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Tunnl | Products | Audiences

Target Audiences for Purpose-Driven Marketing in 2022

August 26th, 2022 | 6 min. read

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It’s 2022, and consumer buying habits are changing. Modern buyers don’t just want to purchase products; they want to use their purchasing power to take a stand on current issues and causes.

That means they’re only engaging with brands whose purpose, mission, or vision aligns with their own values.

This shift in buying behavior has led to the rise in purpose-driven marketing, wherein advertisers align their product or service messaging with their consumers’ values. By appealing to what matters most to consumers, brands can develop deeper connections that foster respect, loyalty, and ultimately, profits.

Consider the powerhouse outdoor apparel brand Patagonia. Instead of focusing their messaging on their products, they focus on their purpose: environmental activism. Their purpose-driven marketing campaigns lead to an estimated $1 billion in sales profits each year.

But how do purpose-driven marketers know what matters most to their core consumers?

The answer lies in audience insights. The data and insights found in Tunnl audiences offer you a deep understanding of what your consumers look like, where they consume their media, and where they land on important issues. 

Prebuilt Audience Insights Laptop Media Mix 1

Every Tunnl audience includes the following insights:

  • Count
  • Geography
  • Age
  • Income
  • Race
  • Political party
  • Sex
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Children in household
  • Media consumption patterns, including social and streaming

We’ve compiled the most critical Tunnl audiences for purpose-driven marketers in 2022. Keep reading to learn about the top 3 audiences advertisers should target for their cause marketing campaigns. 

(Want to know if purpose-driven marketing is right for your organization? Check out this article that explains cause marketing and who benefits from it.)

Target Audience #1: Corporate Responsibility

Studies show that the vast majority of consumers are buying from companies whose stance on important issues align with their own – and they’re ditching the companies that don’t.

  • 63% of shoppers purchase from companies that reflect their personal values and beliefs
  • 62% want companies to take a stand on hot-button issues

“When companies use their platform to take a stand on more than just what they’re trying to sell, but on real social, political, or environmental issues, it makes a difference in how consumers relate to the brand,” says Samantha Zaleski, Tunnl’s Senior Director of Client Relations.

If your organization wants to influence shoppers whose consumption choices are impacted by a company’s or CEO’s stance on hot-button issues, Tunnl’s Corporate Responsibility audience is the ideal place to start. 

This audience is made up of people who not only use their purchasing power to support brands based on their stance on modern issues, but who are also community influencers themselves. That means that if you successfully influence them to purchase from your company, they are likely to influence their social following to also interact with your brand.

“This is the most beneficial audience to engage if you want to put out messaging on where your organization stands on important events, causes, and issues,” says Samantha.

Access Tunnl's Corporate Responsibility Audience

Target Audience #2: Online Activists - Political

The United States’ social and political climate has been tense in recent years. Many Americans’ are calling for social change, be it for racial justice, 2nd Amendment rights, or environmental reform.

Now, many American consumers are demanding the companies they engage with do something about the causes they care about – or at the very least, acknowledge issues exist and let their stance be known. Should organizations stay silent on important current events or causes, they risk alienating their target consumers and damaging their reputation.

Purpose-driven messaging helps companies avoid these risks. But who should advertisers target with their cause marketing campaigns?

Tunnl’s Online Activists - Political audience is an ideal group for advertisers to target with their purpose-driven messaging. That’s because this audience is made up of individuals who deeply care about social, political, and issue activism — so much so that they are likely to sign petitions or contact their legislator.

Moreover, this audience is very receptive to digital advertising; they spend a lot of time online or on social media, meaning your digital messaging is more likely to reach and engage them on the channels they frequent.

“Getting out in front of dire social issues is more important than ever for brands of all kinds,” says Samantha. “This audience helps you maximize your efforts to take a stand.”

Access Tunnl's Online Activists - Political Audience

Target #3: Energy Influentials

One of the most pressing issues of our time is climate change. As the world population expands, so too is the demand for cleaner energy sources. The calls for energy change are widespread among Americans, according to the Pew Research Center:

  • 69% of Americans favor the U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral
  • 66% of self-described moderate and liberal Republicans favor the U.S. becoming carbon neutral
  • 75% of Americans support U.S. participation in reducing climate change affects worldwide

“There are millions of people who want to see a future with clean energy. Where they see those efforts happening is important,” says Samantha.

Companies that take a stand on sustainability and clean energy largely add value to their brand.

Consider the efforts made by retail titan Wal-Mart to utilize alternative energy sources. In 2005, studies found that up to 8% of consumers had stopped shopping at Wal-Mart due to the retailer’s poor environmental record. Wal-Mart has since adopted a commitment to renewable energy and sustainability, which has, in turn, resulted in improved consumer trust.

For companies that want to communicate about their stance on or efforts to improve sustainability and energy sources, Tunnl’s Energy Influentials audience is ideal to target. This group is made up of individuals who are high turnout voters, are likely to follow energy-related news, and actively engage in energy-related issues.

The insights provided by the Energy Influentials audience give you the best opportunity to reach consumers who care about the environment and are likely to take the action you desire after your company takes a stand.

Access Tunnl's Energy Influentials Audience

What If These Audiences Aren't the Right Fit for My Purpose-Driven Messaging Strategy?

There are many issues and causes that consumers want the companies they engage with to speak on. If your purpose-driven marketing strategy needs a different audience than those listed in this article, we have more options for you. 

Peruse the rest of Tunnl’s prebuilt audiences

Tunnl has a library of over 300 prebuilt audiences centered around niche groups and top-of-mind issues. Explore our prebuilt audience library to see if the audience insights you need are available and ready for instant application to your campaign.

Explore Tunnl's Prebuilt Audience Library

If your ideal audience isn't listed here or in our prebuilt library...

Sometimes advertisers have an extra-niche group they need to reach. If you find that Tunnl doesn’t have your ideal audience readily available, we can create a custom audience for you. 

Learn more about our custom audience solution and if it’s the right choice for your purpose-driven messaging strategy.

Learn More About Custom Audiences