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Study: Cause marketing? Be authentic
MADISON, Wis. 1/15/13)--Credit unions have an advantage when it comes to cause marketing: Their already solid reputation with consumers and dedication to the people-helping-people philosophy.

While the majority of U.S. Internet users have been moved to purchase because of a cause, shoppers expect greater accountability from organizations involved in cause marketing and reassurance that their support is making a difference, according to a new eMarketer report, "Marketing 'Good': How Causes Can Convert Online Shoppers" (eMarketer Jan. 8)

A growing number of consumers considered "social purpose" as the leading purchase driver when quality and price were equal, according to a study the Edelman's "good purpose" study.  However, only 10% surveyed thought that cause marketing campaigns were sincere.

To employ cause marketing effectively, organizations must be viewed as authentic by consumers, the study said.

Would consumers trust credit unions to make a difference with cause marketing? Trust in credit unions has remained high at 61% among Americans, according to the latest Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index (News Now Nov. 6). The index has consistently reported notably more trust in credit unions than local and national banks, quarter over quarter, since it began in December 2008.

Community Financial CU, with $502 million in assets, Plymouth, Mich., is among the credit unions engaged in cause marketing. The credit union asked its members and community members to take part in its "Warming Hearts & Homes" campaign (PR Newswire Jan. 14).

Community Financial CU raised $30,000 for The Heat And Warmth Fund, local food pantries and the Salvation Army's Coats for Kids program.

The credit union donated $25 for every like on Facebook, tweet on Twitter or text message it received during the holidays.
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