Cone survey finds holiday opportunity for cause marketing

BOSTON, MA: Cause-related marketing could impact consumers' spending habits this holiday season, according to Cone's Holiday Trend Tracker, an annual survey that examines consumer attitudes toward charitable giving.

BOSTON, MA: Cause-related marketing could impact consumers' spending habits this holiday season, according to Cone's Holiday Trend Tracker, an annual survey that examines consumer attitudes toward charitable giving.

The survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that increased financial burdens, such as high gas and heating costs, will limit charitable giving this holiday season.

Yet, more than half of those surveyed said they intend to buy a holiday gift associated with a cause, or will buy from a retailer that supports a cause.

In addition, 68% said they are likely to look at a company's reputation for supporting causes when deciding which companies to buy from during the holiday season.

"Customers are still looking to give back," said Mindy Gomes-Casseres, a senior associate at Cone, adding that it's important for companies to find a cause that aligns with their brand.

Mike Swenson, president of Barkley Evergreen & Partners Public Relations, which works on cause-related marketing campaigns with such clients as Lee Jeans, said there are ways for companies to subtly, but effectively link with a cause.

"The key is if you can create a program that is a seamless part of your marketing," he said. "Then you can appear to not take advantage of doing good."

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