Malaysian consumers discerning yet careful
Malaysia - In the latest report by Nielsen, more than three-quarters (78%) of Malaysian online consumers prefer to buy from socially-responsible companies but only 56% are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that have implemented programmes to give back to society.
Nielsen's Global Corporate Citizenship Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that 46% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that have implemented programmes to give back to society, compared to 55% in Asia Pacific. Nielsen defines these consumers as socially-conscious consumers.
The survey also reveals that Malaysian consumers show a preference to invest in, do business with or work for socially-responsible companies (78%, 77% and 76% respectively). However, the willingness to receive lower returns of investment (38%) and salary (31%) are below the former.
"Malaysians are the most price-sensitive shoppers in Southeast Asia and abetted by a rising cost of living cost, it isn't a surprise to see the preference and the purchase keenness displaying a gap of more than 20 percentage points," said Luca Griseri, head of customised research of Nielsen Malaysia.
"However, the number of consumers willing to pay more also indicates that corporate social responsibility efforts still resonate with a certain group of consumers. Brand marketers need to identify and know the right causes and influential channels to engage with these socially-conscious consumers to best capitalize on the social and business returns of their cause-focused marketing efforts."
According to Nielsen's survey (based on socially-conscious consumers), environmental sustainability (73%) tops the list in terms of causes to be supported by companies in Malaysia, followed by supporting small business and entrepreneurship (71%), and eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (67%) (see Chart 2).
"Only half of all respondents agree that corporate sector has done enough to support society, suggesting room for improvement. Knowing which issues are important to socially-conscious consumers and supporting those causes can help marketers to strategise on the right social investment plan and boost not only reputation, but also sales," says Griseri.
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- Nielsen Media Research
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