by Stuart Lowe


Studying the needs of philanthropy based marketing

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Do you know what your customers care about? That’s the burning question behind the Ubuntu Report 2014 – a groundbreaking study into the needs, perceptions and behaviours that drive individual philanthropy and cause-based marketing in South Africa.

Whether it's educating children, saving the planet or taking care of homeless puppies, South African’s are acutely aware of the social needs around them. In fact, according to the results of the 2014 BrandMapp survey (with a massive sample exceeding 22 000 respondents), more than 82% of economically active South Africans support environmentally sustainable initiatives. That same survey reveals a staggering 34% of people would like to do even more, but they either don’t know how – or they don’t trust existing organisations with their money!

If only companies could get a clear picture of what their customers care about, they would be in a far better position to develop relevant cause marketing strategies and draw customers closer to their brands. That’s the driving premise behind the SA Ubuntu Report 2014 - a landscape study into individual response to cause marketing and philanthropy in South Africa.

“It’s a fascinating question, don't you think?” says Stuart Lowe, director of WhyFive Strategic Insights, the company behind the study. “ Because a lot of companies know who or where or what their customers are, but there are huge assumptions made when it comes to knowing what they really care about. If they knew the answer to that question, it would certainly change the way they view sustainable initiatives as an integral part of their DNA.”

The study aims to reveal four key areas of insight
• What causes and issues do your customers care deeply about?
• What, how and why are they supporting specific causes right now?
• What are their barriers and triggers to future engagement with causes?
• How responsive are they to the sustainable initiatives and other cause-based activities of brands and companies in South Africa?

The survey, and consequent report, comprises two distinct parts – a syndicated core and bespoke silos for the partners in the study. “The core data is shared by all partners, but we will also make it available at no charge to the entire NGO community” explains Lowe, “and we’re in the process of engaging with as many of them as we can to make sure that the end result will benefit the broadest spectrum of cause-based initiatives.”

In addition to the core, respondents will also be invited to answer specific silo questions related to the fields of interest of participating partners in the Ubuntu Report. Partnership opportunities are available to corporates now. The survey will be conducted in June and thereafter the high-level finding and data will be available to corporates for a fee and to NGO’s at no charge.

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