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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 04, 2010

Study: Social awareness up with consumers, businesses should follow

Heading in to 2011 it might be a good idea to change your social status, at least according to a new study from Edelman. The 2010 Edelman goodpurpose Global Study finds that consumers are showing a greater attachment to good deeds and social causes; an indicator that businesses who are supporting causes might better engage people in this way.

by Kristina Knight

For that reason brands shouldn't just place a ribbon or cause icon on their label. Their involvement with the cause needs to go deeper so that it is part of the corporate culture - this includes advertising and social marketing.

"Americans seek deeper involvement in social issues and expect brands and companies to provide various means of engagement," said Carol Cone, Managing Director of Brand and Corporate Citizenship with Edelman. "We call this the rise of the 'citizen consumer'."

The study found:

• 30% of consumers believe government should 'do the most' to support causes, an 11% decrease Year over Year (YoY)
• 23% believe 'people like me' should do more for causes, an 8% increase YoY
• 87% believe that businesses should be more involved with social issues
• 74% believe a combination of brand and consumer 'doing good' for causes is the best option
• 47% believe brands are working with causes only for the publicity

That last statistic should be an eye-opener for brands. Simply doing lip-service for a cause will not cut it in the future. Brands not only need to say they support causes, they need to put their words into action. In addition to consumers believing that businesses are only talking about helping, 47% also said that a brand's social purpose was a deciding-to-purchase factor. In fact, 72% of consumers say they are more likely to buy products from businesses who have both fair pricing and who support good causes. Also, consumers are not thinking of punishing brands who aren't helping society by not buying products, talking about the brand's negative social policy or not investing in companies.

Tags: brand awareness, Edelman, social awareness, social marketing, social networks

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