Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

A Study of Cause Related Marketing Initiatives and Consumer Insights: Evidences from the Indian Context [Dagger]

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

A Study of Cause Related Marketing Initiatives and Consumer Insights: Evidences from the Indian Context [Dagger]

Article excerpt


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been gaining major consideration from industry and academicians alike. Cause related Marketing (CrM) is one of the most often discussed and used tools that fall under the preview of CSR. CrM is an area of CSR which achieves the dual objective of achieving organizations philanthropic image and the marketing goals. Through these initiatives organizations provide an opportunity to consumers to express their 'doing good' desire during their regular shopping time and budget without any extra effort or cost. CrM facilitates the organization to appear meaningful to the consumer, ultimately paving the way towards positive brand attitude and intention to purchase (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003; and Tsai, 2009).

CrM is pursued by organizations as it is perceived to have more long term impact (Berger, Cunningham and Drumwright, 2004). CrM activity could gather strategic advantage by essentially synergizing with the business operations, organizational objectives together with the policies (Tustin and Pienaar, 2005). The benefit from CrM differs across markets and countries and is dependent on consumers' exposure to them. In countries like USA and UK where it is widespread the skepticism is lower (Webb and Mohr, 1998) in comparison to countries like Malaysia (Marhana and Osman, 2012).

In India, organizations like P&G, Unilever, ITC and many others have adopted CrM practices as a part of their communication activity to increase product sales and contribute towards social causes. Since this form of communication has started gaining slow but steady increase, it is very essential for marketers to assess the nature of practices and consumer response towards CrM. The first part of this study will provide an overview about the extent and nature of CrM activities prevailing in the Indian market from 1999 to 2012. The second part will attempt to assess the awareness amongst consumers regarding CrM, their preferences and perceptions with respect to CrM initiatives. This in turn will provide some managerial implications for future use of these activities.


The CrM phenomenon is still relatively new to the Indian market in comparison to the western world. Very little empirical evidence pertaining to Indian consumers and CrM activities in India is available in the open domain. This study would add to the scant literature available about CrM activities in India. It will help both academicians and practitioners alike to gain insights about CrM practices in India and consumer awareness, preferences and perceptions about these activities.

The main objectives of this research are (i) to assess the incidence and nature of CrM initiatives in India; (ii) to assess consumer awareness regarding CrM initiatives; (iii) to explore the consumer preferences towards social cause that they find appealing; and (iv) to examine consumer perceptions about CrM activities.

This study will provide some empirical evidence about the incidence and consumer insights with respect to CrM initiatives in India. This research would be one of the first to systematically document such initiatives undertaken in India and provide managerial implications. A thorough examination of the respondents with respect to awareness, preference and perception towards cause related marketing would assist the marketers to gather valuable insights as to which customer would be responsive to the CrM phenomenon.


Research has shown that marketers explore innovative ways to differentiate themselves to increase customer loyalty and competitiveness; and there by enhance their reputation and stock value (Adkins, 2005; File and Prince, 1998; Till and Nowak, 2000; and Gupta and Pirsch, 2006). In order to achieve one or more of these objectives CSR is a route that is being adopted by many organizations (Kotler and Lee, 2005, Adkins, 1999; Brown and Dacin, 1997; Drumwright, 1994; Meyer, 1999; and Klein and Dawar, 2004). …

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