Facebook in January prioritized user posts over brand and publisher content, leading to increased competition for ad inventory in the feed and causing CPMs to shoot up 122 percent year over year, according to AdStage data reported by Recode. Bark, the company behind BarkBox, is still using pet influencers with organic posts on social media. But it sees traditional media, especially TV, as a better deal than Facebook and a way to expose the company to a wider audience.
Ask a handful of businesses whether their service that allows the option of subscribing to boxes of goods is a "subscription box service," several will likely explain why they are not. Stitch Fix eschewed the label when marketing its public offering to investors, sources have told CNBC. (Stitch Fix offers customers the chance to buy without a subscription or change the frequency of their subscription.) Amazon similarly contends its Amazon prime wardrobe service is not a subscription box service.
With 500,000 subscribers to its delivery service and over 4 million fans on Facebook and Instagram, BarkBox’s social media team creates original video content and shares relatable memes with its followers in order to remind them of the emotional connection humans have with their furry friends. “We use mission-based marketing at an ambition-based company,” said CMO Jay Livingston, who joined Bark from Bank of America this July. “By not holding our social team to reach sales requirements, we give them an environment to create entertaining content to reach our highly engaged audience.”
“Being a Bull Mastiff, Cooper was our house’s heavy weight champion. He needed a bit extra in everything. I wasn’t sure whether the treats in Barkbox would suit him and I thought the goodies might be tiny. The reviews I looked at were good. I thought of it as a onetime choice and ordered a box but now I’m a regular subscriber. As I opened the box, I could feel the amount of care the team from barkbox had taken to identify and customize these goody treats.”

Beyond streamlining outgoing communications to customers, Narvar also simplifies incoming feedback so the BarkBox team can better understand how their customers really feel about their experiences. “It feels great when you see the good, and it breaks your heart when you see the bad,” Snowden says. “But most importantly, we’re seeing it at all. We analyze the Narvar survey feedback every single month, which gives us the opportunity to improve our customer experience in a way we couldn’t before.”


Hey Sonya and pack! Thanks so much for reaching out and we are so sorry to hear about your experience. This is not the norm for us, nor the experience that we want you to have. We know how much you and your pup depend on those monthly boxes. So we want to make sure you get them ASAP! I am also so sorry for the trouble and confusion with our warehouse move. I would love to further explain this to you and track down your box for you on my end to turn this around for you. Please reach out directly to Lindz@barkbox.com and we will get you all taken care of!

Jessica lives and breathes everything Dachshund, hiking and camping with dogs, and blogging. She's the Chief editor of the award-winning blog You Did What With Your Wiener?, has been hiking with her dogs for over 15 years, and runs an 800-member Dachshund Club in Seattle. She also helps other pet bloggers leverage their blog into a business at PetBlogBiz.com and helps pet-related businesses develop a strategy to drive traffic to their blogs at PetTalkMedia.com.

With more than 5 million followers across its social media channels and having shipped more than 30 million toys and treats to pups in the U.S. and Canada, BarkBox is the brand at the center of dog obsession online and offline. The curated box of all-natural treats, chews and fun toys is designed – from the packaging to products – to create moments of insane joy for dogs and their people, with a new, fun theme each month. Dog-obsessed experts paw-pick the best treats and innovative toys to match a dog’s unique needs, including allergies or heavy chewers. 
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