Sites specifically devoted to covering environmental issues are the most efficient ways to find green consumers online, right?
Wrong. Green consumers -- those who look for products with an environmental benefit -- actually spend less than 1% of their time online reading content on green sites, according to data from Resonate Networks.
This is true even "hardcore" green consumers -- those who believe corporations are responsible for environmental issues and make their purchasing decisions based on this belief.
In comparison, greens and hardcore greens spend slightly more than 15% of their online time on social networking content and between 7% and 8% of their online time on games.
"Less than one out of 100 pages viewed by green consumers is green content, so it would obviously be extremely difficult to achieve reach/frequency goals by focusing only or mainly on these sites," says Bryan Gernert, CEO of Resonate Networks, which provides online ad targeting based on measuring U.S. adults' attitudes, belief systems and engagement in political and social issues. "Instead, advertisers should focus on sites that feature financial tools, financial news and information, and home and fashion content."
Other misperceptions about green consumers:
One-quarter of greens and hardcores are between 45 and 54, and about 14% of each are 55 to 64. Among the over-65 group, 10% are green and 16% are hardcore.
Next to the 45-to-54 group, those 35 to 44 are most involved: 22% are green and 19% are hardcore.
Among those 25 to 34, 19% are green and 16% are hardcore, and among those 18 to 24, just 10% are green and 9% are hardcore.
Green consumers are anti-corporate or have little or no brand loyalty. While it's true that green consumers are tougher to win over, they are more likely to be passionate brand loyalists/advocates once they are in the fold.
Greens as a whole are more skeptical than non-greens about information from brand sources, and hardcores are particularly skeptical: 42% of the latter use independent media sources (including print and online) for product information and 15% use blogs, bulletin boards and chat rooms, Resonate's data show.
However, one-third of hardcores are willing to pay more for products they trust, and 21% invest time to seek these products out for purchase.