“2017 will be remembered as the year that redefined corporate social responsibility. Although CSR will always be grounded in business operations…the stakes have gotten a lot higher. Companies must now share not only what they are doing, but what they believe in.”
~ 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study
Cone Communications recently released the results of its annual CSR study, and as usual, it was packed with great insights for cause marketers. While a full breakdown of the study results can be found on Cone Communications’ website, I want to focus on three points in particular.
I love great ideas! Especially the ones that start out small but then revolutionize an industry. In 2007, a like-minded group of individuals, including Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, wanted to find a way in which everyone could help improve their own community. Their solution: They taught their local residents to take control of their community through gardening and eating.
“The answer was food,” said Warhurst in her TED Talk. “Everyone understands food. Food gets people talking; even better, it inspires people to take action.” They started with small herb gardens and community plots in a Northern England town called Todmorden. Then they planted corn in front of a police station, fruit trees on the sides of roads, vegetables in front of the senior center, and even planted gardens in the cemetery, where “things grow really well because the soil is really good!” Read more after the jump…
Millennials – they seem to be all the marketing world is buzzing about these days.
And for good reason. According to Dan Schawbel’s January 2015 Forbes article, “10 New Findings About The Millennial Consumer,” there are 80 million Millennials with $200 billion in annual purchasing power in the U.S. alone. No wonder companies are clamoring to find ways to engage them.
Cause marketing is here to stay. That is the conclusion reached by Cone Communications in its recently released 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, which takes a comprehensive look at 20 years of cause marketing-related data. A few notable statistics right off the bat:
54 percent of U.S. consumers bought a product associated with a cause over the last 12 months, increasing 170 percent since 1993.
89 percent of Americans are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality, jumping nearly 35 percent since 1993.
91 percent want even more of the products and services they use to support a cause.
I recently came across an article on Forbes.com titled “Cause Marketing Coopetition on the Rise” by cause marketing guru David Hessekiel that I wanted to share here – because, to me, it really speaks to the true spirit of cause marketing (or at least what that spirit should be).
I came across an article recently regarding Office Depot’s latest cause marketing effort – and was truly wowed. This strikes me as an outstanding example of how a company can use the power of its voice and brand to make a real difference in the world. (By way of a quick summary – Office Depot recently launched an anti-bullying campaign with One Direction, “1D + OD Together Against Bullying,” that coincides with the band’s summer concert tour and will continue this fall with educational programs in schools across the country. The company engaged in a similar campaign with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation last year, “OD + BTWF = We Supply Kindness.”)