As a result of Populus research into the views of Opinion Influencers, Greenpeace, a leading environmental campaigning organisation, was able to:
- Integrate influencer marketing as part of their strategy to inform the public of the dangers of plastic pollution
- Identify which channels would be most likely to reach target audiences
- Improve the organisation’s key messages resonate with the general public
Populus used the insight to confirm that:
- 8% of the population are Opinion Influencers
- Opinion Influencers are more aware of current opportunities and efforts to reduce plastic use
- Opinion Influencers can be influential in public life and around environmental issues
The research showed that Greenpeace could effectively harness influencer marketing to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution. We found that Opinion Influencers are more aware of what they can do to reduce plastic consumption. By harnessing this insight, Greenpeace could effectively influence the population at large.
Opinion Influencers are group of social and cultural trendsetters who shape rather than follow opinions and make up around 8% of the population. Opinion Influencers are:
- Highly active in their community and online– demonstrated by actions such as starting online campaigns, writing to newspapers, standing for elected positions and twice as likely to use Twitter as the general population
- Actively sought out for their advice– by extended family, senior colleagues, experts, and members of their local community
- Highly informed– five times more likely to read the FT than the general population
- Future-shapers– pointing towards future trends in behaviour and attitudes
This means they have the power to inform, shape and change public opinion. This has huge implications for brands. Greenpeace, a leading environmental campaigning organisation, commissioned Populus to discover the opinions of the people who have the greatest influence over their followers and fans.
Opinion Influencers have a disproportionately high influence over public opinion. They actively participate in public life, be it politics, fundraising, lobbying or other campaigning activity.
The Opinion Influencer research carried out on behalf of Greenpeace showed that:
- Opinion Influencers are more likely (62% compared to 52%) to agree that supermarkets in general are trying to reduce the amount of plastic packaging on their products, than the general public.
- Opinion Influencers are less likely (71% compared to 84%) to say that they find it difficult to avoid plastic packaging in their regular supermarket shops, than the general public.
- Opinion Influencers are considerably more likely to say they would choose to shop at stores that don’t over-package products (75% to 55%), than the general public.
- Opinion Influencers are almost twice as likely (60% to 33%) than the general public to report they are either ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to switch to a different supermarket that they feel is doing more to reduce their plastic use.
Equipped with this insight, Greenpeace was able to pinpoint the key messages to deliver to supermarkets and to the public at large, utilising this influential group of respondents. The differences between Opinion Influencers and the general public showed that Opinion Influencers, with more awareness of current opportunities and efforts to reduce plastic use, are also more exacting with their demands for supermarkets to do more. The research represents a significant step for brands and agencies seeking to better understand this influential group of people.