Cause Marketing Speaks Loudest to Moms and Millennials

Cause Marketing Speaks Loudest to Moms and Millennials

The latest Cone Cause Evolution Study reveals that moms are the demographic most open to cause marketing...they practically demand the opportunity to shop with a cause in mind.

According to the Cone survey, some 95% of moms find cause marketing acceptable, and 9 out of 10 want to buy a product that supports a cause. They are also more willing to switch brands (93% vs 80% average) in order to support a cause. All of this means that moms purchased more cause-related products in the past year than any other demographic (61% vs. 41%).

Not far behind moms are Millennials (18-24 years old), who also do their shopping with causes in mind. Ninety-four percent of this age group find cause marketing acceptable (vs. 88% average), and more than half (53%) have purchased a product benefiting a cause this year. Notably, this group of young people wants to work in socially conscious companies, and make investing choices based on their social or environmental values as well.

The Cone survey revealed some interesting data about how consumers view the voting campaigns that have been popular recently with large corporations. These usually ask customers to vote on which issues or causes the company should support with its CSR initiatives. But, in the Cone survey, 61% of the respondents said they would prefer to see a company make a long-term commitment to a focused issue rather than determining themselves which issue the company should support in the short-term.

Buying a cause-related product (81%) seems to be the main way consumers want to support a company's efforts. Nevertheless, consumers do seek out other engagement opportunities, such as providing ideas or feedback (75%) and volunteeriing (72%).

Perhaps most importantly, consumers have been undaunted by the recession in their belief that companies should support causes at the same level or higher during an economic downturn (81%). Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (64%) think that companies did well in responding to social and environmental issues during the recession.

Consumers emerged from the recession with their desire to shop with causes in mind fully intact:

  • 88% say it is acceptable for companies to couple a cause or issue with their marketing;
  • 85% have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about; and,
  • 80% are likely to switch brands, similar in price and quality, to one that supports a cause.

The lesson for businesses and charities is that cause marketing is more alive and well than ever.

More information about the survey:

Joanne Fritz has worked in the nonprofit world for most of her 30-year career beginning with teaching at the secondary, college, and university levels. She writes extensively for