Green Marketing Could Grow Financial Services

Financial services companies may want to take another look at green marketing initiatives, which may have been overlooked during the economic crisis, according to new research from Mintel.

Per the report "Green Marketing in Finance, 2011," 72% of respondents said they "feel good about working with a financial services firm that invests in companies that are looking at eco-solutions." However, the data also shows a certain measure of cynicism; almost half of respondents state they believe a company will claim to be green just to promote a better image for itself.

"Overcoming this cynicism is the key to a successful green-marketing campaign that really stands out," says Susan Menke, vice president and behavioral economist at Mintel.

According to the study, the primary way that financial institutions can convince consumers that they are sincere is to promote internal initiatives, such as having a "green" corporate headquarters. Slightly more than two-thirds of all respondents believe this is the most important step a financial services company can take to become more environmentally friendly.

A significant number of consumers like green initiatives that also include an economic benefit for them. For instance, 50% of respondents would like to see financial companies offer environmentally friendly products, such as energy-saving light bulbs as incentives for new customers.

Almost half (45%) would like to see financial institutions provide monetary incentives to businesses that are developing new technologies and processes that are eco-friendly.

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