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Current Canadian Opinion on Cause Marketing

A public opinion survey published Nov. 1, 2012 by Ottawa-based Abacus Data finds Canadians very supportive of the basic practices and premises of cause marketing.

The Internet survey of 1208 Canadians found the following:
  • 82 percent say they would switch brands to support causes they care about.

  • The same number of people say that companies should donate to causes.

  • Canadians would be more likely to donate at checkout if the company would match their donation (67 percent), if offered a bounceback discount on their next purchase (61 percent), and if allowed to choose the cause their purchase supports from a list of charities (51 percent).

  • Most Canadians want to know more about the specific impact of their contributions.

  • 82 percent say that a company’s commitment to social and environmental issues helps them to decide where to buy or shop. 65 percent say such considerations inform how they invest.

  • As a whole, Canadians are willing to travel an extra 18 minutes to buy a product that supports a cause they care about. Millennials are willing to travel 21 minutes for the same. Canadian Boomers said they were willing to travel only an extra 15.5 minutes to buy a product that supports a cause they care about.

  • Health, poverty and education rank as the top three causes that Canadians care most about.
I’d caution American cause marketers from drawing exact parallels from their North American cousins. But these numbers do line up pretty closely with similar studies Stateside.

(The picture above is from the one-of-kind International Peace Gardens, a two-country nonprofit charity that promotes amity between Canada and the United States. The rock-lined creek represents the border line between Canada and the United States and the borders of the Province of Manitoba and the State of North Dakota respectively.)

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