There is no doubt that cause marketing is important, and now Ipsos has done the research to prove that it greatly influences buying decisions in Canada.
According to their 2015 research, 95% of Canadians (ie. nearly all Canadians) agree that it is a good idea for companies to support causes. As it turns out, it is also a very smart business move. According to Ipsos’ recent survey results, 84% of Canadians claim that they would likely switch to a brand affiliated with a good cause if price and quality were similar.
“As Canadians, we see ourselves as socially responsible, and we are increasingly loyal to brands that “do good,” such as supporting causes,” says Jessica Avery, Vice President, Canada, Ipsos Marketing. “This shows that consumers are becoming more interested in how companies are contributing to society and giving back. To take advantage of this trend, the key opportunity is to find how to connect with people in a way that presents the cause in a personally relevant and unique manner.”
The data reveals that 45% of Canadians consider themselves loyal to brands that support good causes – an increase of 6 percentage points since last year. Further, 39% of Canadians say that a company’s affiliation with good causes is ‘Extremely Important/Important’ to them when making purchase decisions.
According to the 2015 research, the companies that are winning the cause marketing game and are most top-of-mind for supporting good causes are Canadian Tire (13%), Tim Hortons (11%), and McDonald’s (7%).
The study examined which type of causes Canadians feel companies should support. Avery says, “There really is a cause for every business and organization. Top causes for Canadians are poverty (61%), environment (58%), child specific (56%), and mental health (54%). Even those causes that do not make it into the top tier are still of interest to approximately half of Canadians.”
Cause marketing can take many forms, too. The preferred methods of engagement are having a portion of proceeds go to a cause (33%), donating at the cash (24%), and a buy one/give one offer (22%). Whatever the method, stories that have a local connection are significantly preferred (50%) over a national (37%) and international causes (13%). Sponsorship of local initiatives could lead to large bottom-line gains for companies that aren’t maximizing on this evidently effective form of cause marketing.