FiXiT has a mission to end companion animal overpopulation. We are conducting a case study in a closed population to demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy of targeted messaging and incentive-based promotions in increasing demand for spay and neuter. To this end, FiXiT began the Final Fix Project in St. Croix, USVI in summer 2010. FiXiT spent the first 6 months of the project conducting several research studies: a spay/neuter perception survey, an island-wide cat and dog census, and an advertising optimization survey. We have used these studies to inform our large-scale marketing campaign. During our spay/neuter perception survey, we sampled 2% of the St. Croix population. We learned that 66% of St. Croix pet owners have unaltered pets, and economic and motivational factors explain this statistic.
Using the patterns that we found in our preliminary research, we are implementing a diverse marketing strategy, including print, radio, television advertisements, for marketing our spay/neuter services. Each media and individual message are tracked to determine which are most effective for attracting calls and new clients. View our advertising here. This will be used to determine how to draw the type of pet owner that would typically not fix their animal.
In February 2011, we launched a low cost spay/neuter clinic under the name St. Croix Animal Welfare Network, a collaborative effort between FiXiT and private veterinarians on the island. Initially, we offered our service for a fee of $25. In July 2011, the offer changed: the cost stayed at $25 with an incentive of $25 worth of pet supplies. In October 2011, we began to offer spay and neuter for FREE. In January 2012, incentives were added to each free surgery, including fast food and rum. At each incentive level, we are tracking how our call and surgery volume change and the effectiveness of each media channel. This promotion has increased the surgery volume for the program 500% from the control $25 and previous incentive level with room to improve as word of mouth spreads. It is our goal to attain a volume in which the island’s animal population will no longer grow.
We are now testing a more community-based strategy and partnering with the local St. Croix shelter. We are using a mobile spay/neuter van with five objectives: reach a clientele that would not go to a private clinic, enter neighborhoods with the highest rates of abandonment, respond to the need for transportation, target feral cat colonies, and provide education to students and program participants. The addition of the mobile van has further increased demand for spay/neuter on the island so that we are servicing 200 dogs and cats per month!
In 2013, we have seen a decline in the St. Croix shelter’s intake after a long period of increase. This is an exciting trend that we believe is just the first step toward long-term population decline. For the remainder of 2013, we have exciting new strategies that will maintain the demand that we have achieved, such as an exciting new school contest, a commissioned representative program, and new marketing messages.
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Interested in FiXiT helping implement our marketing strategies for your spay/neuter clinic? Contact Us for more information.