Monthly Archives: June 2009

Economic Recovery could (should?) spur era of “Customer Compassion”

As Americans struggling through a down economy, we have had little to do other than budget our spending and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.  When we do pull ourselves out of this hole, how will we spend out money when these brighter days come?

gmOne sector that makes this question very interesting is the automobile industry.  As of early June, the American Government (i.e. American Taxpayers) owns roughly 70% of General Motors, which could lead to a historic shift in consumer purchasing objectives.  Now that the majority of this manufacturing giant is owned by the public, does that make us any more likely to purchase one of their (our) vehicles?

Some would say of course.  “How unAmerican would you be considered amongst your peers if you chose a foreign manufacturer, considering future taxes and financial stability are linked to GM’s success?” asks Bill Doyle, VP of Performance Research.  Like minded individuals would agree that this sense of “new America” patriotism will offer the domestic auto industry a big bump as we rebound from rougher times.

Besides the possibility of increasing sales in the near future, the post recession customer base will offer GM a chance to re establish themselves as a viable option for the long term, and if they succeed, setting up the building blocks to create a new sense of brand loyalty.  The determining factor will be GM’s ability to lure skeptical consumers to sign on the dotted line, by invoking an air of U.S. pride, and offering a product comparable to Asian competition.

If given the option of two similar vehicles, at equivalent prices, I would like to think that I would purchase the American made automobile based on both economic impact, and national pride, but it would be require some consideration.  Why do we owe to these companies who took so much, yet how do we turn our backs on one of our own?

What would you do?

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2009 Cause Marketing Forum Conference

Last week Chicago played host to the 7th Annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference.  The event included powerful presentations from the leading advocates of cause marketing, as well as a speech from our very own VP, Willam Doyle. 

cmf09billBill’s presentation “Consumer Insight: The Power of Cause in a Down Economy” brought to light how the public is viewing Corporate America’s sponsorship objectives during this period of financial hardship.  He noted that 69% of people surveyed are offering a lower approval rating of Corporate America than they would have one year prior.  Obviously in tough economic times the consumers have a tough pill to swallow, watching big business recieve bail out money and government assistance, while they try to make ends meet at home.

 So, that brings us to the question of how to continue spending money on event sponsorship and marketing, without making ourselves look unsympathetic or indulgent to the consumers?

The study Bill presented also offered a solution to this problem:  Relate to the consumers concerns, and go on a diet like everyone else! 

The public would like more dollars spent on cause and less on sponsorships that could be considered frivolous (sports, arts, etc.).  By doing so, corporations keep themselves in the public eye, while putting emphasis on their compassionate side.   This method is sure to have a beneficial effect in terms of public perception towards a company.

Make sure to check out the Cause Marketing Forum website, as well as the full Performance Research report.

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Over the past twenty five years, the company has conducted over 1 million on-site, on-line, and telephone interviews and more than 500 focus groups regarding corporate sponsorships of sports, leisure activities and special events. As a leader in custom sponsorship evaluation, Performance Research has in-depth experience with varied events worldwide, and is a primary research partner with many of the world’s top corporate sponsors, including: Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Citi-Financial, R.J. Reynolds, Sony-Ericsson and UBS

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