Ad networks are developing audience segments for targeting eco-conscious moms, and more and more, common household brands are reaching them online.
Advertisers are on the hunt for "green moms." Ad networks are developing audience segments for targeting these environmentally-conscious women online, and marketing research firms are analyzing their values and behaviors. But it's not just environmental organizations or oil companies hoping to promote alternative energy investments that are advertising. Increasingly it's everyday mass-marketed brands looking to reach the spectrum of environmentally-concerned mothers.
"Agencies with CPG brand clients or moms as a primary target, their clients are asking them about how to reach green moms," said Wendy Goldman Scherer, partner at The Social Studies Group, which recently released a report on the growing audience segment, breaking it down further into super greens, mainstream greens, simple lifestyle mamas, and other subcategories. "All the manufacturers are talking about it," added Goldman Scherer.
Though it's difficult to quantify, Scherer believes there has been a higher demand for reaching green moms even in just the past year. "Green sensibilities are really trickling down to the general market," she said. While loyalty to classic brands remains, more and more moms are sacrificing brand preference for environmental considerations, meaning everyday household brands "are going to have to offer comparable products."
Ad Networks Grab Eco Moms
Online ad networks recognize the growing interest in reaching green moms, and are developing audience segments dedicated to the burgeoning sub-market. ValueClick Media is one. The firm has included a green moms segment in its Moms Media vertical net since it launched last year.
The company can target green moms through behavioral and demographic data, as well as contextually on sites catering to the green mom segment. For instance, women with kids who have displayed purchase intent for hybrid cars, or purchased green products online, might fall into the category.
NaturalPath Media, a network of sites covering eco-friendly verticals, touts audience segments such as eco-tech and green moms.
Resonate Networks, a firm that launched last year with political and advocacy advertisers in mind, has developed its own green moms audience segment in the hopes of helping advocacy and corporate brand clients reach them.
"Clearly taking care of their children is very important and the data shows that, but they also care much more deeply than women in general and people in general about social issues," suggested Nick Tabbal, Resonate's VP of research. The company defines the segment as "women under the age of 50, interested in environmental issues, who have children age 10 or younger." Resonate has served green moms ads from an environmental advocacy organization and a paper manufacturer.
According to recent online panel-based research conducted by Resonate, green moms are 22 percent more likely to be interested in buying products that help preserve natural resources, 12 percent more apt to seek out products with attachments to a charity or cause, and 40 percent more likely to advocate for a product or brand.
Mass Market Brands Clean Up for Moms
Ads from Hyland's natural cold medicine, environmentally-friendly diaper company gDiapers, and Gen Green Life, a local green business directory and reviews site, all pop up on green moms sites. Yet less-endemic brands are increasingly targeting the segment online - for instance Sylvania, which offers eco-friendly halogen lighting for cars.
Natural household cleaning products and detergent brands - some offshoots of brands that have been around for years, such as Tide Free - appear to be the advertiser vertical most interested in targeting green moms.
"Sure, you have demand from advocacy groups of a political nature, but you also have demand from CPGs that are launching green products or have some other kind of way to tie a [green] message into a product they already have," said Denise Zaraya, vertical sales director for ValueClick Media's Vertical Networks division.
Green Works, a collection of cleaning products and detergents made by The Clorox Company, is promoting its own "30 Days to Natural" challenge on green moms sites like From Grey to Green. The challenge encourages moms to "trade in all" their traditional cleaners for Green Works products for a month. In 2007, Clorox acquired natural personal care product maker Burt's Bees .
"Advertisers are targeting green moms because they are influencers for moms across the spectrum," noted Maryanne Conlin, president of The Mcmilker Group, a social media marketing agency. "A key priority for moms is the health of their children and that is a key driver of moms choosing to serve organic foods, learn more about toxins in cleaners, etc."
White Cloud, a bathroom tissue brand made by Kruger Products, is making a big push behind its Green Earth tissue, made with 100 percent recycled fiber. White Cloud is running a "Secret Switch" challenge, asking moms to switch from regular toilet paper to their recycled product, and find out whether their families notice the change. The advertiser sponsored a post about the challenge on GreenandCleanMom.org, and is also running display ads to promote it.
Zaraya said the growth in demand to target green moms only began during the past two years, and has a ways to go till saturation. "Especially as the organic and green companies sell to big companies, the ad dollars will follow that."
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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