New Study Reveals Cause Marketing Captures Coveted Mom Demographic

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Even in troubled economy, cause drives sales, trial and traffic from moms

Even while limiting their personal giving, moms still choose to purchase brands that support a cause--sometimes at a premium. Smart brands are recognizing that cause helps them be as recession-proof as possible.

The 2008 PR Week / Barkley Cause Survey reveals that philanthropic activities reward businesses' bottom lines, even in the midst of economic constraints. In particular, the survey found that moms specifically channel their purchasing decisions toward companies that support a cause. Among the 83 million American moms, 82 percent say they drive household purchasing decisions, representing over $2.1 trillion in annual spending.

The survey revealed that moms demand companies use their power for good, with 85.6 percent saying it's important for companies to support a cause. With regard to their purchasing decisions, 58 percent say they would pay more for a brand that supports a cause, 69.2 percent say they would try a brand because it supports a cause, and 76.8 percent say they would recommend a brand that supports a cause. Overall, 66 percent of moms say they have purchased a brand because it supports a cause.

When surveyed about the economy's effect on their household charitable giving, 29 percent of moms say they have cut back on their contributions.

"Moms have clearly spoken that cause marketing is an important part of their relationship with brands," said Mike Swenson, EVP and chief marketing officer, Barkley. "Even while limiting their personal giving, moms still choose to purchase brands that support a cause--sometimes at a premium. Smart brands are recognizing that cause helps them be as recession-proof as possible."

The survey, which also interviewed CMOs, found that companies are responding to consumer demand for cause marketing. Sixty-seven percent of companies today have a cause program. In fact, 97.3 percent of CMOs say that cause is a valid business strategy. They also revealed that their top colleagues agree; 80 percent say they do not receive resistance from senior management when developing a cause strategy. When asked about the benefits of executing a cause program, 40 percent cited an increase in sales/retail traffic to the business.

For the full survey or to listen to a Podcast of the Cause Survey Roundtable, visit Barkley or PR Week.

About the PR Week / Barkley Cause Survey:
The PRWeek/Barkley Public Relations Cause Survey was conducted by PRWeek and Millward Brown. E-mail notification was sent to approximately 3,414 consumers and 2,470 marketing professionals. In addition, the survey link was sent to the PRWeek Networkers Facebook group. A total of 500 female consumers (250 women with children and 250 women without children) and 113 marketing pros completed the survey online between September 2, 2008 and September 25, 2008. The results are statistically tested at a confidence level of 90%. Results aren't weighted.

About Barkley:
Barkley is the largest employee-owned agency of its kind. Founded in 1964, the company has 340 partners offering a full range of marketing communications services including advertising, public relations, cause branding, brand activation, relationship marketing, social media, design, media planning and buying, motion graphics, research and interactive marketing. Barkley has offices in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with additional field offices across the nation. More info: http://www.barkleyus.com and http://www.barkleyREI.com.

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Megan Hutchison
Barkley
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