Earlier in July I read about Dermcare's 'Clinic Cat of the Year' promotion in one of Dr Anne Fawcett's Small Animal Talk blog posts and thought it was a brilliant idea so I contacted Dr Susan Dwyer, the Technical Veterinarian and Sales and Marketing Manager at Dermcare and asked her a few questions to find out more…..
1. What was your ‘Clinic Cat of the Year’ competition all about and where did the idea come from?
Clinic cats are icons in their local veterinary clinic – they are known by clients, who love to see them when they come in, and they often provide entertainment and comfort for busy veterinary clinic staff. They can often be found sitting on the front counter, warming computer keyboards, taste-testing the various foods for sale, or visiting all the inpatients for the day.
Their stories are varied – they may have been strays that ended up at the clinic, or difficult medical cases that were taken on by the team and decided never to leave!
We wanted to give clinics a chance to nominate their cats, share their stories with Australia, and get their clients involved in voting.
2. Is it the first time it’s been run?
This is the first time it has been run and we were overwhelmed with the response. We plan to make it an annual event, and may even expand the categories to include other animals – we know there are quite a few other clinic pets, including dogs, birds and even a snake!
3. How did practices find out about it?
Our local territory representatives let clinics know about the competition on their rounds and left entry forms. We also had entry forms included in orders from wholesalers. We emailed clinics with reminders, and had advertising on our website.
Clinics were then responsible for advertising the voting opportunities to their clients, and we provided posters with QR codes for each individual cat to help them with this.
4. How long did it run for and how many entrants did you end up receiving?
Entries were open from the beginning of April until the end of June 215, and the profiles and pictures of each entrant were uploaded onto the Dermcare website within 72 hours of being received. Those who entered early obviously had more time to campaign and gain votes. Even though entries closed at the end of June, voting was open for a further two weeks and really heated up during this time!
We had hoped to get approximately 50 entries, but were thrilled to get 220 entrants from all over the country.
5. What was the prize for the winner/s?
The winner, Ernie, from Elanora Vet Clinic in NSW, received a trophy, a perpetual plaque, a sash and a photography and prints package for his clinic valued at $2000. The photo session for Ernie and staff is due to take place soon.
The National Runner Up, Fifi, from Sydney Road Vet Clinic in NSW, was awarded a trophy, a sash, and a photography session. State winners were given a trophy and sash.
6. From a business perspective what were you hoping to achieve with the promotion?
We had several aims and we feel we achieved them all:
- we strengthened our relationships with our clinics by getting to know the staff better;
- we gave clinics the opportunity to engage their clients in the competition;
- we increased traffic to our new website dramatically during the months of the competition and we gained additional advertising through social media, radio and newspapers as clinics campaigned for their cat.
Most importantly, we had the joy of reading 220 stories of these great cats, and of crowning a deserving winner.
7. Will there be any follow up to the competition?
We are planning a coffee-table style book of all the entrants’ photos, so that it can be displayed in veterinary clinic waiting rooms.
Thanks for your time Susan.
An excited Ernie proudly shows off his spoils from being awarded '2015 Clinic Cat of the Year' with typical feline 'attitude'!
Over to you veterinary clinics…..
I think this is a brilliant example of a promotion that ticks all the boxes: it's fun for everyone involved; easy to enter; gets people talking…and it involves cats!
Keep an eye out for Dermcare's 2016 Clinic Cat of the Year….
Dr Susan Dwyer is the Technical Veterinarian and Sales and Marketing Manager at Dermcare Vet. She has degrees in Science Communication and Veterinary Science (Sydney) and a Masters of Veterinary Studies (Murdoch).
When not working at Dermcare, she works in a small clinic in Casino, NSW. Her dog Elmo is the most spoilt Red Heeler alive.
Click here to visit the Dermcare website