New PR Week / Barkley Study Reveals Cause Marketing an Effective Business Investment

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The 2007 PR Week / Barkley Cause Survey reveals that philanthropic activities can drive business success. In fact, 72% of consumers say that they have purchased a brand because it supports a cause they believe in. Furthermore, corporate respondents say they see positive PR (65.3%), an increase in sales/retail traffic (26.7%) and an enhanced relationship with their target demographic (52%), as a result of their cause marketing efforts.

(And) cause is the perfect storm to allow companies to engage employees and customers in a more meaningful way.

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The 2007 PR Week / Barkley Cause Survey reveals that philanthropic activities can drive business success. In fact, 72% of consumers say that they have purchased a brand because it supports a cause they believe in. Furthermore, corporate respondents say they see positive PR (65.3%), an increase in sales/retail traffic (26.7%) and an enhanced relationship with their target demographic (52%), as a result of their cause marketing efforts.

The first cause marketing campaign was launched 25 years ago, and what was formerly viewed as a trend, is now considered a cost of entry for many businesses. In fact, consumers demand it, with 90.7% of consumers saying it’s important for companies to support causes and charities. The survey also revealed that the majority of companies (34.7%) with cause programs funded their efforts through the marketing department, as apposed to HR (4%), or even PR (14.7%).

“Companies are beginning to clearly understand that there is a return on their reputational investment,” said Mike Swenson, president Barkley Public Relations. “(And) cause is the perfect storm to allow companies to engage employees and customers in a more meaningful way.”

In addition to an increase in sales or enhanced customer relationships, corporate philanthropy can also drive recruitment and retention. Among companies with cause marketing programs, 56% saw heightened staff morale and retention and 14.7% “strongly agreed” that they have an easier time finding top-notch recruits.

For the full survey, visit http://www.barkleyus.com or http://www.prweek.com

Contact:
Erica Wren
(816) 423-6218
ewren @ barkleyus.com

About the PR Week / Barkley Cause Survey:
The PR Week/Barkley PR Cause Survey was conducted by PR Week and Millward Brown. E-mail notification was sent to approximately 8,222 consumers and marketing pros and a total of 368 people (225 consumers and 143 marketing pros) completed the survey online between August 27 and September 17, 2007. Results aren’t weighted. Full results—offering additional data—are available in PDF format for $150. Please contact irene.chang @ prweek.com

About Barkley:
Barkley is the largest employee-owned agency of its kind. Founded in 1964, the company has 300 partners offering a full range of marketing communications services including advertising, public relations, cause branding, sponsorships & events, relationship marketing, social media, design, media planning & buying, motion graphics, research and interactive marketing. Barkley is headquartered in Kansas City with field offices across the nation. More info: http://www.barkleyus.com .

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