Ecosia audiences case study

Using data to create targeted audience profiles

Experience: Research and strategy

As a forward thinking and eco-conscious search engine, Ecosia are committed to reducing the impact of climate change, investing 80% of their profits in tree-planting projects across the globe. 

With over 15 million active users, Ecosia knew very little about their audiences worldwide, with preliminary audience research identifying only Gen Z activists as their primary audience. In addition, with data privacy a key USP, they were unsure if this was something their audiences valued in a search engine. 

With limited insight as to the drivers and motivations to choose or switch search engines, Ecosia engaged Manifesto to create a series of audience profiles that would challenge their current knowledge in their core markets as well as support their overall business strategy.


Using data to understand your audience

Ecosia was at a turning point in their business strategy with ambitious growth plans for the coming years. 

With an audience spanning the globe, Ecosia wanted to develop a deeper understanding of their top four target markets: UK, US, France and Germany. To do this, we used the audience building tool Global Web Index (GWI) to collect data from an existing audience of 40,000 people that responded to their most recent quarterly survey. Using the answers provided, the tool uses a series of charts, graphs and stats to profile specific audiences on anything from demographics and age to online behaviours and marketing touch points.

The collection, analysis and interpretation of the data underpinned the future strategies for possible product extensions, brand messaging and media and acquisition strategies.


Developing overarching themes

Having already conducted a series of audience research activities, we began a period of immersion that looked at collating, reviewing and segmenting this research into a series of 6 distinct themes. These included general demographics, media channel usage, search behaviours, attractive brand attributes and the propensity to switch to ethical products and services.


Mapping these themes to the data

Using the GWI tool, we reviewed the existing data of over 40,000 respondents, mapping these against the themes we had already developed. This allowed us to identify a series of gaps of knowledge and allowed us to create a bespoke list of insight that needed to be gathered to assist profile creation.


Creating a custom survey

In collaboration with Ecosia and GWI, we created a custom survey comprising 15 additional questions logic to separate questions to 2,000 known Ecosia users, and non-Ecosia users. This survey was structured around motivations and attitudes to switching to eco-brands. We also included questions around data privacy to understand whether their practices of anonymised, encrypted searches, and the ability to turn off tracking services and opposing the sharing of data, was a concern or a selling point to their audiences.


Forming audiences

Data from the custom survey, combined with the existing GWI data allowed us to create, validate, adjust and shape a series of 4 audience profiles, building a working narrative that would provide Ecosia with an in-depth overview of the people within each audience. 

We also ran a series of queries that spanned demographic, attitudinal, purchasing and environmental behaviours to understand the audience drivers in more detail, results of which could help underpin Ecosia’s strategic direction across each market. Crossing themes were also identified across all audiences to help further dictate global strategy and branding.


Bringing the audiences to life

Ever too often, audience profiling work becomes an expensive powerpoint that sits in the back of a folder. Instead of a series of graphs and data points, we brought this to life by adding the ‘so what’. We wanted to make sure the audiences were practical and easy to apply to a variety of strategic projects within Ecosia. 

Following on from our work, Ecosia can now use these audience insights to form the basis of the strategy into product diversification, audience retention, brand repositioning and messaging strategies.

Sign up for the Manifesto newsletter and exclusive event invites