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Title: Cause related marketing in the UK: a comparative analysis of corporate behaviour in the financial and retail sectors
Author: Liu, Chih-Yao Gordon
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2008
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The purpose of cause-related marketing (CRM) is to publicise and capitalise on a firm's corporate social performance (CSP) to enhance its legitimacy. More specifically, CRM strategies focus on how firms should design their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies how and communicate the associated CSP in ways that will enhance a firm's reputation with its key stakeholders thereby improving long-run profitability and stakeholder relationships. Under the CRM perspective, corporate managers view CSR-related expenditures as investments tools. There successes are judged in relation to other potential investments that mayor may not be on the CSR agenda. The purpose of this research is to identify the CRM strategies used by UK firms operating in the finance and retail industries. It is primarily an empirical based project that identifies the motives and returns underlying CRM activities in two important sectors of the economy. The process oriented conceptual framework for CRM is developed and subsequently tested through both quantitative and qualitative methods. The purpose of this exercise is to gain an understanding of firms' CRM behavioural patterns and managers' underlying motives when making CRM related decisions. Simple statistics tests and semi-structured interviews are used to analyse the data. More concretely, T- tests are used to compare the means of corporate activities categorised into four types of CRM behaviours (duration of the campaign timeframe, geographic coverage, causes selection, and CRM strategies selection). This is followed by 116 semi- structured interviews with corporate and non-profit executives. The London Stock Exchange database is used as a sampling frame and the findings are presented in four empirical core chapters titled according to these four types of CRM behaviours. The primary fmding of this thesis posits that corporate managers design CRM strategies in order to demonstrate firm's legitimacy value using effective communication strategy. Since companies within the same industry are subject to more or less the same social expectations, we find that there are industry-wide similarities in the design of CRM strategies. Moreover, the thesis argues that different industries are subject to different stakeholder pressures thereby creating industry-specific CRM strategies. The analyses highlight some of these differences in the retail and financial services sector. Amongst these are the finding that i) organizational structures and the extent to which decision-making is centralised influences the type of causes and CRM strategies that are selected in the retail and financial services industries; ii) the trade-off between corporate demand for 'legitimacy' enhancing schemes and flexibility affects managers' decision regarding the duration of the campaign, iii) symbols and images are at the hearth of cause selection but these will differ substantially across sectors, iv) the industry-specific characteristics such as product types, management expertise and others affects managers' choice ofCRM strategies. This thesis explores corporate rationales and motives underlying managerial strategic decisions to invest in CRM-related activities. It offers academics and both corporate and non-profit managers insights about the role of CRM within an organisation. 3 ! I 11
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available