Monday, October 3, 2016

Consider Karma in Contributions

Karma is a belief system centered on long-term consequences. As we look forward in our lives, the decisions we make now affect what happens to us in the future. Good actions will produce good results at some point. Turning to look behind, we’ll see that what is going on with us now is the result of our past. The thoughts we’ve had, the words we’ve said, the actions we’ve taken, the deeds we’ve instructed others to take on our account or while under our control.
     It would seem that, among those holding these beliefs, an appeal to karmic rewards would resonate. Researchers at University of Louisville and University of California-Riverside find that it does, yet with a complication: People with strong beliefs in karma contribute money more generously to charities when the appeal is the opportunity to help others. But the same sorts of people are, in fact, less likely to contribute time to charitable activities when there is a sales pitch about the karma. The reason is that contributions of time are perceived as opportunities for social companionship and forging business connections. These strike many believers in karma as tawdry cheating, gains for oneself masquerading as selfless sacrifice.
     Time and money are also perceived differently in sales transactions, including among those who do not believe in karma. One summer, University of South Carolina researchers offered theatre patrons a movie pass. For about half of the patrons, getting the movie pass required completing a survey, which took about seven minutes. So that the researchers could compare time with money, a matching set of patrons were offered the movie pass for $3—no survey completion required. And about half the tickets in each group were marked for use later that summer. The others were marked for use the following fall.
     For those who spent the $3, the percentage of fall ticket usage was the same as that for the summer tickets. But among the patrons who earned their ticket by spending seven minutes of time, the season of usage made a big difference. People were significantly more likely to end up using the ticket if marked for the summer than if marked for the fall.
     Yet time isn’t so perishable for those believing in karma. They’re more patient and persistent when resolving complaints about retailers. One sign to them they’ve been good is that they finally receive good customer service.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Use Consumer Karma to Build Repeat Business
Slacken Consumers’ Undervaluing of Time
Double Down on Cause Marketing

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