Cause-marketing’s Fate Tied to Economic Woes

When times get tough, do we get more self-interesed as consumers? Yes, we do says a new study by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Their survey of chief marketing officers distracted by the downturn are placing less emphasis on cause-related and environmental issues. In fact, marketing that is “beneficial for society” or that minimizes the impact on the environment ranked at the bottom of five priorities listed by respondents for the next 12 months.

It’s interesting that the study doesn’t argue that cause-marketing and green marketing have fallen out of vogue. Instead, the fall off seems based on concern for the economy. As in Maslow’s hierarchy, a weakened economy hurls people down to the bottom of the needs pyramid–food and shelter become priorities.

More on the study is reported in AdAge.