Is Green Marketing Relevant in Recessionary Times?

Marketers can't be blamed for wondering if consumers are willing to pay extra for products touting their green appeal. These days, even well-​established giants with a devoted customer base like Whole Foods are experiencing sales declines. The right marketing might encouragemarket_stall_fruit consumers to spend more on green products and one way to make marketing more effective is to position messages to reach specific segments of this demographic. In other words, not all environmentally and health-​conscious shoppers can be painted the same shade of green.

To understand the various mindsets of green consumer groups, check out the Green Consumer Index pointed out by Ruf Strategic Solutions Marketing (defined by the Natural Marketing Institute):

Early Adopters/​Trendsetters — 17% — Radically new products and services should target this group.

Naturalists - 17% — Target new foods and related products to this group which is chiefly concerned about personal wellness.

Drifters — 24% — If you can show this group that trendsetters are buying your product, the drifters will adopt the same behavior.

Conventionals — 26% — Tag marketing messages with cost-​saving and waste-​reducing benefits of your product to increase sales to this segment.

Unconcerned — 16% — To date, marketing messages have not persuaded this segment to begin purchasing green products .

Instead of cutting back on marketing, consider which niche works best for your product or service. Then emphasize the right benefits in your pitch to convince consumers to make that purchase.

[Source: Syracuse, Amy. "Opportunities to target green consumers.." BtoB Online, 5.26.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.