Getting green consumers to take action
At the Green: Net '09 conference in San Francisco, Erin Carlson, director of Yahoo for Good, breaks down the demographics of green-minded consumers who visit the Web site. She says most people need something exciting to grab their interest--what she calls the dessert. Then the service can slip in useful information (the broccoli) to educate and inform readers on real issues.
Erin Carlson, director of Yahoo
>> We tried to figure out, okay, the Green consumer there's so many of them now we need to figure out exactly who we're focused on and I can drop some percentages in case your guys sort of are figuring out where you want to be focusing. But there's the deeply committed folks about 23% of the market, these are the folks that we typically think of as Green and they skew female, they are in it for the sort of long-term impacts of being Green, they're more in the Metropolitan areas, so that's one aspect. But then there are also the trendy folks that's about 24% of the market so even bigger, and these are the folks who are looking to be Green to look cool and they are younger, they are more ethnically diverse and they respond to messages about sort of everybody's doing it or the newest coolest thing that's out there. Then the final piece is the practical folks and these are, there's about 13% and these are the folks who are looking for immediate benefits, so better health, saving money, saving time, and those folks are older, they have usually have children, they're more in the rural areas. So when you're speaking to a certain audience you need to use the messages that they care about otherwise they're just gonna glaze over. And so since we have this tremendous forum for sort of testing content and messages and what works, which is our front page, we have a few learning's. One is, you know, information is not enough it needs to be in the right tone and at the right level of where people are. And right now people don't respond to this erotheorial assumed spelling thought of carbon they need to know what is in it for me, and so the things that we found work really well are surprises and sort of optimistic innovations and that's partly because it appeals to the trendy folks who want to be able to drop this information and say that they're in the know. There's also the saving money and saving time pieces that obviously people are responding to and increasingly lately. And they do not respond to the gloom and doom, the island that is, you know, disappearing into the ocean because of climate change. And they also don't respond to celebrities talking about Green because they think that there's been some bathroom deal signed to make their image look better. So often --
>> 'Cause there have.
>> often what we say with when we're thinking about content on Yahoo Green is serve up the dessert and then sneak some broccoli on to the plate. And one example is just last week I don't know if you caught it but there was a world naked bike ride. So this is something happening that was happening in the Southern hemisphere it's also happening in the Northern hemisphere in June and so we ran a story on the front page of Yahoo, you know, basically talking about a world naked bike ride and that, of course, caught people's attention, that's the dessert, and then the broccoli was that the content of the article was talking about alternative forms of transportation, what you can do with locally relevant resources in your area. So the main point is meet people where they are in the type of content they pay attention to and then sort of build up on the meaty practical actions they can take.
==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Techologies ====