Cause Marketing Not At Best, But Still Effective


Results from our Network for Good/Zoetica cause marketing best practices survey yielded some interesting results. One hundred thirteen respondents from our general nonprofit and marketing communities on Twitter answered basic questions about the state of cause marketing in the United States. Of the respondents, 51 percent of them said their organization had participated in a cause marketing campaign in the past year.

Only 21 percent of respondents felt that companies are doing a good job partnering with nonprofits. Thirty eight percent felt that companies are not doing a good job, while another 41 percent were unsure.

Only seven percent of respondents felt companies did a good job of reporting results from cause marketing efforts. Sixty percent did not think companies effectively reported results.

However, best practices or not 49 percent of respondents felt that cause marketing efforts do affect change, and another 41 percent felt that they might be positive for social good. Only 10% of respondents felt cause marketing campaigns were completely ineffective.


Respondents felt strongly about directions that cause marketing could go. When asked, what companies could do more of, respondents said:

  • Make educational, community or sustainability investments – 36.3%
  • Allocate portion of sales (cause shopping) – 27.4%
  • Financially enable customers to enact change with microdonations – 19.5%

Only 1.8 suggested more crowdsourced contests, suggesting that the current contest craze may have reached its apex. But when I mentioned this with SocialBrite’s J.D. Lasica, he noted that our respondents were insiders and may be more jaded than your average consumer.

Of the current or past cause marketing efforts, several campaigns received multiple nods. Here were the all-time popular contests as suggested by our respondents: Product RED, UNICEF/Pampers vaccines, American Express Stature of Liberty restoration program, Chase Community Giving, the Lance Armstrong Yellow bracelet campaign (Nike), and Target’s ongoing Facebook cause campaign.

Our full report will be issued shortly. Sign up on the Network for Good site to receive the guide when it is available.
Stay tuned!