It’s not surprising that millennials would be most interested when it comes to natural pest management. At 26 to 41 years old, they are more likely to have children in the house than other generations, and they are among those most concerned about the health of our planet. In May 2021, Pew Research reported that 71 percent of millennials (compared with 67 percent of Gen Zers, 63 percent of Gen Xers and 57 percent of older adults) say that climate should a top priority to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations.
Millennials are moving into their peak earning years, too, which aligns with how many PMPs see the market for green pest control. “Those who choose natural products and services are generally higher- net-worth customers with a higher median household income and home value,” says Matt Livingston of Remedy Pest Control. “We look at the intersection of this financial profile with the Whole Foods customer: People who are willing to pay more for organic milk and eggs are likely to view green pest management as worth the price, too. That is the demographic we market this solution to.”
Spider Man Pest Control’s green customers have included historical properties including the Alamo and multimillion-dollar residences whose owners are tuned in to climate change and the effects of all toxins on the environment. “We’re seeing a growing market for green, especially with people in the 30- to 55-year-old category,” explains Warren Remmey. “They tend to be more environmentally conscious and want us to go with low- impact solutions.”
Environmental consciousness spans generations in New York’s Nassau County, according to Dawn Tennenbaum of Mosquito Hunters. “We’re on Long Island Sound, where it’s very marshy and mosquitoes thrive. It’s hard to go out into your backyard if you don’t spray, so we have customers of all ages. We probably get the most requests for natural pest management from people who are 35 to 40, but plenty of older people ask for it, too.”
Most PMPs (91 percent) agree that it is important to communicate with your customers about your green program. In fact, more than a third (34 percent) believe that this communication is even more important than if you were treating with traditional products. “People are more aware of the availability of natural solutions because of the internet, but they may not fully grasp what those products are,” says Joe Cantu of The Bug Master. “We train our technicians extensively before they go out into the field so they understand every product and how it works. We want them to be able to explain why they are doing what they’re doing and answer customer questions.”
GET CREATIVE WITH MARKETING
Jim Harmon is having success marketing his green services through social media, targeted direct mail (selected ZIP codes and income levels) and email. His messages explain how California Pest Management excels in quality as well as environmental commitment. Warren Remmey has a radio talk show that airs on Saturdays and Sundays as part of a popular landscape program. He shares his pest management expertise and answers customer questions. Matt Livingston swears by getting involved in local events in addition to communicating with customers and prospects through social media and his company blog.
There are countless ways to get the word out through marketing. The key is to do it consistently and know where your customers are most likely to receive your message. Brian Metzger, who markets GP Home Defense through print, broadcast and online ads, says the key to successful marketing is as basic as making it easy to find your firm when people go looking. Whether you do that through strategic SEO efforts, advertising, social media, a strong website presence or some combination, letting people know you offer green pest management services is job one.
WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE
Make sure your marketing is up to date in how you refer to your natural program. This year’s most-used term, “eco-friendly,” is being used by two-thirds (67 percent) of companies. That’s nearly double its usage of just three years ago (35 percent in 2019). Almost half (49 percent) of PMPs use the phrase “environmentally friendly,” which remains stable compared to 2019, when 46 percent used the term.