CHICAGO — Marketing, PR and branding firm Matrix Partners has added another service for its pet industry brand partners: web-enabled consumer focus groups.

The firm initially rolled out as a socially distant consumer research tool amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but Don Tomala, managing partner at Matrix, said the new tool has offered other advantages for its clients.

“When you consider the savings in logistics and travel time for clients, virtual focus group research is a very cost-effective way to shed light on what consumers expect from your brand, and why,” Tomala said.

Matrix Partners also found pet owners are more comfortable participating in a virtual focus group, with the potential to express their opinions more freely. For brands, the ability to include participants from different regions of the United States in a single focus group could help determine regional preferences and purchasing behaviors, which in turn can help brands develop more targeted marketing tactics. 

Tomala regularly serves as the moderator for every online focus group session held by Matrix. Outside of these meetings, he leads the firm’s team of marketing experts and designers to deliver unique, competitive branding and actionable insights for its clients.

Some pet food and treat brands who have worked with Matrix Partners include Stella & Chewy’s, Charlee Bear, Hound & Gatos and Inaba. Matrix has also represented other brands in the pet product space, such as Swheat Scoop, Coastal Pet Products and TropiClean.

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