Cause-Related Marketing and Millennials: Impact of Product Type and Donation Style: An Abstract
The goal of the current study was to explore the impact of CRM on Millennials’ overall perceptions of companies and likelihood of purchasing from a company and if this is impacted by the type of product and the donation style used in the campaign. The average number of CRM campaigns accurately identified was low (H1), with 76.2% of the sample identifying half or fewer of the six campaigns correctly and no participants correctly identifying all six. A regression examining the impact of hours spent per week on social media on number of correctly identified CRM campaigns revealed a significant relationship (B = 0.190, F = 4.494, p = 0.030), indicating that for every additional five hours per week spent on social media, an individual can be expected to correctly identify one additional CRM campaign. The most-recognized campaign was TOMS, which has the purest “one-for-one” style of CRM of all the campaigns examined.
The effect of CRM on favorability and purchase likelihood (H2) varied by product. Laptops had no significant effect on favorability or purchase likelihood. For both hats and water, there was a strong effect of CRM on favorability (p < 0.001); however, post hoc analysis revealed that while there were significant differences between non-CRM and both traditional and one-for-one CRM, there was no difference between traditional and one-for-one CRM. For purchase likelihood of hats and water, hats followed the same pattern of statistical significance overall (p < 0.001), but post hoc differences were only found between non-CRM and both traditional and one-for-one CRM. For water, the statistical significance (p = 0.003) was found post hoc to be related to the difference between one-for-one and non-CRM, with traditional CRM differing neither from non-CRM nor one for one. For the restaurant scenario, there was a significant finding for favorability (p = 0.012), driven by a post hoc difference between non-CRM and one for one. For purchase likelihood, the significant difference (p = 0.019) was driven by post hoc differences when comparing one for one with both non-CRM and traditional CRM. Thus, in terms of perceived favorability of the company, CRM does appear to affect Millennials’ perceptions of the company behind the campaign. While there was no impact for the laptop scenario, for the remaining three items, CRM was significantly associated with more favorable views. For one of those three (restaurant), however, only the one-for-one campaign was associated with increased favorability. Increased favorability though did not always translate into increased likelihood of purchase. When CRM did appear to make a difference in purchase likelihood, one for one was generally superior to traditional CRM. The results suggest that Millennials’ purchases of food may be particularly susceptible to a CRM strategy.