Cause marketing boosts business

Corporations that affiliate with charities score high marks, and perhaps increased sales, from consumers and employees, a new study says.

More than nine in 10 consumers believe it is important for companies to support causes, says the report conducted by PRWeek and Barkley Public Relations.

Almost three in four shoppers say they have purchased a particular brand because of its affiliation with a cause or charity, with Newman’s Own cited as the most committed company, followed by Microsoft, Yoplait and Target.

But not all consumers trust corporate motives.

Only slightly more than two in 10 respondents believe a company’s primary motivation for cause marketing is to benefit charity, the study says, while more than half attribute such programs to a desire to sell products, get publicity or receive a tax write-off.

Corporate marketers say their companies’ largess has internal benefits as well, with have of those with cause-marketing programs pointing to heightened employee morale and retention.

Among companies without cause-marketing programs, more than half say the reason is their CEO does not believe the returns will justify the costs.

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