Cause Related Marketing:
A successful strategy in
Enhancing Corporate Reputation.
Prepared by Marlen Martoudi Demetriou:
Assistant Professor, Intercollege, 46 Makedonitissas Ave.,
P.O.Box 24005, 1700 Nicosia, Cyprus,
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is faced as an opportunity for Brand Equity and there are many companies which invest a considerable percentage of their budget on different CSR activities in order to enhance their image. A very popular CSR strategy is Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) according to which the profit-making companies form strategic partnerships with non-profit organizations for mutual benefits. CRM can provide great opportunities to organizations in terms of corporate reputation, brand awareness, customer loyalty, and press coverage. This paper analyzes the findings of a research which was implemented in three faces. The first phase of the research took place between October-November 2004 and it was a survey among 740 Cypriot citizens in terms of brand recognition and brand positioning of organizations that have heavily invested on CRM activities. The second phase of the research took place on February 2005 and was based on the outcome of the first survey. It was composed of in-depth interviews of the marketing managers of the two most reputable companies in Cyprus in terms of CRM given the outcome of the first survey. The third phase of the research was composed of a survey among 40 employees of the two corporations.
Cause Related Marketing: A successful strategy in enhancing corporate reputation.
Key words: Corporate Reputation, Brand Positioning, Societal Marketing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Cause Related Marketing.
In today’s markets, organizations have tended to focus on both tangible and intangible factors in order to effectively compete and differentiate their services or products in the dynamic environment in which they operate. In order to achieve reputation, corporations try to be active participants in the societies in which they operate and they also try to initiate activities that can contribute to the society’s well-being. CRM includes all the different ways in which businesses are benefiting charities and good causes through CRM partnerships that consist of donations, and additional support leveraged through customers, suppliers, or employees. This societal marketing approach can become an effective tool in the hands of the corporations in gaining brand reputation while contributing to the society’s well-being. This paper analyzes the findings of a three-phase research which includes a survey among 740 Cypriot Citizens, interviews with the Marketing Managers of two Financial Institutions which Cypriots named as Socially Responsible and a survey on 40 employees of the above mentioned organizations. The outcome of the research reveals the value of Cause Related Marketing on the reputation of the corporations which adopt it as well as on the moral and the motivation of their employees.
Marketers, given the dynamic environment they are facing today, try to identify different approaches of CSR activities that can help them enhance the reputation of their corporation in order to gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace. They also know that citizens have greater expectations from the corporations than simple CSR programs. The largest ever survey of its kind, involving interviews with more than 25,000 people across 23 countries, in five continents took place by a Canadian based company in 1999. According to the survey 2/3 of the citizens who participated in the research wanted companies to go beyond making profits, paying taxes, employing people and obeying laws. They wanted companies to contribute to broader social goals as well and pointed out that contributing to charity projects doesn’t really satisfy people expectation to CSR....
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