Category: Sponsorship Marketing

Is Green the “New Black” for Women Shoppers?

As stated in the previous blog post, Green Marketing is no passing fad. In fact, to some observers, including me, Environmental Marketing looks like the New Black for women shoppers.

According to a recent study by the marketing consulting firm Frank About Women, one-quarter of all products in a woman’s shopping cart are environmentally friendly. (Note: this is data from the USA, unfortunately our shopping carts here in Australia have no current way of achieving such lofty green levels.)

The study also shows, according to an article in Ad Week, that “women are less likely than men to scoff at ecological concerns.” Most importantly, “if they feel they are getting a comparable product with green benefits, 69% are game to buy it.”

Another study, being released this week at the Good and Green Marketing Conference, will reportedly show that 80% of adult women in the USA believe very strongly that individuals can affect the environment, but that almost 60% believe that they are personally not doing enough to protect it.

It’s no wonder why Procter & Gamble has announced it will embark on a multi-brand initiative in the USA to educate and encourage consumers (read: women) to “make sustainable choices.” Called Future Friendly, this new platform from P&G includes a line of “green” Pampers disposable diapers and a pledge to provide 4 billion liters of clean drinking water in the developing world.

Modeled on previously successful initiatives in Canada and the UK, P&G is attempting to differentiate itself by claiming their existing products use less waste, energy and packaging, rather than by creating new “green” brand extensions. P&G is targeting its loyal customer base, hoping these consumers will be more likely to remain with their trusted brands if these are shown to be sustainable products.

“We are targeting the mainstream consumer – rather than the ‘environmental’ consumer – who does not want to give up on the brands that they like, but wants to use them in a sustainable way,” explained Glenn Williams, a P&G official, in the Financial Times.

While P&G is a late entrant to the green household products market, the company is sending a clear message that corporations must adopt sustainable practices in order to stay competitive. Of course, P&G also has a bottom-line target for this program, which reportedly includes placing 30 million of the company’s sustainable products into U.S. households by the end of next year and achieving total sales of $50 billion in sustainable products by 2012.

Interestingly, this “future friendly” program from P&G was announced (at the Clinton Global Initiative) while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is voicing opposition to the climate change legislation before Congress. It appears that P&G, unlike the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, understands the need to align their business practices – and their brands – with the growing environmental concerns of consumers.

P&G also understands that Green Marketing is the New Black for women shoppers in America.

Personal Recommendations More Trusted Than Advertising

Personal recommendations and consumer opinions posted online are the most trusted forms of communications, according to the latest Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey. Over 25,000 respondents from 50 countries participated in the survey.

According to the survey, which is conducted twice yearly, 90% of Internet consumers worldwide trust recommendations from people they know, while 70% trust consumer opinions posted online.

Brand websites, the most trusted form of advertiser-led communications, are also trusted by 70% of the survey respondents. Fortunately for marketers, all forms of advertiser-led advertising, except ads in newspapers, experienced higher levels of trust in this most recent survey.

Brand sponsorship is the marketing category that has seen the most significant increase in trust levels since the Trust in Advertising portion of the survey was initiated in April 2007. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Internet consumers now trust Brand Sponsorships, up from just 49% two years ago.

Significantly, text ads on mobile phones have the lowest trust factor, with less than one-fourth of respondents saying they completely or somewhat trust this form of advertising. This is not going to make the folks at the Mobile Marketing Association happy!

Here’s the ranked order of the results for some degree of trust in the following categories:

1. Recommendations from people known (90%)

2. Consumer opinions posted online (70%)

3. Brand websites (70%)

4. Editorial content {e.g. newspaper articles} (69%)

5. Brand sponsorships (64%)

6. Television (62%)

7. Newspapers (61%)

8. Magazines (59%)

9. Billboards / outdoor advertising (55%)

10. Radio (55%)

11. Emails signed up for (54%)

12. Ads before movies (52%)

13. Search engine results ads (41%)

14. Online video ads (37%)

15. Online banner ads (33%)

16. Text ads on mobile phones (24%)

The NBA Launches In China

It is not often that I get to write about two of my most passionate interests at the same time, but an announcement yesterday has given me an opportunity to write about both basketball and marketing in the same article.

Four Chinese companies and global sports broadcaster ESPN (owned by the Walt Disney Company) are investing US$253 million for an 11% stake in the newly formed Chinese subsidiary of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

This is huge.

Not only in terms of the dollar value, which values NBA China at about US$2.3 billion for a subsidiary company with little or no current revenues. But also in terms of what this means for the global sporting world, sponsorship opportunities, and marketing in general.

It is also huge for the NBA brand, one of the best sporting brands globally and one that has yet to suffer from the drugs scandal and player misbehavior taints of several other major professional sports.

NBA China has the right to create teams in China and will own all broadcasting rights and merchandising rights. It reportedly will also have the right to retain partial ownership in the teams created in China.

The NBA has never been secret about its long-held desire to turn this North American professional league into a global franchise. But previous to this announcement its efforts have been limited to a handful of exhibition matches played in Europe, Asia and Latin America, plus the obligatory global broadcasting of regular season games through ESPN and of its annual All-Star weekend classic and its year-end playoff series.

Interestingly, the league currently has about three dozen international players performing on its 30 teams, making it one of the most “internationalized

Doping Scandals Chase Away Cycling’s Top Sponsor

Deutsche Telekom has dropped its multi-million dollar sponsorship of the T-Mobile cycling team, stating clearly that the company did not wish to be associated with the doping scandals associated with professional cycling.

T-Mobile, a subsidiary of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, had reportedly sponsored the T-Mobile cycling team to the tune of around $18 million this year. T-Mobile had been a sponsor of the sport for 16 years, but is now ending its sponsorship two years early. T-Mobile will also end its sponsorship of cycling races.

The question for Deutsche Telekom as a company is, do we want to be associated with cycling and the doping in cycling?

 

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