Green Marketing in Finance - US - April 2011
While green marketing has been around at least since the advent of Earth Day in 1970, it has picked up steam in recent years. Spearheading the movement in recent years was the impact of the release of Al Gore’s 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. While much attention has been paid to the challenges posed and green solutions employed by manufacturing and utility companies, there are a number of similar opportunities for a green focus in the financial services industry. Green “basics” now include paperless statements, electronic banking, green mortgages, green credit cards and other eco-friendly products and services which have all, to one degree or another, been embraced by the industry. New initiatives may not be an easy sell, however. There is evidence of “green fatigue” —consumers tuning out green messages either because they don’t believe them, don’t care about them, or they are just plain tired of hearing about the issue.
There is good news for green marketers, though, and it comes in the form of the younger generation. This is the group that is most attuned to the environmental issues of the day. To the extent that financial services companies can support green efforts, both by internal initiatives to meet their own green goals and by investing in companies and other efforts that are focused on green solutions, they will be the companies of choice for an increasing number of consumers—and especially those who have just entered or who will soon be coming into the investing ranks.
The following are topics covered in this report:
- Existing green marketing initiatives in the industry
- Marketing challenges posed by the overabundance of green messages and the “greenwashing” that has been made public over the past several years
- Growth and opportunities in the socially responsible investing (SRI) arena
- Customer segments that are more receptive to green messages and those that are more likely to change their behavior in response to these messages
- How technology is affecting green marketing and increasing the ease and popularity of performing e-transactions
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