Practically Green, Led by Former Globe Exec, Uses Social Media and Game Mechanics to Spread Green Living
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is that people in the Practically Green network, and casual visitors to its content pages, will buy stuff from companies whose products are recommended on the site. The company also plans to do some syndicated or customized research in the green sector.
Butler points out that they have to be “careful not to burn the relationship with the consumer just to maximize short-term lead generation” revenues. Instead, the more important goal is to become a trusted advisor to green consumers.
Stevens, for her part, is well acquainted with the balancing act of providing authoritative online content while also doing effective marketing. She admits her company still has to “prove that consumers will purchase from these pages,” but she seems to have a strong plan to get them to show up there. It involves a combination of search engine optimization, social media, and other marketing techniques. But the key, of course, is to first build a compelling service. “People approach green with, ‘what’s the thing I want to change,’ then ‘what are the products, and what are people saying about them?’” Stevens says.
Practically Green is self-funded so far, and it currently has three employees and a few interns. The company plans to raise an angel investment round later this year. Stevens says it will remain “a pretty small company through 2011,” and that the plan is to “start small and grow it organically.” By the end of 2011, the goal is to have a couple hundred thousand unique visitors per month, and about 100,000 registered members, she says.
Lastly, I asked Stevens about her own home’s green renovation, and when it would be done. She sounds like she’ll be personally combing through the Practically Green site for ideas on keeping up with her greater green mission.
“You’re never done,” she says. “Line-drying the laundry is next.”
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