Marketing of Corporate Responsibility Efforts

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Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Marketing of Corporate Responsibility Efforts

CSR has become both a strategic approach through which competitive advantages can be created as well as overall social benefits. Due to the increased awareness among conscious consumers of social and environmental issues, CSR-initiatives have now also become an effective strategic marketing approach that can improve the corporate image, corporate reputation and value of companies. Lii, Wu and Ding (2013) identify 3 types of CSR-initiatives in sustainable marketing that all have a positive effect on consumers' brand awareness and perceived credibility of campaigns:
1. Sponsorship: An investment paid to a property in the form of cash, people or for example equipment that in turn provides companies access to an exploitable commercial potential related to the property.
2. Philanthropy: This type of marketing refers to a donation in cash or in-kind to a social/charitable cause without expecting a return. The main reason to give such a donation is just to “do the right thing”. Although there are no (direct) commercial expectations, it is found that such donations are beneficial to organizations through the creation of positive attitudes towards the giving organization at consumers and the workforce.
3. Cause-related Marketing (CrM): This refers to the donation of a particular amount of money or a product or service offered to a non-profit organization or to a social cause. This can be an important strategy because many consumers believe that they have a duty to contribute to a charitable cause. In general, people have a positive attitude towards CrM. This type of sustainable marketing has a relatively weaker effect, because consumers need to buy a certain product/service while sponsorship and philanthropy do not require any effort.
Source: Lii, Y., Wu, K and M. Ding (2013) “Doing Good Does Good? Sustainable Marketing of CSR and Consumer Evaluations “Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management Vol.20 Iss.1 pp. 15-28

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