pet retail items, they will see our ads. We will place the ads on the home page and near pet-specific retail items since that will be most relevant to our potential customers. These ads will be placed through DoubleClick and placed effectively with cookies.

Budget WSIL — $150/month Facebook — $10/day Dick’s Sporting Goods — $150/month

Total: $610/month

Social Media

16 Twitter In our creation of TimberTrails’ Twitter account, the clinic will promote monthly specials and connect with its clients. Its Twitter account will allow for southern Illinois’ younger audience, which are primarily SIU students, to communicate easily with the clinic. We will also crosspromote the benefits of following the clinic on Instagram, Foursquare, Facebook, and downloading the mobile app.

Facebook TimberTrails’ Facebook use is one of its strengths; however, the clinic’s communication skills, overall grammar and spelling, and its graphics aren’t as strong as it could be. Currently, TimberTrails uses it to announce specials, provide giveaways to services, and alert the public of any unexpected changes in business hours. In the future, TimberTrails will utilize Facebook with campaigns, such as giveaways, to entice followers to “Like” the page. Facebook will primarily be used to access our target audience of all ages. In addition to the overall use, Facebook will be a key component in our campaign with paid ads.

Social Media

17 Instagram We decided to put Instagram into our media mix because many people that don’t use traditional social media sites (Facebook,Twitter, etc.) want to use Instagram. Instagram will be a tool TimberTrails can use to promote specials and do giveaways. We will allow Instagram users to re-post our giveaway’s signature image, which will promote the clinic in the user’s friends’ feed, and hashtag #timbertrailsgiveaway.

FourSquare TimberTrails will also use Foursquare to access users that like to “CheckIn” to locations. For first-time checkins, the client will receive a free cat toy or a bag of dog treats. This offer will be placed on TimberTrails’ business FourSquare page. This will allow for the clients’ friends to see the check in and for them to leave reviews/tips.



Mobile app In effort to reach TimberTrails’ mobile audience, we designed a mobile app for the clinic’s clients as well as any local animal lover. In the app, which can be accessed by iPhone or Android devices, users will be able to do the following: schedule an appointment at TimberTrails’ veterinary clinic; access monthly deals and coupons; find one’s closest dog park using Google Maps; sign up for text alerts; access the closest emergency veterinary hospital; and find information on Timbertrails’ contact information.

Schedule an Appointment This feature would allow local southern Illinois users to book an appointment with the veterinarian straight from their mobile devices. In addition to this, they would be able to fill out pertinent information, including contact information and veterinary records, on the digital forms accessible in the app. In turn, this saves time for clients if they are running late to the appointment and if they are not able to book an appointment time after clinic hours. In addition this, users would be able to sign up for text message alerts for coupons/ monthly specials and text alerts, contacting clients when their animal is going into surgery, waking up, and when they are ready to be picked up.

Coupon and Monthly Specials This feature would be beneficial to clients because they would receive exclusive access to coupons and monthly deals. This would include a direct link to the FourSquare app, and when the client checks-in, they will receive a free retail item. While there will be coupons and deals on all social media platforms, the mobile app will feature more high-quality coupons as an incentive to download the app and keep in the consumers’ minds.



Find Your Closest Dog Park This feature would be an incentive for users to keep the mobile app on their phone after appointment day. Realistically, users across the country won’t be downloading this app; however, local users that have the app can use it effectively while travelling. This will be a fun engaging feature for mobile users that is not only featured on TimberTrails’ veterinary clinic.

Have an Emergency? Since TimberTrails does not offer after-hours emergency services, this feature will allow users to find the closest emergency veterinarian while using Google Maps. Since this is a feature that TimberTrails does not offer in its veterinary services, this will be beneficial to clients.



After thoughtful evaluation of TimberTrails’ current advertising and market share, we have created a plan to establish this clinic in the online world. By focusing on effective keywords, creating Google ads, and optimizing our display ads for the target audience, we are confident that pet owners in southern Illinois will find TimberTrails Low-Cost Veterinary Services online with ease. In this campaign, we also suggested that the clinic correct the spelling in its website’s title and create a Google Places page. Additionally, our group created a social media presence that is sure to reach many types of social users. We utilized Facebook ads to reach Southern Illinois University pet owners, created a Twitter page for the socially-savvy pet lover, started an Instagram account for those that love to take pictures of their pets, and set up a Foursquare account to reach those that love instant deals. With a few helpful hints with ways to improve graphic design and spelling and grammar, TimberTrails’ Facebook page is sure to shine in comparison to its competitors’ pages. Finally, our creation of the TimberTrails’ mobile app is an efficient way to stay connected with its clients. With highlights of text reminders of one’s pet’s progress, being able to find the closest dog park, and an emergency veterinarian locator, it provides tools that every pet owner would love to have on their devices. With our in-depth case study and plan, we feel that TimberTrails’ Low-Cost Veterinary Services is sure to meet all of its objectives and see a growth in its clientele.

JRNL 307 Final Project  
JRNL 307 Final Project  

TimberTrails digital marketing campaign.