Nielsen released research that sampled 28,000 respondents from 56 countries to look at bettering the effectiveness of cause marketing. They were asked questions probing whether they prefer to pay for products/services from companies that implement programs that give back to society, how likely they were to pay extra, if they’re more likely to recommend a product/service that gives back. Here are some top-line thoughts based on the report:
Psychographic Trends Do Not Simply Move From West to East
Socially-Conscious consumers can be defined here as consumers that are willing to spend more in order to do good. Such individuals, which skew younger, are oftentimes a primary target in cause marketing campaigns. Most marketers assume that trends begin in the West and trickle down to Eastern countries. This is not strictly true. Consumers around the world evolve at varying paces; many times in a fragmented way, adding further complexity to global marketing campaigns. For example, in the Phillippines 68% of respondents said they are willing to pay extra for companies that give back to society, whereas in the Netherlands, only 20% of respondents expressed their willingness to do so.
‘Giving Back’ Hosts More Issues That You Can Count
The chart below is interesting because it provides a breakdown of the nearly 20 differentiated causes that marketers could associate themselves with when it comes to giving back (many of these causes are recognized in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals). At the top of the list is ‘environmental sustainability’, followed by the need to improve education, eradicate poverty, provide for disaster struck areas, and supporting small businesses. Thus while conscious consumption is a major trend, it is important for brands to strategically align themselves with the right cause that is both important and on-brand.
Regional Differences Reflect Deeper Cultural Values
The provision of support for small businesses and entrepreneurship ranks as the top cause for people in North America, whereas for Asia, Europe, and Latin America ensuring environmental sustainability was the top priority. Interestingly, Middle Eastern socially-conscious consumers seem more focused on having brands solve for extreme poverty and hunger; envronmental sustainability ranks as a low priority. Knowing these differences and understanding why they exist is the best way to guarantee the success of a cause marketing campaign.
Download the full report here.