Accelerating Petcare Innovation through CRM and Digital Vision

By Miao Song, Chief Information Officer, Mars Petcare

Miao Song, Chief Information Officer, Mars Petcare

At Mars Petcare, our 85,000Associates truly believe that pets make the world a better place—that's why we're inspired to make A Better World for Pets™. Our passion for pets and our position as the world's largest family of pet-centric businesses means we provide health care, food, and services for half of the world's pets. As the global CIO of Mars Petcare, I'm very passionate and focused on our purpose: A Better World for Pets, and how we use data to drive insights. It's a unique ambition, but relevant to the CRM landscape in a number of ways. To achieve our ambitions, we've developed our digital vision in three key areas: pet owners, channels and engagement.

Pet Owners

The Petcare industry is changing rapidly. For us to be successful, it's critical to leverage CRM solutions to interact with pet owners, manage sales opportunities, create loyalty and brand promotion programs, and capture marketing data. Within a challenging retailer space, we're reaching out to consumers directly using technology platforms to engage pet owners and grow our business online. Through our CRM initiative, we're able to analyze 20 million data points from more than 12 million pets to spot trends and generate valuable scientific insights. We've used data to improve nutrition and health care for the pets we all love. We've also used it to solve problems for pet owners.

"It's critical to leverage CRM solutions to interact with pet owners, manage sales opportunities, create loyalty and brand promotion programs, and capture marketing data"

For example, an opportunity arose when we noticed a high number of pet owners missing scheduled veterinary appointments. Leveraging insight-gathering to understand desirability from consumers and geo-mapping, we now send reminders to the pet owners prior to the appointment, so they will arrive as scheduled. The total number of missed appointments has decreased through this initiative. Our target is to have the ability to understand consumer motivations and nurture a relationship throughout the whole pet life journey so that we reach out to pet owners at the right moment.


We also use CRM to create holistic and pet owner-centric marketing, media, and data systems that maximize our ability to engage with the consumer. Our approach is built on data-driven intelligence ranging from marketing clouds and content analysis to consumer experiences and campaigns. We're also leveraging e-commerce platforms, digital asset management, and marketing technology stacks to manage consumer touch point delivery through brand websites, social media engagements, and push marketing content. Our marketers now understand pet owners' demographic data, product purchase history, and preferences more clearly than before. As a result, our teams are able to create more relevant campaigns that resonate with our target consumers and potentially increase sales.

Engagement through smart digital data

Our unique CRM journey started with the goal to create a better consumer experience, with a personal touch you'd expect from a business that has been working in petcare for 75 years. Our CRM solution enables us to form customer loyalty. Leveraging smart digital data, we no longer have to guess how, where, when and through which medium we should deliver messages to pet owners. By mapping the pet owner journey, we're working to address their "in the moment" needs for relevant and timely information. For example, we developed a digital app to help pet owners learn the nutrition needs for their pets based on breed, weight, age, etc. This created a personalized marketing experience for pet owners and built loyalty for our products and services.

Based on these three areas, you can now see how our CRM initiative is helping us better understand pet owners' motivations and concerns. Looking ahead, we're focused on creating a unique experience with our consumers. Our vision is to create a 360-degree view of pet owners by understanding what, how and where they buy, as well as what they need, and how we can serve them better. Our system architecture design will deliver all of these possibilities using modern technology stacks from external vendors and custom tools.

This is just a glimpse of the CRM landscape as it relates to Mars Petcare today. Tomorrow, you can expect us to continuously build and better our understanding of how to make A Better World for Pets™ through the implementation of our CRM strategy.

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