One of the best things about working at an ad agency is the diversity of clients and learning the ins and outs of their businesses. One day we might be learning about the sustainable farming practices of Red Gold tomatoes and the next, the value of public transportation and Metro Transit’s contribution to a healthy economy. It’s this diversity that keeps our creativity churning and our curiosity sharp.
A few months ago, we re-launched the Minnesota Zoo website. This was a dream project for me. I love animals and have been passionate about their conservation since I was a kid – visiting my local zoo, subscribing to National Geographic, sponsoring animals and more. This passion has lead me into the jungles, oceans, treetops, deserts and plains throughout the world – always learning more about the complexity of nature and marveling at how much we still don’t know. And, I’m not alone.
Turns out that more than 69% of Americans are concerned about natural resources and more than half of Americans are concerned about animal rights/advocacy. (Download our THINK report to learn more). We used this finding as a catalyst in defining our website redesign strategy.
Our website challenge? How do we excite and drive visitors to the Minnesota Zoo but also educate visitors on the importance of conservation?
As we dove deeper into planning, we discovered that visitors felt the conservation story was missing and often visited the site looking for more. They wanted the site to be an educational tool for the whole family, not just the “how to” of a visit. Brand loyalists (those who visited the site multiple times per month) were particularly vocal about learning more about conservation in Minnesota, the US and around the world. In fact, I think we could dedicate an entire website to just animal cams (but that’s an idea for another time).
We still needed that balance of “how to visit” content but we realized that the Minnesota Zoo’s conservation efforts needed to play a larger role in sustaining return website traffic. In other words, conservation content was resonating with the Minnesota Zoo’s Conscious Consumer patrons and driving loyalty. Aha!
For more than 35 years, the Minnesota Zoo has been a leader in conservation efforts around the world. Not only do they lead and advocate for many species near and far, they have also awarded more than $341,000 to 119 conservation projects in 46 countries. Check out the conservation section of the Minnesota Zoo website and you might be overwhelmed with the volume of projects and campaigns this staff undertakes on a yearly basis.
Perhaps more importantly, the conservation message is promoted throughout the new website in hopes that even more Conscious Consumers will dive deeper into one of the main tenets of their mission – conservation.
There is so much more I could share regarding the project, its dedicated staff and the organization overall. But, I’ll leave you with this. If you have a story to share that resonates with Conscious Consumers – don’t be afraid to shine a light on it. You’ll be glad you did…