A Punch List for Charity Cause Marketers Looking for Sponsors

New research released this week finds that women are more price sensitive than men on almost every product and service category. Since cause marketing has been shown to help companies preserve pricing power, and since women are more responsive to cause marketing than men, the research is a virtual punch list for charities looking for sponsors who need help.

The research… called Women, Power and Money… comes from FleishmanHillard and Hearst Magazines and was conducted by Ipsos.

Among other questions, Women, Power and Money asked women and men to rate how important getting low prices is to them in 12 broad categories of goods and services: automobiles, household supplies, food/groceries, household appliances, personal care items/toiletries, vacations, fashion apparel and accessories, technology, watches or jewelry, household furnishings and décor, financial services/investments, beauty/personal grooming items.

You can plainly see the influence of Hearst Magazines on this list of questions. Hearst, which publishes women’s magazines including O, The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country, and Women’s Day, would plainly be interested in knowing how readers feel in  those categories because they all represent major magazine advertisers.

In all but that last category, beauty/personal grooming items, more than 50 percent of women said that it was extremely/very important to get the lowest price. And in all but two categories… watches and jewelry and financial services/investments… women were more value conscious than men.

All of this spells opportunity for charities to me. Sixty-eight percent of women say that price matters a lot to them when buying a car. No car company loves that news. But well-designed cause marketing can help companies preserve pricing power.

For instance, Subaru does cause marketing and they have reported that their annual end-of-year Share the Love sales event saves the company money, increases market share, and preserves pricing power. Other auto companies including Ford, Chevy, and Volvo also do cause marketing, but none of them report Subaru-like levels of efficacy. Savvy, well-positioned charities could approach the car companies offering something more like what Subaru does.

Or, they could treat these results from Women, Power and Money as a punch list and go after sponsors in each category telling them that part of their goal for the campaign is to help the companies preserve pricing power. What company wouldn’t want a cause partner like that?     

Finally, Women, Power and Money also found that “values” considerations were important to women and men when it came to brands. Sixty-nine percent of women preferred to do business with brands that treat employees fairly, 54 percent want to do business with environmentally-friendly brands, 47 percent want to do business with brands that support the local community, and 29 percent want brands to do business with causes or charities.

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