BOSTON, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cause marketing is already in full force this holiday season, but whether those promotions will translate into sales is yet to be seen. According to the 2012 Cone Communications Holiday Trend Tracker, just 16 percent of consumers plan to purchase, or have already purchased, cause-related gifts (a decrease from 49% in 2010). A substantial 41 percent are still undecided if they'll participate in holiday cause marketing – signaling a significant opportunity for companies to appeal to the hearts and wallets of consumers.
Holiday Cause Marketing a Viable Business Strategy, But Consumers Question Impact Although purchase intent remains unclear, nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers expect companies to support causes during the holidays – indicating that holiday cause marketing is now more of a "must do" for companies, rather than a "nice to do." Further, holiday cause marketing continues to be a viable strategy to drive brand affinity at this peak shopping time:
- 75 percent of consumers say they feel better about companies that support holiday causes
- 71 percent indicate they would choose a gift that supports a cause over one that does not
Yet, as consumers notice more cause campaigns in the market than in previous years (66%), they also look to companies to help them understand how their purchases make a difference. For companies, differentiation lies in how cause promotions are activated and communicated. Nearly seven-in-10 (68%) question the impact of their cause-related holiday purchases, and 75 percent wish companies would tell them more about the results of cause-related holiday products.Companies Must Appeal to Consumers' Holiday Motivations Understanding consumer motives for cause-related gift-giving is critical for companies to capture undecided shoppers. The most important reasons consumers say they buy cause-related holiday items include:
- Feeling good about being charitable during the holiday season (38%)
- Believing their purchase will have a direct impact on the cause (34%)
- Thinking the person who receives the gift will find it more meaningful (28%)