Market Research for Good
A new market-research program launched in conjunction with the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance pairs giving with worldwide market research. Pause to Support a Cause allows philanthropic-minded consumers to sign up to be part of a special survey panel and take part in market-research surveys that benefit their charities of choice.
Liz Miller, vice president of programs and operations for the CMO Council, says the idea was prompted by CMO Council membership, which includes more than 4,500 senior-level corporate marketing decision makers. More and more comments were coming in from members about how much was being invested in market research (more than $18 billion annually, Miller says), the difficulty in reaching certain audiences, and a desire to move away from the usual incentives and giveaways to induce response. At the same time, the council was growing more aware of the difficulty nonprofits have when it comes to establishing sustainable, consistent fundraising sources.
"When you couple that with everything that's going on with the economy right now, we really had this perfect storm to [merge] one of our big passions, which is finding new ways to get money to incredibly worthy causes, [with] our other passion, which is, of course, finding new best practices for marketers," Miller says. "So it really came from a lot of need from all sides of the equation. Market researchers want greater quality; consumers want to find new ways to give [because] they're not necessarily able to write those big checks anymore. We are looking at a model now where consumers will be able to turn their time and their opinions into donations, and we've gotten feedback that that's a very attractive model for consumers.
"The money is going to be viewed as better spent when it becomes a donation to a charity of that consumer's choice," Miller says. "I think that's where the value of this comes in. When you're looking at the overarching models here, companies are going to want to align with programs that not only will benefit them in being able to get insightful research, but will also benefit a greater cause."