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The ‘Green Mommy’ Ecosystem

Posted on | June 30, 2008 | 1 Comment

by Dr. Mary Lou Roberts

Awhile ago I wrote a series about the ‘Mommy Ecosystem.’ The mommy blogs and communities constitute a vibrant extended community that marketers can monitor and reach through specialized advertising networks. I’ve also recognized that this particular ecosystem is becoming greener.

An article in the Baltimore Sun talks about the steps local parents are taking to live their lives and raise their children in a more environmentally-friendly style. It references the Holistic Moms Network. This is a non-profit membership-based organization with virtual communities and chapters across the nation. I can’t find either the number of members or chapters, but most states I clicked on had multiple chapters. A Google search returns a ton of listings for chapter events and establishment of new chapters, including one right down the road from me. The implication is rapid growth in both the virtual and physical worlds.

I knew there were undoubtedly blogs that fall into this ecosystem, so I took a look. I didn’t have much luck on Technorati; their listing of green blogs didn’t seem to have been updated recently. A Google blog search returned more current listings. In the process I ran across an interesting new directory. It’s called the Best of Green Blogs and it has an active green women category. It looks like a good resource for those interested in monitoring this space.

Along the way, I ran across green marketing at its worst. When I entered the term ‘green mothers’. I got one PPC ad for Mothers Green at Target. When I followed it, this is the page I got. It lists 95 ‘green’ products. I only looked at the first and last pages, but I feel confident in saying that none of the products had anything to do with sustainable living. As an Amazon partner, they also list books, music and DVDs. None of them are carefully chosen. The 36 books range from some relevant titles to Mother Goose! I’d give you more data, but the site is incredibly slow to load, and you get the idea. This is greenwashing of the worst kind. It damages brands and all marketers should have policies in place to be sure that abuses like this don’t exist anywhere in their public statements.


The story I started with is that green mommies are out there. They are an increasingly vocal segment in many respects. Are they, however, something of a ‘lunatic fringe’? Let me leave you with two pieces of data, not about women specifically, but both thought provoking. First is a segmentation study described on Marketing Charts. The Green Advocates in this Mediamark survey are more likely to be active users of technology. I’d love to see the demographics; I’ll bet they are also upscale.



The second piece of data is from a DoubleClick study reported in the June 17 eMarketer newsletter. Online buyers do care about environmental issues; over half say that companies being environmentally conscious is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important.

The movement is real and it’s growing. Marketers need to factor it into their marketing and advertising strategies. But they simply must do it in ways that are real and credible. Testing carefully and rolling out programs is a good idea. The idea is to build brands, not to tarnish them with insensitive and manipulative advertising. The Banana Republic environmental campaign that Andrea Learned wrote about earlier in the spring is a good example of a real and meaningful commitment and a careful learning process.

It’s especially applicable to retailers and their local sites, but it’s a good model for all to consider and adapt.


One Response to “The ‘Green Mommy’ Ecosystem”

  1. Uncle B
    October 25th, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

    The whole system of our civilization has to be updated to catch up with the advances of science and technology! This “Great Depression” will show us how to survive using the latest technology! We will “Small House Society” and “solar and Wind power” everything to a point not thought possible in your wildest imaginings! This is the very end, as if bombed by a nuclear holocaust end, of the way we were! Look at the convulsions society went through in the U.S.S.R. when they went broke! We are broke. The Bush liars actually borrowed billions of dollars from China to pay for our high oil consumption, and didn’t even suggest to us that cutting back would make sense! We have no choice now, we face radical lifestyle changes, and they will be sustainable, green changes, now that we must rely totally on our resources at home!We only have wind and sun left! Coal will be exported to China to pay off the Bush regime’s debts, and we, the average citizens in the U.S. will learn to plant gardens in the parks and lawns to feed the starving jobless urbanites put out of work by more efficient Chinese workers and our exported jobs! OPEC has elected to raise oil prices for us today! Our dollar is deflated to laughable status around the world. We have no other options left We will be Green or be Damned!

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