Searching for the Green Consumer

In November of 2007, Bank of America collaborated with Brighter Planet to introduce a "Green" Credit Card. Consumers earn points on the card that helps build community based renewable energy projects. Since the card is environmentally friendly, it makes sense that it would attract the attention of those consumers who are environmentally conscious and in turn show that behavior on the internet. What better way for a bank to reach out to environmentally conscious consumers than by creating a credit card that invests in the environment?

The real question is whether Bank of America has been successful in targeting the environmental consumer with this card. Moreover, if yes, how is Bank of America performing compared to the competition? I decided to use our Search Analytics Selectâ„¢ tool to find the answer

Looking at the Environmentally Conscious segment, Bank of America sticks out as "Green" consumers have flocked to the site during the same month that Bank of America unveiled their "Green" card. Bank of America’s targeting of Environmentally Conscious consumers through search seems to have paid off in the initial launch of the card as Bank of America received more than 60,000 more environmentally conscious prospects through search referrals to their site, growing 171% from October. While it is clear that the card had an impact on referrals from Environmentally Conscious consumers to Bank of America, it would be great to compare how they fared by search engine. Did Bank of America rely on one search engine? Did they spread out their search marketing across all of them?

Separating the search engines for Bank of America brings up a couple of interesting points. Both Google and MSN saw jumps in total Search Referrals to Bank of America. We can see where those referrals came from as the Environmentally Conscious segment increased their Search referral traffic to Bank of America dramatically from October to November. Google seems to stick out as referrals grew almost 202%, however the largest percentage growth was MSN with 474% growth over the month. Even Yahoo grew in referrals for environmentally conscious consumers while overall Yahoo search referrals declined. This staggering jump in search referrals came from the same month Bank of America released their "Green" card in partnership with Brighter Planet.

What does this mean? Search works. However, it has to be executed effectively in order to reach who is being targeted. Bank of America has been able to harness their search marketing to drive their target segment to their site. This also opens several questions as to the effectiveness of search. Why wasn’t Yahoo as large a jump as the other two search engines? Was it not as effective as the others were? Perhaps this represents an opportunity for rivals to jump in and grab search words because Bank of America overlooked Yahoo

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