Cause-related marketing as a commercially and socially oriented activity: what factors influence and moderate the purchasing?
Keywords:cause-related product, materialism, individualism, altruism, cause involvement, guilt, product type.
Cause-related marketing uniquely integrates business objectives with social causes, thus simultaneously satisfying usual consumer needs and moral considerations to support social campaigns. As cause-related marketing (CRM) becomes more prevalent, companies will need to be more effective and efficient in launching cause-related marketing campaigns. Simply having a cause-related campaign was once sufficient to distinguish a company; increasing competitiveness in this arena means that campaigns have to be more distinctive and pertinent to successfully gain a position against competitors. While numerous studies have identified factors that influence consumer intention to purchase cause-related products, just few of them have examined moderating influences. Therefore, this study sought to identify factors that moderated the influence of personal characteristics on the intention to purchase cause-related products. Data were obtained via online surveys from 393 English speaking Lithuanian students. Results confirmed that altruism, materialism and individualism have positive direct relationships with the intention to purchase cause-related products; product type and guilt did not have a moderating effect on those relationships, but cause involvement is an important moderator. These findings contribute to the theory of cause-related marketing by identifying moderators as being a specific type of personal characteristic (e.g., cause-involvement) and ruling out others (e.g., guilt), or product type. Furthermore, these finding provide marketing managers insights for planning and positioning cause-related marketing campaigns by showing what factors amplify the effects of altruism, materialism and individualism in this context.