Finally, after 14 long years of commissioning a survey in the hopes that it would bolster sales and billing, it looks like dogged persistence has paid off for PR firm Cone. Known for Cause Branding and Corporate Responsibility related stuff, Cone just got back the results of their 14th annual "Cause Evolution Survey" and this one looks really good. Actually, it is said to be even better than the 13 other supposed really good surveys that preceded it.
According to the toady trade pub PRWeak, the survey found that "more than 80 percent of the respondents said companies 'have a responsibility to help support causes,' and more than 90 percent said they have a 'more positive image of a company that supports a cause they care about.'" The survey, conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation, was composed of a sample of 1,066 adults comprising 499 men and 567 women 18 years of age and older and had a margin of error of ± 3%.
Seeing the opportunity to make hay and leverage the hell out of it, Carol Cone, chairman of Cone, Inc. immediately said: "Citizens and consumers are taking into account a business' operating practices when deciding what to buy. Latching on to a social issue is becoming seen as corporate strategy. It's something you have to do; it's no longer nice to do."
Martin Turnbull, noted PR business analyst from the Kepler School of Management commented, "Ya know really good survey results don't cut it anymore. Ya gotta have really really good results. Today in marketing, only the bestest of the mostest is selling; and even then ya gotten threaten a little."
Cone added: "There's a lot of cause marketing... that isn't good enough to break through any more. It needs to be a full-blown, long term commitment."
Thank goodness for such an august commentator as Martin Turnbull (although I was sure he was an economist) to provide critical intelligence in assessing the merits of research. My studies suggest, though, that research in corporate responsiblity has to be really, really, really good to get any traction.
Love the Coneheads Amanda. In my speeches I always mention, that, "Yes, I am the Chief Conehead," and it always gets a laugh. So thanks.
Cause marketing is 23 years young. While practiced by many, those who really believe in it as a means to express an organization's humanity and values in action, stick with it for the long-term, investing lots of human, $ and company products/services to bring campaigns to life.
Instant information, company and personal misbehavings on a grand scale, highly vocal and visible NGO's and employee desire for purposeful have created a perfect storm for powerful linkages between companies and social issues.
Companies and their leadership have a choice to create longterm and deep partnerships with causes or not. We have worked with, watched and talked with some of the best over the past twenty-five years. Great partnerships will only grow. Goodness is here to stay.