Discuss about the theory of cause based marketing and how it is effective in dealing with the recent marketing issues.
Theory of Cause Based Marketing
In the current business scenario, one of the major sectors, which is having huge opportunities and which is witnessing huge growth in the recent time is the sales and marketing sector. This is due to the reason that, in the current time, competition is high in the market and more intense in nature. Thus, contemporary business organizations are more concentrating on their marketing activities and how they can enhance their sales and revenue. In accordance to this phenomenon, marketing sector is witnessing huge growth and potential (Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell, 2014). This is the reason of choosing this sector by me for my career.
However, marketing sector in the recent time is going through few negative patches. This is due to the reason that, with the increased use of unethical business practices such as promoting and promising fake information through advertisements are reducing the effectiveness of the marketing activity (Pappas, 2016). Customers in the recent time are getting less attracted towards different marketing activities. In order to overcome these challenges, one of the effective theories being introduced is the cause marketing. This is being introduced in order to enhance the authenticity of the marketing activities among the customers (Hartmann, Klink & Simons, 2015).
This essay will discuss about the theory of cause based marketing and how it is effective in dealing with the recent marketing issues. In addition, various other articles will also be reviewed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this theory. This essay will also discuss about the implementation process of this theory in the real world situation.
The journal of marketing written by Varadarajan and Menon (1988), was one of the earliest articles being written over the concept of the cause based marketing. According to them, the concept of the cause based marketing was started much earlier. According to them, the first known case of the cause based marketing initiated by John T. Carr. He started the concept of giving back to the society or community through his organization. According to the authors, the concept of the cause based marketing is related with the philanthropic activities of the business organizations.
They have also stated that the urgent need of aligning the marketing strategy with that of the philanthropic activities made the way for cause based marketing. It was urgent need for the marketers due to the reason that, promoting philanthropic activities was only the option left to attract the customers and enhancing the authenticity of the marketing activities. Thus, it can be concluded that, cause based marketing refers to the promotion of the philanthropic activities effectively along with the marketing activities. It is having dual advantages. One advantage is for the marketers by enhancing their positive impression among the customers. On the other hand, another advantage gained by the nonprofit organizations by partnering with the business organizations and gathering fund for their activities.
Assumptions of the Cause Based Marketing
The theory was stated in accordance to the identified issue with the marketers. There are various problems being identified. One of the key problems was increasing use of the unethical business practices in the marketing and promotional activities. In the late twentieth century, market liberalization was promoted on global basis and thus, the domestic organizations were started top face the competition in the market. This lead to the need of having innovative and aggressive marketing campaigns in order to stay ahead in the competition (Lafferty & Edmondson, 2014). However, in order to stay ahead in the competition and to attract the customers more compared to the competitors, unethical practices started to arise. There were various incidents happened where customers were given false and fake promises through advertisements. This reduced the authenticity of the advertisement among the customers (Nica, 2013). Thus, cause based marketing was introduced in order to regain the trust of the customers.
Another problem identified was the need of fulfilling the expectation of the community and society from the large business organizations. With the initiation of the concept of globalization and multinational organization, it was expected that these organizations should contribute some part of their huge capital for the communities and society from where they are gaining their profits. This also led to the introduction of the theory of cause based marketing (Lee & Ferreira, 2013). This was done in order to portray to the customers that the business organizations are doing something for the society and maintain their positive brand image in the market.
There are various assumptions also be considered in the cause based marketing. One of the key assumptions was that the entire marketing industry or sector was facing the trust issues among their target customers. However, in the real case, not all the business sectors were having the issues. Another assumption of this theory was that promoting the philanthropic activities will regain the trust of the customers and enhance the authenticity of the marketing activities (He etal., 2016). However, in the real world situation, there may be other different reasons for the mistrust among the customers.
This theory also predicted that initiation of the cause based marketing will in turn enhance the image of the business organizations among the customers. This will ultimately lead to the increase in the generation of the revenue. Moreover, it was also predicted that initiation of the cause based marketing will also help the business organizations to create an ethical image in the market. It will also enhance their employer branding (Eikenberry, 2013).
Effectiveness of Cause Based Marketing
Past and present trend of cause marketing
There are various opinions being given by different scholars over the effectiveness of the cause based marketing in the recent time. One of the major opinions is given by Rozensher (2013). According to him, the trend of cause marketing in the past and present is quite different and it will also be different in the future also. He also stated that though the core objective of the cause based marketing remains the same but the approach of the promotion of cause based marketing got changed. According to him, rapid development in the technology has changed the approach of the cause marketing.
In the recent past, business organizations mandatorily have to partner with the nonprofit organizations in order to promote their philanthropic activities. However, in the recent time, it is not at all compulsory to tie up with the nonprofit organizations. On the other hand, business organizations are taking the help of social media in connecting with the customers and determining the need of the society. Thus, this research paper supports the basic or core prediction of the cause based marketing that it helps the business organizations in attracting new customers.
According to Samu and Wymer (2014), cause based marketing is one of the key determinants of customer attitude towards the brand. According to them, effective communication with the customers in relation to the philanthropic activities of the organizations helps to enhance the positivity among the customers regarding the particular brand. However, this is also being stated by the authors that the cause based marketing should be extensive and effective in nature in order to have the impact on the society. Only then the impacts will be well communicated to the target audience. Thus, this paper is also concluding that cause based marketing though have change its approach but it is still effective in determining the customer attitude.
Use of social media marketing
As discussed earlier, social media is being extensively used by the business organizations in engaging with the customers and initiate cause based marketing accordingly. Authors such as Ashley and Tuten (2015), have stated that the creative strategies being used by the contemporary business organizations are enhancing the customer trust towards their brand. The authors have also given the example of Avon, where they are associated with the breast cancer awareness program. This helped them to create the positive image among the customers. The morality of the brand also gets increased. Thus, it can be concluded that the studies of cause based marketing got advanced in the recent time and are covering more diverse areas than before.
Current Trend and Advancement of Cause Based Marketing
In the recent time, the expectations from the business organizations are more compared to what it was a few years ago. In the current scenario, it was expected that business organizations will play a key role in social development along with the government. They are expected that they are also having responsibilities along with the government. This also led to the initiation of the corporate social activities of the business organizations. Thus, in the current time, cause based marketing is not only be promoted in order to attract more customers but also meeting the expectations of the society from the business organizations.
Effectiveness of the theory in solving the key problems
Thus, from the above discussion it can be concluded that cause based marketing may not is the only way to determine the trust of the customers and enhancing the authenticity of the brand in the market, but is one of the most effective means. This is due to the reason that, cause based marketing is promoting more of the philanthropic activities rather than marketing the offerings (Andersen & Johansen, 2016). Thus, morality of the customers gets increased with this and they automatically create a positive image in their mind regarding the particular brand. This will solve the issues of customer mistrust and issues with authenticity of the marketers.
Application of the theory
It is suggested that prior to the initiation of the cause based marketing, it is important for the business organizations to determine the exact need and expectation of the target customers. For instance, doing philanthropic activities in the developed regions will not attract the customers in the underdeveloped regions. Therefore, the approach of the cause marketing should be customized according to the requirement of the target market. This will help in effectively reaching out to the target customers.
Thus, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that cause based marketing is still having its relevancy for the contemporary business organizations. This essay discussed various opinions of different scholars regarding the effectiveness of the cause market and it is concluded that cause marketing has changed its approach in the recent time, but it is still effective in enhancing the trust of the customers. Initiation of the cause marketing will help the entire marketing and sales industry to regain the trust of the customers and promote their offerings effectively.
Ahmed, M. U., Kristal, M. M., & Pagell, M. (2014). Impact of operational and marketing capabilities on firm performance: Evidence from economic growth and downturns. International Journal of Production Economics, 154, 59-71.
Andersen, S. E., & Johansen, T. S. (2016). Cause-related marketing 2.0: Connection, collaboration and commitment. Journal of Marketing Communications, 22(5), 524-543.
Ashley, C., & Tuten, T. (2015). Creative strategies in social media marketing: An exploratory study of branded social content and consumer engagement. Psychology & Marketing, 32(1), 15-27.
Eikenberry, A. M. (2013). A critical case study of cause-related marketing. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 35(2), 290-305.
Hartmann, M., Klink, J., & Simons, J. (2015). Cause related marketing in the German retail sector: Exploring the role of consumers’ trust. Food Policy, 52, 108-114.
He, H., Zhu, W., Gouran, D., & Kolo, O. (2016). Moral identity centrality and cause-related marketing: the moderating effects of brand social responsibility image and emotional brand attachment. European Journal of Marketing, 50(1/2), 236-259.
Lee, J., & Ferreira, M. (2013). A role of team and organizational identification in the success of cause-related sport marketing. Sport Management Review, 16(2), 161-172.
Pappas, N. (2016). Marketing strategies, perceived risks, and consumer trust in online buying behaviour. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 29, 92-103.
Rozensher, S. (2013). The growth of cause marketing: past, current, and future trends. Journal of Business & Economics Research (Online), 11(4), 181.
Samu, S., & Wymer, W. (2014). Cause marketing communications: Consumer inference on attitudes towards brand and cause. European Journal of Marketing, 48(7/8), 1333-1353.
Varadarajan, P. R., & Menon, A. (1988). Cause-related marketing: A coalignment of marketing strategy and corporate philanthropy. The Journal of Marketing, 58-74.
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