New research this week from Duke University found marketers are putting less emphasis on cause- and green-related marketing as priorities due to their pessimism over the economy. According to the survey, “marketing that is ‘beneficial for society’ or that minimizes the impact on the environment” ranked slightly below three other more pressing priorities, including developing consumer insights, sharing marketing knowledge and preparing for crises.
It is not unrealistic to think that consumers may too have other priorities as a bewildering combination of increased prices, decreased sizes and reformulated products line their supermarket shelves. Yet, even in the best of economic times, cause still competes with traditional shopper values such as price, quality and convenience, so while the consumer value proposition may becoming more acute, it certainly has not shifted entirely. Cause continues to be a value-add that differentiates companies and brands and, as a quote in Ad Ageexplains, cause marketing “is still what will get the news. ... Your coupon isn’t something reporters or the ‘Today’ show are going to want to talk about.” We believe consumers are likely to agree. Upcoming research from Cone finds that Americans have higher expectations than ever before for companies’ cause-related efforts and are very likely to buy. Stay tuned.