Its Not Easy Being Green

by Tom Tsinas April 29th, 2008 

kermit the frog

I'm a stats junkie. I just love surveys, research papers and opinion polls, so its no accident that I enjoy sharing my finds with the our readers. I look for ways to use the information in order to assist our clients by incorporating relevant trends into our their online marketing initiatives. This is why I loved this new Burst Media Survey on consumer recall of advertising with a green message.

Essentially, the survey shows consumer recall of advertising with “green” messaging is high, with 37.1% saying they frequently recall green messaging, however they remain very skeptical about claims� made.

This valuable survey explains how consumers are incorporating environmentally friendly/green labeled products and/or services into their daily life (search habits) and their perception of claims made by advertisers.

Key findings:

  • Consumers do not automatically accept green claims made in advertisements:
    • One in five respondents (22.7%) say they seldom or never believe green claims made in advertisements.
    • Two-thirds (65.3%) of respondents say they “sometimes” believe green claims made in advertisements.
    • 12.1% say they “always” believe green advertising claims.

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Skeptical consumers want to be able to investigate claims, and many do:

    • 41.6% of consumers frequently or occasionally research the claims made in green advertisements.
    • Just 30.1% refraining from any research.
  • Four out of five (79.6%) respondents say they use the internet to conduct personal research on green initiatives and products.
  • Many respondents find corporate information on green and environmentally safe products and services lacking: 41.6% rate corporate information as average, 20.8% rate the information as fair, 17.2% rate it poor.

Characteristics of green consumers:

  • Green is a goal of many, but attained by few:
    • More than four out of five (81.9%) respondents have incorporated some level of green activity into their lives - just 12.9% are “not green at all.”
    • Most respondents have integrated green activity into their daily lives, few (5.2%) are “completely green.”
    • In fact, most respondents are “aspirationally green” - (43.9%) incorporate a few things that are green into their daily lives but “have a long way to go,” and another 38.0% attempt to be “as green as possible, but not 100%.”

chart 1

  • Reasons for pursuing green activities are varied:
    • The motivators to go green are many, but respondents most frequently (53.3%) cite “good for the environment” as the reason they include green behavior in their daily lives.
    • Other reasons for going green include to impact the future (41.5%), to live a better quality of life (34.1%), good for the community (32.5%), desire to make a difference (31.2%), desire for a healthy body (29.8%), and desire to live simply and use less (29.2%).
    • Three out of five respondents who are “aspirationally green” cite “good for the environment” as a reason for going green - clearly the leader among all reasons offered.
    • However, among the “completely green” segment the top reason for going green is “to live a better quality of life,” followed by “good for the environment.”
  • Disparate Green topics motivate online research:
    • Consumers research many green topics: The most popular online green content is recycling information and healthy recipes.
    • Those are followed by information on alternative energy sources, natural remedies, eco-friendly cleaning products, green technologies, nature/outdoor recreation, tips for simple living, gardening/organic gardening, and organic foods.

chart 2

At the end of the day, there is a sizable, engaged and savvy consumer audience online. Jarvis Coffin CEO of Burst Media said it best, any "business that can support their claims in their green messaging and sustainability topics in a way that incorporates the consumers in the conversation are at an advantage in the marketplace."� This info can make for a nice segue into a online green strategy/initiative for your client.

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