Research identifies ways by which land conservation programs can benefit from big data marketing tools

Fresh research highlighted the fact that the data marketers use to market their products can also be used to for inspiring conservation behaviors.

Lately, a study by the faculty of UM published in Conservation Biology, “Micro-targeting for Conservation”, demonstrated the ways by which conservation programs can help take advantage from tools which are commonly used in businesses or for public campaigns.

Researchers from UM and other known organizations gathered to create models to investigate how micro-targeting can find landowners who agree to install riparian buffers on their property sited at the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Watershed in Washington DC is the country’s largest provider of essential habitation to a great many animal & plant species.

About micro-marketing, study’s lead author, Alex Metcalf commented: “These are the types of data that inform the ads you get on Facebook or Google. We’re taking that same technology and instead of trying to sell people stuff, we’re trying to find people most willing to invest in conservation.”

A high-res land cover data collection was created by the researchers & then lied on top with property records for identifying owners of areas situated near rivers which needed restoration. Then they created & assessed a restoration propensity model using the record of landowners who had previously employed restoration & tested the ability of model for predicting future participation.

Outcomes indicated that there were more than twice landowners (singled out by the model) who had previously conducted restoration and will probably do that in the future as well which according to Metcalf has great Impact of future efforts for conservation.

He said: “If you are a conservation NGO or government agency conducting outreach, micro-targeting can dramatically increase your impact or cut your outreach budget. The marketing tools that we see all around us can be employed to do really good work for conservation agencies and groups. There’s a lot of power there.”

Researchers are utilizing this technology for applications associated with tackling conservation challenges. Metcalf told:” There is growing recognition that conservation needs frequently surpass the resources we have to invest in them. If we’re going to make progress toward conservation objectives, we have to be smart about where we spend our money, so we have to look for the places that have the highest return on our conservation investment.”