VanguardcommAn analysis of the latest Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Study 2010 by The Futures Company and VanguardComm concludes that Hispanic and African-American consumers rate the importance of a company’s presence in the community, through corporate social responsibility (CSR) and cause related marketing (CRM) programs, as more significant in their buying decisions than do Non-Hispanic Whites.

“Simply put, engaging in multicultural communities to make a positive difference pays off for businesses in purchasing and brand loyalty,” said Esther Novak, founder and CEO of VanguardComm.

The study found that about one-third of Hispanic and African American consumers almost always choose brands because they come from companies that support causes they believe in, compared to just one in five Non-Hispanic Whites.

Hispanic and African-American consumers also expect companies to champion their causes and stand up for issues which affect their communities to a greater degree. Seventy-nine percent and eighty-four percent of Hispanic and African-American respondents respectively agreed with the statement “companies that make sincere efforts to be part of the Hispanic/African-American community deserve my loyalty.”

“The results present excellent opportunities to those businesses looking to increase their brand reputation and sales,” said Novak. “If you want to establish long-lasting relationships with Latino and Black consumers and businesses, you need to show that you understand and support their causes and community needs.

There were also strong feelings about the current level of business support for Hispanic and African-American communities and their causes.  Sixty-two percent and sixty-eight percent of Hispanic and African Americans respectively agreed that very few brands and companies genuinely care about the state of their communities.

“These are findings that VanguardComm has believed in for years, and now we have data that supports our experience, “added Novak. “We also believe CSR and cause-related marketing is an underserved area among businesses.  As a result, we are using this data to champion an enhanced, formal practice to help clients use this insight and grow their businesses.

“The good news for marketers,” she noted, “is there are many ways to reach out, have an impact, connect and grow a brand.  Be prepared to invest, show consistency and, over the long term, get great returns.”

About the Study

The Futures Company collected data via a two-phase process: telephone and Web interviews conducted in the respondents’ language of choice (Spanish or English), followed by a self-administered survey returned via mail or the Internet. Both phases of the Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Study 2010 were conducted from February 8 to May 3, 2010. The total sample size was 6,266 (1,645 Hispanics, 1,620 African Americans, and 3,001 Non-Hispanic Whites). The study includes an African-American identity-expression segmentation model and a Hispanic cultural-affinity acculturation segmentation model.