Care2 is “the largest online community of people passionate about making a difference.” When I interviewed Care2’s President/CEO Randy Paynter in August 2011, the website had approximately 16.5 million members. In only one month, Care2 grew by 500,000 new members to over 17 million. During the day I wrote this article the site’s membership grew by over 10,000 members!
I approached Randy in search of Care2’s best practices for creating this type of customer growth.
Care2’s target market-segment are what market researchers label a Concerned Caregiver. They are women, often moms, who are focused on the wellness of their loved ones. These consumers are passionately focused on issues like promoting healthy diets as a solution to the diabetes epidemic, air quality impacts on children’s health and climate change caused by global warming.
The Concerned Caregiver market segment is large in numbers and buying power. A June 2011 Nielsen study found that 90% of women believe their role is to work toward changing for the better (in other words most women see themselves as Concerned Caregivers). In terms of buying power, women in the USA control 80% of our country’s consumer spending or $8 trillion in annual buying power!
The marketing paths that connect with Concerned Caregivers is changing rapidly and radically. The Nielsen study found that women are most influenced in buying decisions by friends, family and acquaintances. Women now view social media and its ability to connect in real time with who-they-know as an “indispensable tool.”
The combined mega-trends of Concerned Caregivers’s buying power plus their growing use of social media in making procurement decisions are two of the key drivers behind Care2’s tremendous growth rate. Care2 has become a connection-point for Concerned Caregivers to learn, engage and procure product solutions.
Care2 provides a platform for Concerned Caregivers to share information and other postings. This engagement forum also includes a news page with postings that address Concerned Caregivers’ key issues. Finally, Care2 provides Concerned Caregivers with engagement paths for giving and buying to help fund non-profit organizations that are addressing Concerned Caregivers’ wellness issues.
The Care2 business model is available to any business willing to shape their ethics and product offerings to align with Concerned Caregivers. Click here and review the list of issues on Care2’s website that are driving their unbelievably high customer growth rate.
What Care2 has accomplished is not lost on Corporate America. Care2 offers advertising placement on their website to companies that have aligned with their members’ issues. Thus, a full circle is completed from the sourcing inspiration of Concerned Caregivers connecting with one another to their combined buying power creating a demand for wellness-solution products and then finally, companies responding to this strong consumer demand by creating the desired products that they advertise on the Care2 website. What Randy Paynter calls:
Aligning Mission With Margins.
In the following video, Randy Paynter profiles Care2’s business model. He explains Care2’s rapid growth. And he explains the huge role Concerned Caregivers are having in encouraging Corporate America to offer products that better align with their quest for wellness solutions for themselves, their loved ones and the planet.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, a company that connects companies with customers who are searching for smart, healthy and green solutions. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices of businesses that are making money and a difference. In 2011 he is implementing an 11-city coaching program called Green Builds Business created by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation with funding by Walmart.