Cause marketing in Australia

A few weeks ago, I read an article about the impact of cause marketing on marketing budgets. The product manager of a well known lady sanitary product – I believe it was Always – mentioned that she spends most of her marketing budget on cause marketing related campaigns. That’s very impressive.

A lot of research has been done and all studies seem to confirm that cause marketing has positive effects on product sales. Early 2008, Bill Gates said in his speech at Davos:

“If you give people a chance to associate themselves with a cause they care about, they will pay more, and that premium can make an impact.”

Example of cause marketing campaign
After reading about the positive impact of cause marketing on consumer behavior, I assumed it must have taken a hugh flight everywhere in the developed world including Australia, where I now live. Until… this morning.

My visit to Woolworths
This morning, I decided to go to one of the largest outlets of Woolworths in Sydney. My goal was to find examples of cause marketing campaigns. I expected to find at least one example in every aisle.

But no, my visit was a bit dissapointing.

My not-very-representative-in-store-research-project reveals that many brands only mention that they are 100% Australian owned or that the product is 100% Australian made.

In the bottled water section, I saw Frantalle, a brand which partners with the Australian red cross. Next to the Frantelle brand, I saw One Water, an ethical consumer brand. But these were really the only two examples I could find in the entire store. I may have missed some but it can’t have been more than a few.

What does this mean?
Are Australian consumers different from people in the US or Europe? Do they care less about supporting good causes? Somehow I can’t believe that’s the case. Or do the marketing departments simply don’t see the need for spending marketing money on good causes?

I don’t have an answer, but personally, as a consumer, I would like to see more ethically sound products in my local Australian supermarket.

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