01 December 2015
Want to reach today's Moms and the dollars they wield? Savvy marketers are finding success by adopting a cause. A recent study by Cone Communications about cause marketing, shows 92 percent of mothers want to buy products that support causes, and 95 percent of them find the tactic acceptable.

Moms are getting plenty of reinforcement from their high-profile peers to embrace this approach, which supports causes and organizations that strive to make the world a better place. For instance, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Michelle Obama have attracted momentous attention to issues near and dear to their hearts. Jolie has served as a United Nations Special Envoy to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees since 2012, while Alba started The Honest Company, focusing on good-for-you products for families. She describes her role as a mother “as the most profound experience I’ve ever had” and seeks to give her daughters a solid start in the world in part by creating her business. Obama has made the Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity a celebrated and successful international movement.

So why are mothers, and women overall, more interested in social consciousness? Researchers at TrendsActive, a Dutch consultancy, found that women tend to take a longer-term view, wanting a better world for the future and for their families to consume “good products.” They also volunteer more and donate higher amounts of money to charity. Consequently, they pay strong attention to whether companies genuinely exhibit a social conscience. And with more than $2.1 trillion in annual spending power, according to a 2008 Barkley Cause survey, reaching Moms can make a huge difference to companies’ bottom lines.

Nevertheless, Moms are not alone in their receptivity to cause marketing. Cone’s 2013 study also found that 93 percent of consumers view companies more favorably when they actively support a cause. That’s an 8 percent increase from 2010 and a 9 percent increase from 1993. The same study found that 90 percent of Americans feel more loyal and tend to trust companies that support causes.

Coupled with the fact that 2010 marked the start of a new generation -Generation Alpha- today’s Moms are a critical demographic for marketers. While Generation Alpha’s oldest members are almost ready to start kindergarten, the U.S. Census has predicted they will be the most diverse generation yet and calculated there are 34 million families with children in the country. This diversity and the sheer volume of families will force marketers to take a new approach. In the meantime, Moms are making purchases for their little ones.

For this reason, companies should focus on Generation Alpha’s parents, many of whom seek out manufacturers and retailers with a strong social conscience. For Moms to find these businesses, they often look online. For companies to benefit, including those in the food and beverage industry, they need to clearly and effectively communicate the causes they support online in a range of forums. Today’s Moms not only visit websites but also interact frequently on social media and in other online conversations with fellow Moms.

Companies engaged in cause marketing usually produce and promote products that reflect a strong social conscience and sustainable values, notes TrendsActive. As part of this, consumers pay more attention to the packaging companies use, often favoring products whose containers are easily recycled or crafted with sustainably sourced components. More than half of them are willing to pay more for green packaging, notes Perception Research Services. Eco-friendly cartons that are recyclable and made out of renewable materials, like those made by Tetra Pak, reflect these tenets.

More ways to appeal to socially conscious Moms include:
  • Providing extensive information online. Moms do research and those with young children are more than twice as likely to go to social media sites more than three times a day.
  • Partnering with a charity whose cause you support. Tetra Pak, for example, teamed up with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation to help more children get the nourishment they need to concentrate at school. Learn more at MilkUnleashed.com.
  • Sharing how products are good for both the planet and people. Organic baby foods companies have capitalized on this trend. U.S. sales are up 34 percent in 2013, notes TrendsActive. This makes environmentally conscious packaging with room for cause marketing messaging more important than ever.
  • Supporting family values. Having a social conscience goes beyond the environment and charitable giving. It also involves caring about customers, their families and their lifestyles.
Find out more about Moms’ Brand Loyalty: What Motivates Them To Buy.

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