Corporate Social Responsibility Trends

Cause marketers can back their strategies with sound market research and a powerful return on investment. need research to support your daily work.  Here are some statistics from 2008 to 2013 that shed new light on doing well by doing good.

Cause sponsorship is predicted to reach $1.78 billion in 2013, a projected increase of 4.8% over 2012. IEG Sponsorship Report

Causes motivate 91% of global consumers to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. 2013 Cone Communications/ Echo Global CSR Study

Half of global consumers said they would reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services (44% in the U.S. and 38% in Canada). Nielsen 2013 Consumers Who Care Study

Consumers want more clarity because 70% of consumers are confused by the messages companies use to talk about their CSR initiatives. 2013 Cone Communications/ Echo Global CSR Study

wildlife conservation campaign

Purpose caused 47% of consumers to buy a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47% increase from 2010. Over the years, consumers have taken increased action on behalf of brands with Purpose:

  • 39 percent increase in “would recommend” cause-related brands;
  • 34 percent increase in “would promote” cause-related brands; and
  • 9 percent increase in “would switch” brands if a similar brand supported a good cause.

While 87% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests, less than a third believe business is performing well in addressing societal issues. Edelman goodpurpose 2012 

Although it’s difficult to quantify cause marketing spending, IEG’s numbers put corporate cause sponsorship at $1.68 billion in 2011, predicted to grow to $1.73 billion in 2012. IEG Sponsorship Report

Ninety-three percent of consumers want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place and 91% also want to be heard by companies.  Unfortunately, 71% report being confused by the message companies use to talk about their efforts and impacts. 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Study

Millennials, more than Non-Millennials, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns, such as volunteering their time (31% versus 26%), cause-support purchasing (37% versus 30%), encouraging others to support a cause (30% versus 22%), and participating in fundraising events (27% versus 16%). Thirty-seven percent of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support, such as Tom’s Shoes One for One Campaign.  American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation

Consumer Expect Marketing with Purpose. Eighty-six percent of consumers around the world believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on societal interests as on business interests.  2010 Edelman goodpurpose

Two-thirds of brands now engage in cause marketing (up from 58% in 2009) and 97% of marketing executives believe it is a valid business strategy. 2010 PRWeek/Barkely PR Cause Survey

About 90% of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes. Nearly two-thirds (61%) don’t think companies are giving them enough details about their efforts, including the amounts donated and the length of the promotions.  2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study

wildlife conservation campaign

One-third of Hispanic and African American consumers report that they almost always choose brands that support causes they believe in, compared to just one in five Non-Hispanic Whites. Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Study 2010

Consumers Punish Companies with Bad Reputations as 72% of US consumers say they have avoided purchasing products from companies whose practices they disagree with.  2009 BBMG Conscious Consumer Report

Globally 66% of people believe it’s no longer enough for corporations to merely give money away, but that they must integrate good causes into their day-to-day business. 2009 Edelman goodpurpose Consumer Study

Companies Can Make a Difference and 60% of US consumers say businesses are in the best position to impact social issues, as opposed to government (14%). 2009 Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Consumer Research

About two-thirds of Chief Marketing Officers say they plan to maintain their level of cause commitment in spite of the recession.  2009 PRWeek/Barkley Cause Survey

PR campaign deforestation

Cause Marketing Increases Sales. Behavioral research demonstrated a 28 to 78% increase in actual purchase within the toothpaste and shampoo categories.  2008 Cone/Duke University Behavioral Cause Study

Cause Increasingly Creates Differentiation. About 79% of Americans say they would be likely to switch from one brand to another, when price and quality are about equal, if the other brand is associated with a good cause (compared to 66% in 1993). 2008 Cone Cause Evolution Study

People Are Cause-Conscious in Many Aspects of Life since 89% of Americans state it is very/somewhat important to know about the values of companies they come in contact with – whether through buying products, working for them or living in a community in which they operate.  The 2008 MS&L Global Values Study


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