It turns out that people still want to spend money for good.
According to a new eMarketer report, “Marketing ‘Good’: How Causes Can Convert Online Shoppers,” a majority of US internet users have been moved to purchase because of a cause.
Increasingly, though, shoppers expect greater accountability from companies involved in cause marketing and reassurance that their support is making a difference. It’s no longer enough to make vague promises and stick a feel-good label on a product.
Edelman’s 2012 global “goodpurpose” study found a growing number of consumers considered “social purpose,” the leading purchase driver when quality and price were equal. And, increasingly, consumers worldwide didn’t see a contradiction in brands profiting from supporting causes. Seventy-six percent said it was OK for brands to make money as a result of social purpose, a 33% increase from 2008.
eMarketer suggests, that to employ cause marketing authentically and effectively, there are a number of approaches brands can take. Humanizing the company using the immediacy of photos and video, especially combined with social media, can magnify a message. Working with nonprofits that align with a brand’s customer base is also important.
Finally, transparency around the company’s goals and actions is essential. Customers want to know not only where their money is going but what good it has done.