- Tue, October 02 2007
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
At Network for Good, we were recently trying to figure out what to call a new section of our site that will help nonprofits navigate the world of social networks. We bandied about terms like “social networking,” “social media,” Web 2.0.” We were stuck because we think most people don’t say any of this. They say things like “Facebook and YouTube” or “what people younger (than I) are doing online.” And they say it with awe and confusion. I understand the awe and confusion. We nonprofits think in terms of the people using social networks, and we think of them as people other than us. They acquire a certain scary mystique that stumps our marketing minds.
Cone has some slightly old but still valid research about these younguns - aka “millenials” - that is worth sharing. Millenials include “teens” (13-17), “college” (18-22) and “young adults” (22-25) in Cone’s online survey. Cone’s main finding was this is a very socially conscious group of people - far more focused on causes at a young age than my aimless Generation X, and they reflect those values when buying things. As a firm involved in cause-related marketing, Cone has an interest in doing this type of study and showing this kind of result, but that shouldn’t detract from these findings, which seem very solid to me. Thanks Cone for sharing them. You can read more here.
1. Millenials are skeptical of marketers. They will not respond to products or services that don’t seem genuine.
2. A way to gain their trust as a corporate marketer is to align with good causes, but few companies do so. 61% of millenials are worried about the world and want to make a difference, and 81% volunteered in the past year. 70% of millenials believe companies don’t do enough to support good causes.
3. To reach these consumers, traditional marketing needs to evolve. Companies need to create a new generation of fiercely loyal customers passionate about working with corporations to change the world. 83% say they will trust a company more if it is socially and environmentally responsible. 69% say they consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when deciding where to shop, and 89% would switch brands if price and quality were the same if the second brand was associated with a good cause.
So what does this mean to us?
Bring this research to your next appointment with a corporate partner. It can help make the case for why a company should support you.
If you do get a new corporate partner, don’t forget #1—these millenials are skeptical. Cause-related marketing needs to be genuine, and in your partnership, you need to be clear about EXACTLY HOW the corporate partner supports you and how much of a purchase benefits your cause. Cause-related marketing can be a boon or backfire depending on your degree of honesty and transparency.