As the holiday shopping season swings into full gear, our 2012 Cone Communications Holiday Trend Tracker reveals cause is still key to holiday marketing, with nearly three-quarters of consumers expecting companies to support causes this busy shopping season. What has become less clear is whether tying a cause ribbon around a product is enough to convince consumers to purchase.
According to the Trend Tracker, just 16 percent of consumers plan to purchase, or have already purchased, cause-related gifts (a decrease from 49% in 2010). Why this shift? One explanation may be that consumers are more aware of cause marketing, and as a result, more discerning about how and where they spend their dollars. Sixty-six percent of consumers say they notice more cause campaigns in the market than in previous years, and 75 percent want to know more about the results of cause-related holiday products.
Consumers are savvier than ever and they demand results. Simply aligning with a cause during the holidays is not enough to motivate purchase. Companies must go a step further and articulate the impact and return of CSR campaigns. Roughly two-in-five Americans (41%) are still undecided if they'll participate in holiday cause marketing – meaning there's still time for companies to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers this gift-giving season.
Some big changes are coming next week to What Do You Stand For? -- stay tuned!