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Comm 602 Research Proposal 11.28 Emily Kelechi-Kelly Final

Comm 602 Research Proposal 11.28 Emily Kelechi-Kelly Final

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Published by: Emily Kelechi Kelly on Oct 04, 2012
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Running head: RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1
How Do Cause Marketing Partnerships Construct Corporate Image?Emily J. Kelechi-KellyQueens UniversityDecember 5, 2011
 
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 2
 
AbstractCause-related marketing (CRM) initiatives and corporate social responsibility (CSR)are
increasingly popular as part of a corporation’s overall marketing strategy mix.
Authoethnography, a qualitative research methodology, is used to explore both positive andnegative results produced from cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibilityinitiatives, examining how these partnerships construct
a corporation’s image
. The study initiatesby presenting existing research findings to support both positive and negative results of nonprofit/corporate partnerships, serving as both the
study’s
researcher and participant. Using acritical approach, corporate motivation for entering a CRM/CSR relationship with a nonprofitorganization and the potential for detriment in this relationship is explored through contentanalysis. By systematically reviewing prior CRM/CSR research, latent content speaks to thenature of these initiatives, illustrating the benefits and drawbacks in entering a CRM/CSRpartnership. To conclude, I wish to supplement scholarly findings with personal experience incause-related marketing communications, illustrating factors that create mutual benefit in acause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility partnerships, facilitating balancebetween positive and potential negative outcomes, positioning both entities for a successful, notexploitative, partnership.
Keywords
: cause-related marketing, corporate social responsibility, corporate image.
 
 
CAUSE MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS CONSTRUCT CORPORATE IMAGE
3
 How Do Cause Marketing Partnerships Construct Corporate Image?Firms are increasingly engaging in cause-related marketing (CRM), the partnering of charities or social causes that, unlike corporate philanthropy, serve as part of a coordinatedmarketing plan or program. American Express is often credited with pioneering the concept of CRM in 1985 by linking card usage with support for the Statue of Liberty renovation (Yeo Jung& Wei-Na 2009), raising $1.7 million dollars within three months of implementation andboosting transaction activity by 28% (Higgins, 2002). CRM is now a strategy adopted byhundreds of firms, implemented across a breadth of consumer products and used to increase salesfor a wide variety of products from coffee to cars (Krishna & Rajan, 2009). A 2010 studyconducted by Cone Communications states alignment with a cause translates into purchasingnow more than ever before - forty-one percent of Americans say they have bought a productbecause it was associated with a cause or issue in the last year
 – 
doubling since initialmeasurement in 1993 (20%) (DaSilva, 2010, p.6).While CRM focuses more narrowly on a specific cause linked to the corporation as awhole or to a specific product of the firm (Krishna & Rajan, 2009), corporate socialresponsibility, or CSR, is an overarching term that covers corporate-level donations to nonprofits(e.g., the Metropolitan Opera), causes (e.g., breast cancer research), and corporate commitmentto the community and the environment (e.g., green products, pollution reduction, recycling,elimination of animal testing). With many experimental studies conclude that corporate social
responsibility (CSR) improves a company’s image and brand equity (
e.g., Brown & Dacin 1997,Hoeffler & Keller 2002), many moderators affect the creation of positive consumer perceptions,
including genuineness of the company’s motives
(Sen et al. 2006). Despite these studies

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