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Bulldog Marketing & Sales Celebrates Fifth Anniversary


Agency is Driving Force in Changing Perceptions of
Marketing in the Pet Industry

(Bronx, NY) - Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. today announced the celebration of its fifth year in business. Bulldog is the Pet Marketing and Sales agency formed by industry veteran John Cullen to provide entrepreneurs, start-ups, and mid-sized organizations access to top level marketing talent without the expensive overhead. The agency was made famous by its controversial video rants such as, 10 Signs You are a Pet Business Clown and 5 Things I Hate about the Pet Industry that have served as a battle cry for the industry to start taking marketing more seriously. Traditionally the pet industry focuses on the push side (sell in) of the retail equation and very little on the pull side (consumer purchase).

“It’s hard to believe it has been five years already,” said John Cullen, Bulldog’s Principal. “The results we have achieved for our clients speak for themselves. The bottom line is that marketing works – even in the pet industry. In fact, it’s a great way to stand out to retail buyers and consumers since so few companies in the industry do ANY marketing at all.”

Bulldog’s past and present clients include Thundershirt, JW Pet Company, Absorption Corporation (now Healthy Pet) and new comer Old Mill Pet Products, LLC., a division of HJ Baker & Bro. Some of Bulldog’s work includes programs never before seen in the industry such as the Jeep Full of Fun, a JW Pet account specific program at Petsmart and the Scaredy Pet Challenge, a PR campaign for Thundershirt. It is also the driving force behind the new brand of dog treats, nature’s bits, creating its identity (name, logo, packaging, website, sales materials, etc.) and developing the sales channel.

To celebrate its anniversary, Bulldog is planning a full year of activities including a $2000 donation to the ASPCA ($500/quarter), donating 50 hours of time to pet product start-ups and having an anniversary party for industry friends and clients at the Global Pet Expo in March.

About Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc.
Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. is a full service agency formed in September, 2009. It has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience ranging from marketing strategy to new product development and retail sell-in. It has increased sales and developed new products for the Fortune 500 as well as for start-ups. Marketing & sales expertise includes: Pet Products, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Electronics. Bulldog is headquartered in the Bronx, NY – a few miles north of mid-town Manhattan. For more information, visit www.bulldogms.com.

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. Launches New Logo

BS-Logo-OnWhite-TAGLINEAgency Takes Steps to Solidify Its Position as the Premier Pet Industry Marketing & Sales Resource

Bronx, NY – (May 7, 2013) Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. (www.bulldogms.com) announced today the launch of its new company logo.  The logo reflects the agency’s desire to solidify its image as the premier marketing agency servicing the pet industry.  The logo is the next evolution of the original keeping only the bulldog head but with a more modern, crisper look.


“The pet industry, outside the major pet food companies, is filled with companies that think they can get by with mediocre marketing, logos, websites and packaging,” said John Cullen, Principal of Bulldog.  “I wanted to use my logo as an example to the industry.  Love it or hate it – it’s professional and clean”.


In addition to creating a new logo, Bulldog has also revamped its website to fit with the professionalized look.  It has also added a toll-free number and has begun accepting all major credit cards including American Express.


“Many of our clients asked if we would accept credit cards.  Just like all businesses, our clients want the rewards points offered by credit cards,” said Cullen.  “It is also a convenient way to pay.”


To learn how Bulldog can help your company grow, call 855-456-4738 or visit www.bulldogms.com.  We offer a free, no obligation consult to discuss your marketing & sales needs.


About Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc.

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. is a full service agency formed in 2009.  It has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience ranging from marketing strategy to new product development and retail sell-in.  It has increased sales and developed new products for the Fortune 500 as well as for start-ups. Marketing & sales expertise includes: Pet, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Electronics.  Bulldog is headquartered in New York City.  For more information, visit www.bulldogms.com or call 855-456-4738.

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. Launches New Website, Expands Service Offering, Retains Sales Pro

Agency Becomes One-Stop-Shop for Pet Product Marketing & Sales

Bronx, NY – (May 1, 2013) Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. (www.bulldogms.com) announced today the launch of its new website, its expanded service offerings and the addition of an EVP of Sales & Marketing.  Bulldog is the Pet Marketing Consulting and Sales agency formed by pet industry veteran John Cullen to give entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small to mid-sized organizations access to top level marketing talent without the expensive overhead.


Bulldog’s new website reflects its expanded service offerings.  In addition to more traditional marketing and sales services, the agency now offers Public Relations and Social Media management through its strategic partnership with K. Sutherland PR and National and Account Specific promotions through its partner, Promotional Expressions.  In addition, Bulldog now offers a variety of web services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Design and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (SEM).  Its new website also makes it easier for potential clients to access Bulldog’s pet marketing videos, case studies, client testimonials and its pet marketing blog which is chock full of free marketing & sales advice.


“I wanted to make it easier for companies looking for marketing & sales help to find it all in one place,” said John Cullen, Principal of Bulldog.  “It’s more efficient and cost effective for a client if all of its needs can be met under one roof since it is easier to integrate all the elements of the marketing mix.”


Bulldog has retained Gary DeFeo as EVP of Sales & Marketing.  DeFeo is a sales and marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in selling national retail accounts.  Most recently he was the VP of Sales for Zoombak GPS Trackers and the General Manager, Mobile Entertainment for JVC Co. of America.  He will not only be building Bulldog’s business, but the businesses of Bulldog’s clients.  DeFeo will also be engaged in account management across the company’s portfolio of clients.


“Gary is the consummate sales professional.  No one knows more about selling and closing,” said Cullen.  “I know, because I have seen him in action when we worked together at Zoombak.  He will be an asset to Bulldog’s clients.  I’m excited to have him on my team.”


To learn how Bulldog can help your company grow call 855-456-4PET(4738) or visit www.bulldogms.com.

About Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc.

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. is a full service agency formed in 2009 by John Cullen.  It has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience ranging from marketing strategy to new product development and retail sell-in.  It has increased sales and developed new products for the Fortune 500 as well as for start-ups. Marketing & sales expertise includes: Pet, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Electronics.  It is headquartered in New York City.  For more information, visit www.bulldogms.com or call 855-456-4PET(4738).

FREE Webinar Recording, 'Confessions of a Pet Product Marketer'. Watch now!

You’ve Read the whitepaper now watch the recorded Webinar! John Cullen, pet industry veteran and principal of Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. walks you through his top downloaded whitepaper, ‘Confessions of a Pet Product Marketer’. Learn from a Pet Product Marketing & Sales Veteran TODAY and start selling more pet products TOMORROW! It's FREE, FUN and INFORMATIVE!

Watch Confessions of a Pet Product Marketer Now!

Bulldog Gets SmartTag Premier PR Placement in Pet Product News

Is your agency getting you this type of premier placement in trade or consumer pubs? If not, get a Bulldog! Email us today: info@bulldogms.com.

SmartTag in Pet Product News

3 Key Questions to Ask a New Pet Sales Rep

1. What lines do you represent? Find out if they are competitive with your line. There has been a lot of consolidation in the pet rep business. There are only 2 full service rep firms that handle Petco, Petsmart and PSP. Yes, there are probably 100 other reps that call on them, but they don't have the resources to do the retail detailing you will need to be successful. Back to my point. It is rare that there is category exclusivity with reps anymore unless maybe you are a major food line.

2. How do you charge? This is important. Most reps will charge between 3 - 8% commission of your wholesale cost. The reputable reps will ONLY charge on what they sell. If a rep asks for a retainer - RUN, don't walk away. If a rep believes in your line they will do the upfront work to get the appointment and present your product on good faith.

3. What are your retail merchandising capabilities? This is also important. Petco & Petsmart have abysmal execution rates. Basically this means that your product has a 50% or less chance of being displayed properly on the store shelf if you rely on store staff. A good rep will have a "detailing" team that can go out and get your product from the back room and get it to the shelf. Sometimes this service will be included for the commission rate, sometimes it will be charged separately. It usually depends on the $$ size of your line.

Good luck and good selling!

If you need more info contact us at info@bulldogms.com.

What a Bulldog Can Do For Your Business.

Here are a few things Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. can do for your business. Please read our other posts for FREE helpful tips on marketing your products.

1. Strategy - We'll help you develop your launch plan or product marketing plan. What are your objectives? Where do you want to take your business? Bulldog will help you plan for success.

2. Brand Name development - We will give you several names to choose from and conduct the preliminary online trademark search to see if it's available. We have named tons of products.

3. Logo development
- A logo is more than your name in a fancy Powepoint font. We'll give you several logo treatments to choose from and we'll refine it until you're happy.

4. Advertising
- We will create your ad. Whatever kind you need - print, online (banner/Adwords), TV, Radio, Newspaper. We use experienced designers and we don't have the overhead of large agencies so we can do it cheaper and just as good (if not better!).

5. Retail Sales - The one thing you need to get into retail is the right relationships. We have them. We can get you in front of a buyer at Petco, Petsmart, Pet Supplies "Plus", Regional Distributors, Target, Wal-Mart, QVC, & HSN. We also know CVS & RiteAid.

6. Infomercials - Want to sell your product directly to consumers? We can help. We can take the complexity out of scripting and producing your very own infomercial. We'll also get the call canter and fulfillment house ready to go.

7. Social Media - Always wanted a Facebook page and Twitter account? We'll create and customize them and help you get likers (fans) on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

8. Websites - Need a website quickly? We can get you a professional one created in a week or so. Blog style or product focused - it's your call.

9. Public Relations
- Need a press release and ideas for how to get press pickup? Yep, Bulldog can help. We know the editors at Pet Business, Pet Product News and Pet Age among several others.

10. Be Your Marketing Department
- You don't want to hire staff to run your marketing? No problem. Get a Bulldog instead. We can handle all of your marketing for much less than hiring just one junior staff member. At Bulldog your business is handled by senior level marketing staff only.

Contact us at info@bulldogms.com for a comprehensive proposal. Please include your website and contact info.

Also, check out our ad in June's Pet Business. Preview attached.

Your Retail Sales Presentation Outline

Retail appointments are so few and far between that every time you make a presentation it needs to be great. The buyer has limited time and wants to get to the point. Be ready for any kind of appointment - even one in the lobby of the account (it happens)! I've had an appointment at Petsmart that ened up in cafeteria and one at Wal-Mart that took pace in their staging area - which is an airplane hanger with a mock-up store inside. Both were successful calls. Here is a simple outline that will help you close the deal with any retailer...

Tip: If you can get a professional to design your branded Powerpoint template -- do it. It makes your presentation look so much more professional than a generic clip art job. These can be created inexpensively so look around.

1. Title slide - your company and the account logo. Include the date of the presentation/appointment. No need to include your name or the buyer's name.

2. Agenda - not really necessary. You will want to keep your slide deck to no more than 10 slides, so this one is up to you. Sometimes it helps to have it in there for you as a guide when you are setting. You can delete it later.

3. Company Overview - who are you and your company? How long have you been in business? Why did you create the product(s)? What is the purpose of the product. A few sentences is all you need here.

4-5. Product Overview - What is your product(s)? Show some packaging graphics, etc. What flavors do they come in? What sizes, shapes, colors? What type of Point-of-Purchase display options do you have?

6. Features/Benefits - describe the top 3 features and the benefits associated from them here.

7. Consumer Research - show any research you have saying people like and will buy the product. If you have scan data from another account you can speak about it generically. You don't need to say "Selling 4 units/week/store at Petsmart" if you are speaking to the Petco buyer - but he/she might ask if he knows you are there too.

8. Competition - who is your competition? Why are you better? Feature(s)? Price? Quality? Let the buyer know you recognize the competition, surely he/she does so get this right out of the way.

9. Pricing - you can simply state the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) that you believe consumers are willing to pay for the product. If you know the buyer's margin for the category you can show a simple table...See example:

MSRP $9.99
Cost $4.99
GM (gross margin) $4.99
GM % 50

The above table us usually presented at the unit, not case level.

If you don't know the margin the buyer wants just state the price and have the discussion. Most accounts will also want 5% MDF (marketing development funds). The definition of MDF varies widely depending on the account. In grocery it usually means "slotting" or the price you pay the retailer for putting it on the shelf. In Pet retail it is usually a % of wholesale that will fund circular ads or other promotional activity. Again if you know it, list it, if not discuss it with the buyer.

10. Thank You/Next Steps - a place to write some notes and followups right in the presentation.

You could also include some specs such as how your product is casepacked, but you would typically have a 1 page sell sheet with this info that also includes your UPC codes, etc.

Good luck and Good Selling!

Inspiration for Innovation in The Pet Category

Author: John Cullen
As seen in Pet Product News International

Why does there seem to be a lack of real innovation in the pet category? Innovation is the introduction of something new: a new idea, method or even device. What I have seen more times than not at Global Pet Expo are product tweaks such as new shapes, packaging and flavors, rather than real innovations. An industry worth $40 billion should have an abundance of great new products introduced every year.

The lack of originality and freshness in our industry, I believe, can be attributed to three factors. In an attempt to put an end to these obstacles, I offer solutions in hopes of making every Global Pet Expo full of creative and novel ideas.

“If all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.” Large manufacturing companies are slaves to their production capabilities. The only changes they can make are minor tweaks such as size, color or flavor, to their existing products. Anything more is cost prohibitive.

Solution: Find creativity elsewhere. Acquire smaller, nimble companies that have unique products in attractive market segments. This will allow for an influx of ideas while keeping capital equipment intact.

Products Derived from Competitors. Most “new” products come from altering a competitor’s product. Every treat manufacturer has their take on the successful Greenies product. Manufacturers can pick up share points, but this is not innovation. Any aisle of your local pet store will engulf you in a sea of me-too products hidden inside a different package.

Solution: Think outside the crate. If you make dog toys, visit a toy store and see what’s new in the baby or toddler category to get ideas. If you are in food, go to a grocery store to find emerging trends. Flea & Tick? Visit CVS or Walgreens. Think outward, not inward.

Entrepreneurs don’t know retail. Entrepreneurs are the source of most innovation. They are free from the shackles of large production facilities, and the word is their source of raw materials. The entrepreneur’s job does not end with ideas. Develop a great product is only the first step of thousands needed to make it a success. New products need marketing – a brand name, logo, packaging, positioning, etc. This list is exhausting. Without help, ideas will never get to the shelf.

Solution: Get help. Take an honest inventory of your skills. If you are an idea person who isn’t strong in marketing, hire someone who is. The most important things needed are sales appointments. Hire brokers or manufacturers reps on a commission basis rather than taking on additional staff. Consultants can point you in the right direction and save you lots of money.

John Cullen has worked in marketing and sales at Zoombak GPS Dog Tracker, HJ Heinz Pet, Dogmatic Products and Treats4Pets.

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