MSK Partners

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Design, communication and what's on our mind

Social Networking: A Waste of Time?

Here’s a sign of social networking’s growing presence in modern life: It has surpassed TV viewing as the preeminent waster of people’s time. At any rate, it tops the waste-of-time standings in a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released this week.

Respondents were given a list of six activities and asked to pick the one they regard as “your biggest waste of time.” A plurality (36 percent) chose “social networking,” putting it easily ahead of runner-up “fantasy sports” (25 percent) and third-place “watching television” (23 percent). Few votes went to “shopping” (9 percent), “reading” (2 percent) or “your job” (2 percent).

Filed under: Uncategorized

All to the Good

Cause-related marketing came into its own when the economy was faring well. But, unlike some other fair-weather phenomena, consumers’ interest in corporate support for worthy causes has not succumbed to the recent downturn. A survey from Cone finds consumers still want companies to be engaged with good causes and will reward those that rise to the occasion.

In a 1993 survey (Cone’s first on this subject), 20 percent of respondents said they’d bought a product or service in the previous year because it was associated with a social cause.  In the new survey (conducted in July), 41 percent said they’d done so. Moreover, they expect companies to be engaged in such matters. Eighty-eight percent now say it’s acceptable “for companies to involve a cause or issue in their marketing,” up from 66 percent in 1993.

As with other sorts of marketing, social media has become part of the mix of for cause-related marketing. Are they making sound use of this tool, or have they tended so far to use it more in gimmicky ways? “They have not quite cracked the bigger nut of fundraising and sustained engagement. To achieve this, the next phase will likely better unite consumers’ online and offline experiences for greater impact and relevance.” says Alison DaSilva at Cone. At MSK Partners, that online/offline balance is something we’re dealing with in comprehensive campaign initiatives – particularly in higher education. Not surprisingly, each situation and audience demands a different approach.

Filed under: Communication