Blogs & Comment

Cause Marketing: Which side are you on?

North American corporate cause sponsorship spending should expand by 5.0% in 2011. According to the IEG Sponsorship Report, this will be “driven by marketers seeking to earn goodwill from consumers and other stakeholders still recovering from the recessionary economy”.
A majority of Canadians consider themselves to be ethical consumers and are willing to spend more for products and services from socially responsible companies. An Abacus Data, survey conducted in late 2010 revealed that most Canadians (72%) said they would be willing to spend more for a $100 item if they were absolutely guaranteed that the item was ethically made.
What’s happening here? The IEG research typifies the old paradigm: marketers looking for new ways (in this case, cause marketing) to sell the same old stuff. The finding from Abacus illustrates the new paradigm: consumers who will actually pay more because the product itself embodies a high degree of authenticity and social purpose.
Who would you rather buy your next pair of shoes from? A retailer that makes a donation to charity for every pair of shoes purchased (cause marketing) or Toms, a company that matches every pair of TOMS purchased with a pair of new shoes to a child in need (a social purpose business).
The playing field for market share has become very different. One on side, conventional brands are doing everything they can to entice consumers with cause marketing. On the other side, social purpose business are scaling up at a rate that makes them formidable competitors.
Consumers are picking sides. Which side do you want to be on?