PL Marketers Can Profit From Cause Marketing, Survey Says

January 13, 2011
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Private label marketers can improve the bottom line and meet the expectations of customers, employees and stake holders through cause marketing and corporate social responsibility programs linked with their corporate brands, a just-released survey from Do Well Do Good, LLC suggests.

Cause marketing can be defined as a “potentially profit-making initiative by a for-profit company or brand to raise awareness, money or consumer engagement in a social or environmental issue.” 

The Do Well Do Good public opinion survey on cause-marketing confirms, the group says, that there is consumer demand for corporations to reach out to charities and non-profits to support causes.
  • 88 percent of consumers think companies should try to accomplish their business goals while still trying to improve society and the environment.
  •  83 percent of consumers think companies should support charities and non-profits with financial donations.
  •  71 percent would like companies to increase their advertising to tell what the companies are doing in the community.
  • In addition, American consumers are already engaged in these type charitable efforts. In the last 12 months, the survey suggests, American consumers have done the following:
  • 71 percent have bought a cause product.
  • 67 percent have donated to a non-religious charity.
  • 29 percent have volunteered with a non-religious charity.
The survey also presents evidence that some consumers are willing to pay extra for a product, if that extra cost is sent to a cause or non-profit charity. This so-called price elasticity ranges from more than $2 for a $1 product, to near $15 for a $1,000 product. At the same time, it’s important to note, just less than half (for a $1 purchase) to 30 percent (for a $1,000 purchase) of consumers are unwilling to pay extra based on a cause relationship.
Nevertheless, Do Well Do Good concludes that the data confirms that consumers are willing to pay more to buy products or favor companies that support a cause.
A note of caution: consumers have mixed feelings about being asked to donate at the register. While 30 percent of consumers say they like being asked to donate, 35 percent say they don’t like it. And only 38 percent said being asked to donate at the register would make them likely to participate in a cause program.

The Do Well Do Good public opinion survey on cause marketing and corporate responsibility was conducted through and online panel organized by Qualtrics Labs Inc. The survey was conducted between Sept. 23-25, 2010 with 1,017 respondents consisting of 503 women and 514 men.

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