Cause-Related Marketing in the Retail and Finance Sectors: An Exploratory Study of the Determinants of Cause Selection and Nonprofit Alliances

Liston-Heyes, Catherine and Liu, Gordon (2010). Cause-Related Marketing in the Retail and Finance Sectors: An Exploratory Study of the Determinants of Cause Selection and Nonprofit Alliances. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 39(1) pp. 77–101.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764008326680

Abstract

Firms devote increasing funds and resources to cause-related marketing (CRM). This report seeks to uncover some of the factors that explain how firms choose between competing social causes in the development of their CRM strategy. The behavior of firms traded on the London Stock Exchange is analyzed, by highlighting regularities and patterns in CRM activities. The rationales for the observed patterns are investigated through semistructured interviews with managers employed by UK-based nonprofit organizations, financial services, and retail firms. The authors identify, among other things, differences in the nature of the “selected” social causes, the length and geographical scope of the social campaigns, and the (CRM) strategies used to implement them. It is argued that these variations may reflect differences in the organizational legitimacy pressures experienced by firms in the retail and financial services sectors.

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