When marketers began promoting their corporate responsibility initiatives, consumers were happy to know that a business they liked was contributing to the greater good. But times have changed. These days, if marketers want to make a big impression with respect to their investments in social or environment causes, they also need to talk results.
In a Cone Communications survey of over 1,000 consumers, the message for marketers regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) is clear. Customers are far more likely to purchase products, 69%, when a company points to the results of its CSR work. These statements can be as simple as, “100 college scholarships awarded to low-income students.” Consumers realize that corporations invest in CSR not only to improve the world but also to improve the bottom line, 84%. As a result, prospective customers believe companies should invest socially and operate responsibly (91%) and be held accountable for explaining the results of their CSR work, 84%. Learning about the results is more important than the amount invested for 90% of consumers. Without this information, 55% believe they don’t understand what impact they’re making if they buy from a company touting its CSR support. In addition, only 37% of consumers know how to find out about this information.
In this era of two-way communication between marketers and their customers, 31% of shoppers will support a company that talks about its CSR mission. But another 40% will avoid a marketer that does not clearly spell out the results of these programs. For many marketers, it would not take a great deal of work to shine a brighter light on their CSR missions. Doing so will bring bigger rewards to the bottom line.[Source: Consumers Demand More Than CSR Purpose. Conecomm.com. 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 6 Nov. 2012]