The Effects of Cause Importance on Consumers' Thoughts, Feelings and Purchase Intent
Cause importance influences the direction of organisations’ cause related marketing programmes (CRM), and causes which consumers regard as important, impact on their attitudes and buying behaviour. This study used a factorial experimental design with a sample population of 204 respondents, which were equally distributed across six experimental cells, to test the influence of cause importance upon consumer attitudes, within a cause related marketing context. The two independent variables in the study included (1) CRM presence (statement present or absent); (2) cause importance (social, non social, no specific cause at all). The dependent variables were the subjects’ responses in a questionnaire, assessing their attitudes, (cognitive, affective and conative attitude components), towards a particular product and a brand. Results indicated that respondents were more concerned about issues of a social nature and that CRM programmes which supported a social cause of high importance, had a more positive effect on consumer thoughts and feelings towards products and brands than a CRM message that supported a non-social cause of high importance. Results showed no substantial differences between cause importance and CRM presence with regards to purchase intent.
Keywords: Cause related marketing;, Cause importance;, Consumer thoughts;, Consumer feelings;, Purchase intent
Ms Marinda Engelbrecht
Doctoral student, University of Pretoria, University of Pretoria
She received the award for best student in the Masters programme at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Currently she is a doctoral candidate, delivered papers at national and international conferences and has published in subject related journals.
Prof Phillipus Jacobus Du Plessis
Head: Marketing Management, Marketing and Communication Department, University of Pretoria