n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The effects of cause-related marketing and cause importance on consumers' attitudes towards products and brands




Social cause importance can affect the way consumers behave towards cause-related marketing (CRM) campaigns. This study investigated the effects of social cause importance, within a CRM context, upon persuasion communication effectiveness, which embodies consumer thoughts (cognitive attitude component), feelings (affective attitude component), and buying intent (conative attitude component). A 3 x 2 factorial experimental design, with either a CRM message or no CRM message, representing social, non-social, or no-cause-importance conditions, yielded six experimental cells with a total of 204 respondents. Results indicated that crime prevention in South Africa was the social cause which respondents were the most concerned about, but that not all social causes were equally important to different consumer groups within a South African context. Other findings suggested significant main and interaction effects for CRM presence and social cause importance across the cognitive and affective attitude components. However, the conative attitude component or purchase intent was not substantially different for any of the experimental groups.


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