Skip to main content

Cause Marketing to Men

Last Summer results starting coming out from the Dynamics of Cause Engagement study and among the headlines was that women are generally more responsive to cause marketing than men. Big surprise, right?

So are men AWOL from cause marketing? I asked the Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) at Georgetown University, which published ‘Dynamics,’ to parse out men’s responses on key issues.

Cause marketing targeted to men is a topic of some interest to cause marketers. Cause marketing is a form of sponsorship. Its biggest rival for sponsorship dollars comes from sports, which as a whole is about seven times larger than cause marketing. Men constitute the usual target market for sports. Men participate in sponsorship in a big way when it comes to sports. But cause marketers are still learning what attracts men.

I’ll list the question the CSIC asked first, followed by the top 5 answers from men, along with the best-finishing ‘cause marketing’ answer in bold. The answers are intriguing and in some cases suggest new entres into the psyches of men when it comes to cause marketing.

The CSIC study asked, “How men first get involved with a cause?”

•    Talking to others about it 39%
•    Donating money 38%
•    Learning more about the issue and its impact 35%
•    Signing a petition for the cause 25%
•    Donating personal items (clothes, points, hair, etc) 23%
•    Buying products/services from companies who support the cause 14%

The CSIC study demonstrates that men are as willing to practice checkbook philanthropy as they are to support a cause by doing.

This is confirmed specifically in the CSIC study’s second question: “How men most often get involved with causes.”

•    Donating money 41%
•    Talking to others about it 34%
•    Learning more about the issue and its impact 20%
•    Signing a petition for the cause 19%
•    Donating personal items (clothes, points, hair, etc.) 18%
•    Buying products/services from companies who support the cause 10%

Finally, “How Men Are Most Likely to Display their Support of Causes:”

•    Wear a cause ribbon pin 18%
•    Wear clothing or other attire displaying the cause logo 16%
•    Wear the color of the cause on a special day 15%
•    Put a cause bumper sticker on your car 15%
•    Use a reusable bag showing the cause logo 14%
•    Purchase specially designed products to support the cause 14%

In this last one the cause marketing approach is the sixth most common answer. In the prior questions there were other answers in between the fifth response and the highest-finishing ‘cause marketing’ response.

Because of the low percentage of the responses and the tightness of the grouping, there’s two self-evident  conclusions. Either men don’t often display their support of causes or the responses provided by the study didn’t capture the way men are likely to display their support. I suspect the former.

If cause marketers are serious about targeting men, they need a better understanding of what men are about when it comes to supporting causes.

Thanks to the data from the Dynamics of Cause Engagement study we have a much better idea than before.


Mike Swenson said…
Great Post Paul. We had similar findings a couple of years ago. There have been brands staying away from cause if men are their primary audience. Here is a post I wrote then.

Mike Swenson
Hi Mike:

Thanks for the comments and congratulations on the new PR firm spun out of Barkley.

Warm regards,

Popular posts from this blog

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.

Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance and Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …