Motor manufacturers should talk cost benefits to sell green, study finds
London, 11 October 2011 Motor manufacturers selling eco-friendly models may be missing out on sales by prioritising marketing messages about environmental benefits over cost savings, according to new research.
Digital media company Specific Media finds that environmental messages speak only to a small cohort of green activists which make up just 5.7 per cent of UK car drivers. The research suggests that manufacturers would instead be better-served focusing on the majority of car buyers that seek cost benefits from their purchase.
When buying a new car, consumers thoughts are dominated by economic factors. Price (87 per cent) and fuel consumption (79 per cent) are the two biggest concerns with the particular models insurance costs coming in fifth (61 per cent). While almost eight in ten (78 per cent) would consider buying a green car at present, 57 per cent would not pay a premium to do so. Overall, only a quarter of consumers (24 per cent) consider the environmental impact of a particular car when purchasing.
These rational concerns drive thinking irrespective of a persons environmental perspective. Two thirds (68 per cent) of respondents say the economic climate dictates when they buy a new car, irrespective of whether they have green sentiment or not. Indeed, the study found that consumers are cynical, wary and suspicious of adverts with environmental themes and messages. At the same time, they were unlikely to find these adverts to be informative and clear. Far from encouraging people to buy green, environmental messages in adverts make consumers suspicious and actively turn off the majority.
Chris Worrell, European Research Manager at Specific Media, says: Contrary to popular perception, there is not an army of environmental car crusaders waiting to go green. This research shows that by highlighting the environmental credentials of their models, manufacturers are not only speaking to just a tiny fraction of their potential audience, they may actually be turning consumers off their brands. The continuing economic uncertainty means that the majority of consumers are concerned with hard financial benefits. Online advertising allows manufacturers to develop distinct messages for specific cohorts of consumers, so brands should be looking to deliver tailor-made messages.
Notes to editors
Specific Media interviewed 1,009 UK driving license holders between 11th and 15th July 2011 via the Research Now panel.
About Specific Media Specific Media is a digital media company with capabilities spanning original programming, cross-channel distribution and addressable advertising. The company connects audiences, content and brands driving viewership for content owners, engagement for brands and relevance for consumers. As people discover new ways to consume content, Specific Media creates impactful media experiences no matter where they are. www.specificmedia.co.uk
Andrew Farmer and Abi Holdaway
Band & Brown Communications
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