Cause Marketing Effectiveness and the Moderating Role of Price Discounts

Journal of Marketing, Vol. 78 (November 2014), 120-142

23 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2014 Last revised: 30 Dec 2016

See all articles by Michelle Andrews

Michelle Andrews

Emory University

Xueming Luo

Temple University

Zheng Fang

Sichuan University - Business School

Jaakko Aspara

Hanken School of Economics; Aalto University School of Business (formerly known as Helsinki School of Economics)

Date Written: June 1, 2014

Abstract

Can cause marketing (CM) be effective? If so, do price discounts moderate CM effectiveness? Despite the prevalence of linking product sales with donations to charity, field evidence of CM effectiveness is lacking. This is of particular concern for managers who wonder whether the findings of laboratory experiments extend to actual consumer purchases. Based on large-scale randomized field experiments with over 17,000 consumers, this research documents that CM can significantly increase consumer purchases. Interestingly, the answer to the second question is more complicated. Under the moderating role of price discounts, the impact of CM on sales purchases may follow an inverted-U relationship: strongest when price discounts are moderate, rather than deep or absent. Follow-up lab experiments reveal that consumers’ warm-glow good feelings from CM represent the underlying process. These findings provide novel insights into the boundary conditions and mechanisms of the sales impact of CM for researchers and managers alike.

Keywords: Cause Marketing, Social Responsibility, Warm-Glow, Discounts, Field Experiment

Suggested Citation

Andrews, Michelle and Luo, Xueming and Fang, Zheng and Aspara, Jaakko, Cause Marketing Effectiveness and the Moderating Role of Price Discounts (June 1, 2014). Journal of Marketing, Vol. 78 (November 2014), 120-142. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2460754

Michelle Andrews

Emory University ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States

Xueming Luo (Contact Author)

Temple University ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.fox.temple.edu/mcm_people/xueming-luo/

Zheng Fang

Sichuan University - Business School ( email )

China

Jaakko Aspara

Hanken School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 479
Helsinki, Helsinki 00101
Finland

Aalto University School of Business (formerly known as Helsinki School of Economics) ( email )

P.O. Box 21230
Helsinki, 00076
Finland

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