For three decades, Carol Cone, founder of Cone Communications, has been a champion of cause marketing. She convinced Avon to sponsor breast cancer research long before it became the thing to do one month a year. And she was a supporter of measurement way before anyone talked about PR “value.”
We first met back in 1988, when we both spoke on measurement at a PR event in Boston. She told the now-legendary story of Sam Adams, the beer that didn’t have an advertising budget so they turned to her for PR. After winning awards at a German beer festival, they leveraged the accolades via PR to become the leading American hand-crafted beer.
She and her firm were the first to field research into whether there was any advantage to companies positioning themselves as “socially responsible.” Back in the mid 90s, Cone’s pioneering CSR study showed that consumers were far more likely to buy brands that were perceived as doing good in the world. (See our summary of the latest Cone CSR Study here.)
While Carol long ago sold her company to Porter Novelli, Cone Communications has continued to help companies embrace CSR as part of their identity. More importantly, for the past 25 years it has continued to query consumers on their perceptions and intent to purchase from brands that have embraced CSR as part of their identity. This research has convinced thousands of brand managers and CMOs that you can, in fact, do well by doing good.
Carol Cone is now CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE. In a recent article, “Social Purpose Imperative in Business Triggers Capitalism’s New Zeitgeist,” she expresses her continuing enthusiasm for capitalism as force for social change as well as profits.
For their consistent commitment to research and measurement in a field full of skeptics, we are pleased to present this month’s Measurement Maven Award to Carol Cone and Cone Communications. Congrats! ∞