Tue, June 24 2008

Making it easy to be green

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

eMarketer has an interesting report today saying:

Burst Media noted that US Internet users ages 18 to 24 had a greater tendency to fully integrate green behavior into their daily lifestyles than did their older counterparts. Nearly 10% of respondents in that age group said they “completely” incorporated environmentalism into their lives. The group ages 25 to 34 ranked second-highest, at 6.3%, while other groups hovered in the 3% to 5% range.

It should be noted that the Burst survey categorized its responses according to the degree to which people adopted eco-friendly habits, and the vast majority of respondents across all age groups put themselves in the “somewhat” category—leaving open the possibility that different perceptions among respondents of “somewhat” and “completely” could color the survey findings.

A JupiterResearch study of US teen Internet users found that green teens, who are especially concerned about or committed to environmental causes, were noticeably more likely than other teens to engage in e-commerce, visit movie or mobile content Web sites, participate in chat rooms and use digital photo services.

This finding correlates greenness with overall engagement in new technologies and online social behavior. Any marketer seeking to connect with the teen audience should take note of the potentially powerful link between environmental sensitivity and a willingness to use online channels for e-commerce, social networking, and content consumption and sharing.

Despite this correlation between youth and environmental consciousness, other studies have noted that older Internet users are more likely to take specific measures to curtail their consumption of resources.

A Harris Interactive poll of US Internet users’ environmental activities found that mature respondents (ages 63 and older) were the most likely group to engage in energy reduction in their homes, purchase energy-efficient appliances, buy more locally grown food and break their bottled water habits. Further, in the first two of those categories, the second-most-active group was the baby boomer generation (ages 44 to 62).

A 2007 survey of the shopping behaviors of US baby boomers by AARP and Focalyst found that 70% of respondents—an estimated 40 million boomers—use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands.

These “green boomers” are more demanding of quality in the products and services they buy, more attuned to advertising and more likely to exercise brand loyalty than other members of their generation, according to AARP and Focalyst.

“We anticipate that as time goes on, more and more boomer shoppers will simply expect brands to be eco-friendly,” said Heather Stern, director of marketing at Focalyst, in a statement. “Rather than this being a point of brand differentiation, it will be a price of entry.”

Here’s what I think:

1. Most people want to feel they are totally “green.”
2. Most people, as Seth Godin will tell you, are lazy and in a hurry.
3. Most people, therefore, are in practice “somewhat” green, whatever their self-perception.  They do some things that are environmentally responsible as long as they aren’t too hard, inconvenient, time-consuming or expensive.  (I am in this category.)
4. Young people are the most well-intentioned - but also lazy and in a hurry. 
5. The marketers that succeed are those that make it very easy to be green, whatever your age. 

Don’t be a Kermit the Frog, “it’s not easy being green” marketer.  Make it easy to take action, to make the right choices, to support your organization.  I know we need energy and time to be truly green, but most people are only somewhat green.  We have to start somewhere with them.  They’ll get greener one baby step at a time.  After all, people want to feel green - there’s a demand - so meet it with easy, concrete actions that collectively may just make a difference.

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Tue, June 24 2008

Guest Post: Good Ideas Party

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

Katya’s note:  A few weeks ago, I got invited to a very cool party for cutting edge nonprofits in New York.  (Can’t believe I made the guest list…)  I couldn’t go, sadly, so I asked the organizers of the NY event to fill in me and my blog readers on their party via a guest post.  Here is Jerri Chou of alldaybuffet with her report.

By Jerri Chou

If anyone needs to understand how to get things done, it’s those working on some of the most important social causes and issues of our day.

So recently, alldaybuffet, an organization that brings together the creative and social worlds, teamed up with Behance, a company that helps creative people be more productive, to throw an Internet Week event called Make Good Ideas Happen.

In an introduction to the world of creative productivity, three nonprofits—StartingBloc, City Year, and Sustainable South Bronx—presented themselves and their initiatives, inviting the creative community to provide ideas, action steps and contacts to help make their ideas happen.

And for one hot night, 250-300 creative and idealistic professionals showed up to the roof of the Delancey in New York where business cards flew, next steps filled white boards and engaging conversations flooded a tropical rooftop. In addition to generating contacts, strategies awareness, a rare level of communication between nonprofits and the creative community was a great productivity driver.

Mission statements came to life as City Year corps members explained what they do day-to-day and StartingBloc executives showed off the breadth of a network that reaches from London Business School to Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, creatives filled the gaps in knowledge of these social leaders and put a face to everything from IA to brand planning.

At alldaybuffet we really feel (and it’s often proven by our initiatives) that one of the best ways to ensure next steps is to connect and learn about the people you’d like to be working with face-to-face.

You can pour over websites, brochures and PDFs, but when it comes down to it, you learn differently through dialogue. It’s the same reason a teacher is often more effective than a “How To” book. You can ask questions and dynamically fill in your gaps in information based on what you know, what you don’t, and where your interests lie.

That effort to understand is extremely important. One of the biggest confusions comes from lack of knowledge of how things work. Indesign what? XML who? Nonprofits, just like creatives need to make an effort to understand where each person is coming from, if you’re open, that understanding will come and will help you better understand what the next steps really are instead of dodging lingo.

Of course, while we can all learn a lot through dialogue, it also helps you understand what you don’t understand. Finding out what you don’t know, and either learning more about it or accepting that you can’t possibly make the time to will help you determine what resources you actually need and who you need to help you implement them.

How do you find those people? By building personal connections and, while we love the Internet, ala Internet Week, face-to-face meeting is still one of the best ways to make a direct, impactful and lasting connection. After all, we’re social creatures and as faces are one of the most familiar social tools, putting a name to a face is still one of the most powerful means of communicating. But more than any face book profile, engaging with someone allows you to read body language, see a person’s passion through expressions, ideas and gestures of another human being. It’s these human components that motivate people to act more than any email list.

Of course, if you’re going to be doing a large-scale project, you will need large scale help. Understanding exactly what someone can do, and a realistic idea of how much they can do is key to creating a long lasting relationship.

We look forward to seeing what the creative world can do to help and what more we can teach the social world about being more productive. If anything, we and the future depend on it.

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Wed, June 18 2008

How to compete like a champ

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

I recently chatted with a roomful of nonprofit folks before giving a speech, and I heard the same things over and over:

1. Money is tight.
2. They feel a keen sense of competition for resources from other organizations. (No wonder, given more than 100 new nonprofits crop up every day)
3. They are anxious about the future.

So how do you stand out?  How do you compete in that environment?

By focusing on your audience, NOT your competition.  This is about reaching out to your audience better than anyone else.  You must do a better job connecting with those people than your competition does.

We get into so much trouble imitating others organizations.  Don’t waste energy worrying about another nonprofit’s website, event or corporate sponsor.  Focus like a laser beam on pleasing your audience.

When you meet with corporate partners, stand out by impressing them with your ability to listen to them and by showing how you’re uniquely qualified to help them reach their business and philanthropic goals.  It’s not about your needs, it’s about theirs.

When you reach out to supporters, stand out with your ability to connect to their interests and values - and with your gracious gratitude for their help.

That’s how you win - by focusing on the people you want to reach, not the organizations around you.

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Wed, June 18 2008

Ask Without Fear interview is online

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

If you’d like to listen, to my interview with Marc Pitman is online here.

You can check out some of Marc’s fundraising tips here.

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Mon, June 16 2008

Tune in to hear me talk on Ask Without Fear

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

If you’d like to hear me field questions from Marc Pitman on his Ask Without Fear show tomorrow, check it out here.  It’s at 11 am EST.  I’ll be talking with Marc about how I stumbled (literally) into social marketing, trends in fundraising and my book.

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