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Cause-related marketing has been around for over thirty years and it doesn’t look like this strategy will fade anytime soon.  According to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, 95% of Moms and 94% of Millennials approve of cause marketing.
Among the rest of the survey population, that number is still relatively high at 88%.  Yet seventy percent of survey respondents believe companies aren’t doing a good job of speaking to them. That translates to huge missed opportunities for companies to grow their customer base or deepen their connection with existing customers.
Right now, McDonald’s is giving a portion of each Happy Meal sale to support its Ronald McDonald House Charities®.  The Pepsi Refresh Project continues to receive 1,000 new ideas each month for it’s “vote for your favorite charity” campaign.  But these are short-term strategies and, frankly, they’re starting to feel a little gimmicky to me. Will these campaigns convert participants into long-term McDonald’s customers or Pepsi drinkers? I don’t think so.
What the consumer really want is for companies to make long-term commitments to causes she supports. A full 83% of consumers indicated they want more of what they buy to benefit a cause.  When a woman can continue her normal buying habits and know that a portion of her spending will go to support a cause she cares about, companies have the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with that consumer.
Consumers want the companies they buy from to be good corporate citizens.  If there’s an alternative product or service available — one that’s aligned with their values and giving — a whopping 80% will switch without any remorse.
Consumers want to be heard, included, and to believe that their buying power makes a difference.  Companies must do more to communicate with their customers about the causes they support.  Failure to do so may mean driving them to your competitors.
In particular, I found these statistics to be particularly interesting:

  • 95% of Moms and 94% of Millennials approve of cause marketing.
  • 73% of Moms and Millennials are willing to try a brand, even one they’ve never heard of before, because it supports a cause important to them.
  • 88% of Moms and 84% of Millennials say cause branding influences what they buy and where they shop.
  • 74% of Moms and 79% of Millennials reported that cause marketing is important when deciding which stocks or mutual funds to invest in.

Interesting because the attitudes expressed in the results might prove beneficial to non-profit organizations.  If 88% of survey respondents approve of cause marketing, and 81% want more opportunities to buy products and services to benefit a cause, then it seems that non-profits by their very nature would have an edge in the minds of consumers, especially Moms and Millennials.
Here are some points for non-profits to remember about Moms and Millennials:
Moms are da bombs.  I’m not just saying that because I am one. No, I’m saying that because Marketing to Moms Coalition reports that Moms control 85% of household spending. No big surprise there, let’s not allow that to fall off our radar.
According to a study by BabyCenter, LLC, the number of moms who use social media regularly has jumped 462% since 2006.  More and more moms are going online to find out information about products and services they’re interested in.
While Millennials may not have much disposable income, they dominate all other social media user groups.  Their influence shouldn’t be underestimated. They go online for practically everything.
Non-profits shouldn’t overlook Moms and Millennials but instead enlist them.  Do you know how to engage consumers using social media? We do.

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Ed Sharp

Ed brings 15 years of traditional and digital media sales experience to the agency, giving us a perspective most agencies don’t have. When he’s not working or seeking new knowledge, Ed hangs out with his wife, two kids, two dogs, one cat, and a hamster. And yes, the cat and hamster are best friends.

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Chaney is a talented and accomplished designer and illustrator, who has expanded his skill set to include motion graphics and video editing. With nearly a decade of experience, his client work includes Waterstep, Baptist Health, the Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic Schools, First Harrison Bank, and many more