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How a startup pet health company is using direct mail to break through the noisy digital landscape

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How a startup pet health company is using direct mail to break through the noisy digital landscape

As more people are working from home, subscription-based pet healthcare startup Fuzzy, is leveraging direct mail to reach those people and ultimately boost brand awareness. 

Like a number of other brands once reliant on digital performance marketing tactics, Fuzzy is beefing up its media mix, looking at alternative marketing channels like direct mail as data privacy regulations have muddied advertiser data options. Earlier this year, direct-to-consumer brand Parachute made a similar move. 

“You get back to the basics in a roundabout way,” said Harley Butler, CMO at Fuzzy. “Instead of just micro-targeted [ads] and you’re obsessed with that, you really start to refocus on what your broader go-to-market messaging [and] strategy is.”

The six-year-old, California-based company leaned more heavily into direct mail about six months ago, ramping up spend from 10% this time last year to 35-40% of marketing spend now. From January to June of this year, Fuzzy spent an estimated $3.4 million on Facebook and Instagram, significantly down from the $12 million spent in 2021, according to Pathmatics. 

As a startup, Fuzzy has spent the last year focused on product development, tweaking its membership initiative and nailing down the specifics of its business model. As the brand grows, they’re looking to boost awareness via marketing. Ultimately, they’re in growth mode right now, tripling ad spend over the last year, according to Butler. He did not provide further details regarding specific dollar figures. 

“For the last year, we’ve really focused on making sure that it is a very, very well oiled machine, that we are making sure our communication strategy with our members is really strong,” Butler said. 

At present, Fuzzy’s strategy is to send direct mail advertisements on a monthly basis, reserving daily ads for retargeting interested shoppers. According to the pet healthcare brand, direct mail has been cost-efficient and useful in terms of tapping into pet parents working from home, collecting personal information via quizzes, questionnaires and surveys. 

Aside from the direct mail, Fuzzy’s media mix is made up of influencer marketing, audio streaming and digital video, paid search and some paid social. Soon, the startup plans to launch linear television and OTT efforts, Butler said. 

While digital media takes top billing in most marketing plans, direct mail is a highly-targeted and measurable way to capture shopper’s attention in real life, according to Shalanna Clark, head of marketing at Code3 marketing agency.

“As uncertainty looms for the second half of the year, marketers are looking for creative ways to keep trends moving north. Direct mail may be one of the levers that moves the needle,” Clark said via email.

As the company looks to bolster itself in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace, with companies like Pawp and PetDesk competing for shopper attention, Fuzzy says it’ll continue to experiment with direct mail and other channels to perfect its mix.

“This is that critical moment where we feel like we have the right ingredients,” Butler said. “The go-to-market strategy has been a big priority in this past year, to really introduce Fuzzy and the business model to more people.”

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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