Businesses seeking to leverage their environmentally-friendly initiatives and products will find the ideal target market at their local state parks, according to a five-year study on state park visitors.
Conducted by the Government Solutions Group (GSG), a marketing agency that facilitates cause-related marketing partnerships between corporations and state parks, the research also reveals that these consumers purchase organic food twice as often as the rest of the U.S., and 61 percent make purchasing decisions based on a product or a company’s environmental impact compared to 23 percent of the general population.
Dubbed “America’s Backyard,” U.S. state parks draw repeat visitors within local driving distances, to use the parks as an extension of their own backyards to hike, bike, run, camp and fish, said GSG. The research finds that state park visitation is on the rise across the country, with 730 million total state park visits in 2008, showing a 5 percent increase over the previous year.
As a result, green marketers looking for loyal consumers can find their target market of high-income, highly educated consumers who care about the environment at their local state parks.
The report reveals that 61 percent of state park visitors make buying decisions based on a product/company’s environmental impact compared to 23 percent of the general population. When purchasing an automobile, 29 percent consider the environmental and social policies of the manufacturer in their decision versus 15 percent of the general population.
State park visitors also rank environmental issues “very important,” over 2.5 times more than the general population.
GSG creates cause marketing programs on behalf of state park agencies. One of GSG’s most recent projects — “2009 20% For Parks” program has gained support from several big brand companies including Odwalla, Geico, Nestle Beverage, General Mills, Dasani, Subaru, and Sports Authority. The program is designed to help companies support state parks nationwide, while connecting consumers to their environmentally conscious brands.