Gap found in cause marketing

Cause marketing
Cause marketing

While ninety-six percent of Americans say they can identify two to three causes that are important to them personally, only 37 percent of Americans actually have purchased a product associated with a cause in the last year, a new survey says.

And 74 percent of 1,000 adults age 18 and older who took an online survey conducted by communications company MSLGROUP agree there often is too much of a disconnect between the causes companies support and the brands and products they sell, while 67 percent believe companies only support causes to sell products.

That gap can be explained as heightened skepticism, which in turn is the result of many companies “supporting causes that don’t necessarily make senses for their business or their brands,” the company says in a statement.

“These findings suggest that simply tying a cause to your product to get consumers to purchase is no longer enough,” Scott Beaudoin, senior vice president at the company says.

Consumers are willing to support causes that are not necessarily those they care most about, the survey says.

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents gave time or money in the past year to support hunger, for example, but only 22 percent ranked hunger among the top three cause they see as important.

Similar gaps were found on the issues of poverty and homelessness.

Anne Erhard, also a senior vice president at the company, says in a statement that “what is most important is not that companies merely create cause programs to support the causes their consumers care most about, but that companies are strategically aligning with relevant, real causes that fit within their brands’ greater purpose and make the most sense in conjunction with their products and services.”

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