Sunday, February 08, 2015

How FetchFind, a networking site for pet professionals, can target its marketing

How FetchFind, a networking site for pet professionals, can target its marketing

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FetchFind CEO Jamie Migdal and pal Mimsy - MANUEL MARTINEZ
MANUEL MARTINEZFetchFind CEO Jamie Migdal and pal Mimsy
A LinkedIn-type networking site for pet professionals, from dog walkers to vet techs
THE COMPANY: Before she launched FetchFind in 2013, diehard dog lover Jamie Migdal had created four other pet companies. As a college student at DePaul University in the early 1990s, she founded a pet-walking business with $150 that promptly grew to 20 employees and 2,200 clients before she sold it in 1999. She later ran a dog training service, a website called Dog Friendly Life and most recently CanineLink, an educational company that provides courses for aspiring dog trainers.
Through CanineLink, Migdal, 44, realized that the pet industry has a major talent problem. "You have a lot of passionate people, but most people find their jobs on Craigslist," she says. Meanwhile, companies desperate for referrals were calling her in search of reliable professionals.
So she hired a developer and built FetchFind, a website on which job-seekers create profiles and businesses post open positions. FetchFind adds badges to candidates' profiles—indicating they have certain degrees or specializations—to help them stand out. FetchFind's algorithms then make it easy for businesses to home in on qualified talent.
Migdal, who has three full-time employees, raised $385,000 from friends and family to get the business going and is raising another $1.1 million. But the chicken-or-egg scenario she must confront now is that FetchFind has two distinct marketplaces—job-seekers and employers. Faced with limited resources, Migdal must choose: Does FetchFind need to post more jobs to attract more candidates or grow its candidate pool to attract more businesses that post jobs? Which capability should it market?
THE RECOMMENDATION: The group of marketers assigned to Migdal's case include Marc USA's Jean McLaren in Pittsburgh; Fred Ehle, director of customer experience at Oak Brook-based McDonald's; and Lauren McCadney, director of digital engagement and social media at Vernon Hills-based CDW. Their advice? Appeal to the candidates, big time. Because pets are such a source of passion for many people, attracting qualified candidates through whimsical and informative blog posts should be easy. Plus, through CanineLink, Migdal already owns a whole library of pet-related content, such as Q&As with entrepreneurs, that she can update.
FetchFindParknavHelix Health & WellnessRippleshot
"They helped me realize that the businesses will come if the candidates are there, and the candidates will come if we provide content," Migdal says.
She also had been following the conventional wisdom of starting small and "doing what you do best in your own backyard," she says, meaning FetchFind focused strictly on Chicago-area jobs. But the experts point out there was no reason not to go national.
"That was a big aha moment for us," Migdal says.
THE RESULT: By posting engaging, useful blog entries ("So you want to be a dog groomer?"), FetchFind gained traction in New York, San Francisco, Houston and other major cities. With a wider job-applicant pool, it recently landed its first big national client: San Diego-based Petco, which hired FetchFind to manage its recruiting.
THE BOTTOM LINE: FetchFind should market to job-seekers. Businesses will follow.

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