How Can Marketing Research Help Animals?


By Che Green, HRC's Executive Director

Effective animal advocacy is a difficult business. To change the perceptions and behaviors of people with longstanding, entrenched attitudes toward animals requires a deep understanding of their motives and barriers to change. For the past 50 years, marketing research has offered all types of advocates an effective window into their target audiences, allowing them to understand the people they are trying to reach. Specifically, marketing research provides an excellent starting point for identifying effective approaches to animal advocacy.

With few exceptions, political candidates test their slogans and positions with likely voters before heading out on the campaign trail. Likewise, businesses are constantly probing consumer attitudes and behaviors as they relate to products and services. Most politicians and corporate executives have learned that effective marketing is not driven by quixotic principles or hunches, and they turn to marketing research to understand their constituents and customers.

For animal advocates, marketing research can help identify target audiences that are most receptive to their messages. With this information, advocates can focus resources on the audiences most willing to adopt the suggested behavior. Marketing research also provides animal advocates with opportunities to test messages, evaluate materials, measure the effectiveness of campaigns, understand donors, and much more.

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