Dogtopia: Dogtopia Enables Localized Digital Advertising for Franchisees


Campaign Summary

Dogtopia enabled franchisees to deploy, fund and measure their own lead-generation campaigns within a common branding and messaging approach.



Dogtopia is North America's fastest-growing pet franchise with more than 210 locations across the United States and Canada. The company's services include dog daycare, boarding and spa. Dogtopia has been rapidly expanding since 2015, opening 40 new locations in the last 12 months alone.

Historically, customer growth for new locations had been slow, which meant that it took several years of losses before new stores would reach profitability. In order to increase the speed of customer acquisition and decrease "ramp up" time for new locations, the Dogtopia team required a high-impact lead generation approach. The company was also looking to increase lead generation for already-open locations to grow the company overall.

Because Dogtopia is a franchise, local marketing decisions and budgets are managed by each franchisee, meaning that every local owner decides what to spend their marketing dollars on. This approach is effective because it allows each location to tailor their marketing approach to the idiosyncrasies of their local market. However, the challenge for many franchise systems is that this approach results in franchisee owners pursuing divergent strategies, which creates a disjointed approach with off-brand creative and messaging.

Dogtopia therefore needed to design a lead acquisition campaign that adhered to its brand standards and overall marketing strategy, while also ensuring it could be independently customized, funded and deployed by each franchisee owner to suit their individual needs.

The major focus of the campaign was on lead generation and cost-per-lead. To ensure accurate tracking, the brand deployed a landing page with a lead capture form and call tracking phone number. This allowed the brand to track the exact number of form completions and phone calls by location.

Target Audience:

The target audience was people who have a dog and live or work near a Dogtopia location. The company's most valuable demographic is millennial females, although their customers are comprised of a wide age range.

Dogtopia customers love their dogs and want to provide them with the best possible care. The happiness, health and safety of their dogs is important to them, and as such, they value quality over low cost. Customers typically have higher household income and don't mind paying a premium for a clean, professional service they can trust with their "furry family member".

Creative Strategy:

The campaign included Facebook, Instagram and Google search advertising.

Creative was designed to fit the Dogtopia brand — bright, friendly and professional. Knowing the target audience is dog owners, videos and photos focused on happy dogs having fun in Dogtopia playrooms. Messaging was focused on love of dogs, safety, socialization and dog health. Social media ad copy included casual language and emojis to help the ads stand out. The brand employed a variety of Meta ad types including image, video and carousel.

Although Dogtopia customers are generally less cost-conscious, the brand incorporated several different offers into the campaign to remove a barrier to conversion and to encourage people to trial the high-quality service Dogtopia provides.

To provide local flexibility, Dogtopia created a variety of creative concepts which included different Dogtopia services (daycare, boarding, spa, training) and an assortment of messaging and offers/incentives. This allowed franchisees to select messaging and creative that would work best for their local market. In total, the brand created more than 180 different ad executions.


The brand ran a version of the campaign in the previous year which performed well. It pursued a model of continuous improvement, meaning that it is constantly evolving its approach. In this case, Dogtopia undertook a major restructuring of the social and search campaigns in 2021.

For the Meta campaign Dogtopia redesigned landing pages, deployed new creative, incorporated new ad units and modified targeting. It also re-built the Google Search campaign with new ads, targeting and keywords.

The new campaign performed exceptionally well, increasing leads by 36 percent and decreasing the cost-per-lead by 23 percent Cost-per-click, click-through rate and other key metrics all improved.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Based on Dogtopia's objectives and its target customers, it chose to employ Facebook, Instagram and search engine advertising. The role of the social ads was to use highly visual and engaging creative to generate outbound awareness and create a brand impression with its target audience, which was particularly critical for new locations. Search advertising was designed to capture the demand generated by the outbound campaign, as well as any dog owners within the brand's geographies who were searching for the types of services Dogtopia provides.

Based on prior campaigns, Dogtopia found that women aged 24 — 64 are significantly more likely to convert into a lead, which was incorporated into the Meta targeting. The brand made extensive use of retargeting, interest-based targeting, custom audiences, lookalike audiences and demographic targeting to reach its target audience. It geotargeted advertising around every location using either a radius or zip codes and served Meta ads via local Facebook and Instagram pages to maximize their impact.

From a Google search perspective, the campaign included more than 150 keywords which encompass a variety of "dog", "dog daycare", "dog boarding" and other similar terms. Meta targeting included interests such as "dogs", "dog lovers", "dog walking" and similar parameters.

Mobile Execution:

Dogtopia employed a proprietary digital advertising platform to create, localize and measure the campaign. Through its online dashboard, franchisees were able to:

  • Choose from a variety of pre-built, customizable ad sets that featured different offers, creative and services
  • View and customize the ad creative for their market
  • Set their local budget, using their own credit card
  • View leads generated by the campaign (i.e., specific form completions and phone calls)
  • View campaign statistics

When a franchisee deployed their campaign using the software, the platform automatically inserted local terminology such as city name, store name and other details into the Google keywords and Facebook, Instagram and Google ad copy. Through this approach, every location was able to quickly and easily deploy a unique campaign designed to serve the needs of their specific market, while also maintaining the integrity of the brand and supporting the overall marketing objectives of the company.

Once in market, social media and search professionals actively measured and managed every aspect of the campaign. Creative, targeting, bids and keywords were assessed across the network and modified both nationally and locally to continually improve results.

All ads were directed to campaign-specific landing pages to aid in conversion. The landing pages were programmatically populated with the relevant offer based on the ad that was clicked, as well as store-specific details including the location name, address, phone number and other information.

This approach provided locations with a local lead generation campaign that provided consistent messaging across platforms and through dedicated landing pages, which reinforced key messages and increased the likelihood that an ad click would convert into a lead.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The dog daycare sector is fragmented, with only a few large companies providing cross-country or regional services. Most dog daycare providers are independent owner-operated companies who have strong community ties but low marketing sophistication.

The campaign was a success. The approach achieved all of the company's objectives, in that it allowed local franchisees to deploy, fund and measure their own lead-generation campaigns within a common branding and messaging approach.

Local franchisees invested more than $2 million in advertising during June 2021 — September 2022. With that investment, Dogtopia achieved the following social/search advertising results:

  • 185 million impressions
  • 107,645 leads
  • $0.77 cost-per-click
  • 1.4 percent click-through-rate
  • $18.65 cost-per-lead
  • 4.1 percent conversion rate

The search campaign, which is designed to convert people searching for dog-related services and capture the interest generated by the social media campaign, achieved incredible results. Search engine advertising directly generated 94,455 leads at a cost-per-lead of $12.85, with a 12.6 percent conversion rate (meaning, 12.6 percent of landing page visits converted to a lead).

Beyond the direct results outlined above, we also saw a 36 percent increase in organic search leads coming to the Dogtopia website. This is due to a combination of increased awareness from the campaign and other SEO efforts with whom we were assisting the Dogtopia team.

The Dogtopia team is continuing to run the campaign.

As North America's leading dog daycare franchise, Dogtopia has played a major role in shaping the market across a number of factors including branding, education, philanthropy, technology and innovation.

This campaign had a significant impact on the market, in that it enabled Dogtopia locations to cost-effectively compete with local independent operators. The approach took advantage of the scale and sophistication of Dogtopia, while also providing a truly local experience for potential customers.

Dogtopia's major national competitor attempted to replicate the approach, even using similar creative and language in their website and advertisements.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Lead Generation | Awards: NA Gold Winner, X Global Gold Winner