Men Will Pause for a Cause, Survey Suggests.

Posted by truecreek on November 3, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

I am not surprised at all by the results of this research. Men really do care about a lot of things that matter to all.

By Stuart Elliott

For many years, the assumption on Madison Avenue has been that cause marketing — doing well (selling products) by doing good (helping causes that matter to consumers) — plays more strongly with women than men. That may not be the case, according to a new survey.

The 2010 edition of the PR Cause survey, co-sponsored by the trade publication PR Week and Barkley, an agency in Kansas City, Mo., found that men were nearly as supportive of cause marketing campaigns as women.

Eighty-eight percent of the men questioned for the survey said they believed it was important for companies to support causes. When the question was asked last year of women, 91 percent of respondents said they agreed.

“Men do have a heart,” said Mike Swenson, president at Barkley. The agency suggested to PR Week that part of the survey be devoted to men’s views of cause marketing, he added, and the publication agreed.+

The survey, as usual, also canvassed corporate marketing executives for their opinions about cause-related promotions and advertising. Two-thirds said their companies engaged in cause marketing, versus 58 percent in the survey last year.

However, 68 percent of the marketing executives who were questioned for the survey said they had no plans to aim cause marketing efforts at men.

“It’s certainly an open door for brands that cater to men,” Mr. Swenson said.

A cause marketing program centered on breast cancer, which Barkley created for Lee Jeans, part of the VF Corporation, also has a male target audience in addition to the obvious female audience. The idea is to generate men’s help to fight a disease that affects the women in their lives.

The results of the survey showed that the economy “hasn’t affected corporate support” of cause marketing, said Erica Iacono, executive editor of PR Week in New York, owned by the Haymarket Media Group. In fact, it may have increased that support because consumers are more interested in causes after going through tough times.

“Last year, we had two clients that, while making other budget cuts, each started a new cause program,” Mr. Swenson said.

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