‘Tis the season for political rhetoric. Environmental regulation that protects human health from climate change and smog is being defined as a “war on coal.” Presidential candidates are posturing on key economics issues while the middle class suffers under fifteen years of zero real wage growth.
Putting politics aside the new online reality for business is that your sales are now directly tied to whether two key market segments, Hispanics and the millennial generation, view your company as part of the solution or part of the problem. These two key consumer groups are the growth wave of our economy and they are going online not only to check your price competitiveness or product quality but to also to evaluate your social and environmental responsibility.
Hyperactive online search of social and environmental business practices
Research finds that 54% of Americans go online to learn about a company’s social and environmental business practices. Even more significantly, the key market segments of Hispanics and the millennial generation are hyper-active in their online activities tied to social responsibility and environmental issues. They conduct over twice the number of online learning on social and environmental issues than the average American. But what really sets them apart from other consumers is their off-the-chart level of online feedback submitted to companies on social and environmental issues. Over 73% of the millennial generation and 69% of Hispanics have posted online feedback to a company regarding a social or environmental issue. This level of engagement is of crucial economic importance as these two market segments grow to buying power leadership by 2017. In America today the degree of your company’s online engagement with Hispanics and the millennial generation on social and environmental business practices is a critical link to sales success.
Understanding how important air pollution is to Hispanic America
The American Hispanic community is over exposed to the human health risks of pollution. Nearly one out of every two Latinos lives in the country’s top 25 most ozone-polluted cities. 40% of Latino children are more likely to die from asthma than non-Latino whites.
For Hispanic America the issues of air pollution, human health and business practices is a call for action. How your business aligns with their environmental and human health concerns will determine your ability to attract them as customers. Four best practices every business should pursue to enhance your customer alignment on environmental concerns are:
1. Install rooftop solar. Rooftop solar is the number one way that consumers determine if a company is going green. The cost of solar is dropping like a rock. Take a look at the new economics of solar. Add into your cost-benefit equation what solar on your business roof will mean in terms of attracting Hispanic and millennial generation customers.
2. Improve your indoor air quality. Indoor air quality, especially among moms, is a growing issue. Audit your business indoor air quality. There are a number of apps for doing so. Here is a link to the EPA’s free app: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airplus.html Steps for improving indoor air quality can include using green cleaning products, replacing carpet with wood flooring and even something as easy as regularly changing the filters on your building’s heating and cooling equipment.
3. Put a recycling bin at your front door. The recycling logo is one of the strongest and most respected brands in America. Putting a recycling bin at a business front door is the second most impacting step that a business can take to align with the millennial generation and Hispanic community’s heightened environmental awareness.
4. Start a green team. It is your associates that will most strongly advocate or undermine your social and environmental responsibility messaging to customers. The solution is to engage your work associates through green teams that empower them to pursue their ideas for going green. My business experience is that green teams not only result in a reduced business environmental footprint but also lower costs. http://www.earth2017.com/human-resources-going-green-seven-green-teams-best-practices/
How to have online engagement with Hispanic America
The cell phone is the key to online engagement with the Hispanic community. Hispanics lead the nation in their dependence upon cell phones access to the Internet. 60% of Hispanics are “cell-mostly internet users.” This level of engagement is twice the level within white America. The online communication path to the Hispanic community is through their smart phones.
Having a smart phone app is the business engagement path to the Hispanic community. Hispanics use their phones to search for businesses. The smart phone is their digital social path for sharing and receiving feedback from their network of friends and influence leaders. Social responsibility and human health issues like air pollution is very much part of their digital conversation including the sharing of their insights and experiences on social and environmental business practices with companies. Importantly, they use their cell phones to solicit involvement on social and environmental issues from their online network.
Every business that targets engaging the Hispanic consumer must have a mobile app marketing path. A business mobile app is a path for engaging with Hispanic consumers on their issues of price, product quality, human health, social responsibility and environmental safety. Three keys to attracting and aligning with Hispanic consumers are:
1) having a business mobile app path of engagement
2) aligning your business practices with their social and environmental expectations
3) engaging online through your mobile app on their social and environmental issues.
Bill Roth is an economist and the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marketing and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues. Follow him on Twitter: @earth2017