Americans Seek Cause Opportunities

September 21, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Brand Metrics | Data-driven | Non-Profit | PR | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op | Retail & E-Commerce

A large majority of Americans seek opportunity to assist socially conscious causes through brand marketing, according to a new study from strategy/communications agency Cone LLC.

Americans Seek Corporate Opportunities for Charity
The “2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study” indicates eight in 10 (81%) Americans want companies to give them the opportunity to buy a cause-related product, with 88% saying this purchase would not replace traditional donations they would otherwise make.

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Another 80% want companies to give them the opportunity to learn about a social or environmental issue, and 78% want companies to provide the opportunity to change their behavior.

More than seven in 10 consumers also want companies to provide charitable opportunities such as donating to a sponsored non-profit and volunteering.

Whole Program Has Biggest Consumer Impact
The whole program offered by companies participating in cause marketing has the largest impact on consumer buying decisions by a slim margin. When many products in the same category support a cause, 87% of consumers say the social/environmental impact of the whole program influences which product they chose, while 86% say the amount per product sold which gets donated is an influencer.

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Other top influencers in this instance include the social/environmental impact of an individual purchase (85%) and total amount given to the cause (83%).

Info Critical to Purchase
When a company doesn’t provide the cause information they demand, only about one-third (31%) of consumers will make the purchase anyway. Another 19% will choose another brand. Other popular responses to a lack of information include visiting a corporate website/calling a 1-800 number (16%) and not making the purchase at all (15%).

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Consumers Back Local Causes
A full 91% of consumers say a company should choose a cause important in the communities where they do business. The same percentage say a company should choose a cause consistent with responsible business practices.

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In addition, 89% of consumers want a company to choose a cause important to its customers, 88% say a company should choose a cause where it can have the most positive impact, and 85% value the opinion of a company’s employees in making this decision.

Employees Seek Cause Opportunities, As Well
Companies can also achieve internal marketing benefits from cause marketing efforts. Eighty-one percent of employees want companies to offer matching grants and 77% want companies to match non-profit donations dollar-for-dollar. Seventy percent or more also seek opportunities such as paid time to volunteer and paid sabbaticals.

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For companies, the investment may well be worth it. Study data indicates employees who are very involved in their company’s cause program are 28% more likely to be proud of their company’s values and 36% more likely to feel a strong sense of loyalty than those who are not involved.

9 in 10 Americans Accept Cause Marketing
The “2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study” also indicates 88% of Americans say it is acceptable for companies to involve a cause or issue in their marketing, 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about, and 90% of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes.

About the Data: The 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study presents the findings of an online survey conducted July 29-30, 2010 by ORC among a demographically representative US sample of 1,057 adults comprising 512 men and 545 women 18 years of age and older.

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