Survey: Socially-conscious Consumers Consult Social Media

Mar 28, 2012 10:31 PM  By

Merchants and retailers should look no further than to a recent Nielsen survey of 28,000 internet users when trying to figure out how they should spread the word about their brand. According to the Global Corporate Citizenship Survey, 63% of the global, socially conscious respondents are under the age of 40 and consult with the social media of their choice when deciding on what items to purchase.

The Nielsen survey also found that 46% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that have implemented programs that give back to society. “It’s clear that corporate responsibility efforts resonate with a specific group of consumers,” said Nic Covey, vice president of Nielsen’s global corporate social responsibility program, in a press release.

“Marketers need to know who those consumers are in order to maximize the social and business return of their cause marketing efforts. This understanding allows brands to engage in social impact efforts that appeal to the right consumers with the right causes through the right channels,” Covey said in the release.

Nielsen’s survey shows that 51% of all respondents between the ages of 15 and 39 said they were willing to pay extra for such products and services compared to the 37% or respondents who are over the age of 40. So what socially-responsible causes are most important? According to the survey, 66% believe environmental stability is most important, 56% would like to see companies support science, technology, engineering and math training, while 53% wanted to see companies support programs that would tackle extreme poverty and hunger.

“Knowing the causes that are most important to the socially-conscious consumer may help brands prioritize their social investments,” Covey said in a release. “The next step is to understand precisely what causes are important to a brands individual customers.”

In the North American market, of those surveyed, 56% said they would prefer to work for a company that gave back while 55% said they would invest in one. Although globally 46% said they would be willing to pay extra for products or services from a company that had programs that would give back to society, just 35% of North Americans said they were willing to spend extra.

Now that you know who prefers what social cause, the question still remains: how do you market your brand to them? According to the Nielsen survey, when it comes to brands and advertising, 95% of globally, socially-conscious consumers said they trust recommendations from people that they know, 76% trust consumer opinions posted online, 65% trusted branded websites, 65% said they trusted editorial content from newspapers and 57% said they trusted emails they previously signed up for.

What were the top 5 lowest trusted advertisings methods from socially-conscious consumers? It turns that the most ineffective marketing strategies came from social networks ads, online video ads, display ads on mobile devices, online banner ads and text or SMS ads on mobile phones.