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Cause Related Marketing: Developing a Tripartite Approach with BMW

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In today's fiercely competitive world, cause related marketing (CRM) plays an important role in business. It is seen as an effective way to build brands, create product awareness, revitalize corporate values and make corporate social responsibility and community involvement visible. It has proven to be an important marketing tool and offers valuable contributions in addressing corporate needs in the context of societal issues and the related needs of charities and causes. CRM is implemented by juxtaposing the strategic objectives of a business with traditional marketing communication tools in association with the needs and objectives of a specific charity or social cause. In fact, CRM is among the most popular forms of corporate giving. It provides the means to use the power of a brand to publicly demonstrate a firm's commitment in addressing some (or a) social issues of the day while simultaneously seeking to achieve marketing and corporate objectives such as new product introduction, increasing sales or building reputation within a local or national market. Each of these may be taken as a general or specific objective in implementing CRM in particular contextual circumstances. Thus, outcomes underpin CRM's application specifically in a given geographic brand associated context, while general outcomes underpin CRM's application in wider and potentially different brand or indeed geographic circumstances. This paper discusses the efforts of BMW (Cyprus) in working toward the above objectives and highlights a partnership with the Cyprus Football Association in supporting a charitable organization in the fight against drug addiction while creating product and brand awareness regarding the 320i model in the national market that is, a specific contextual applicatory analysis. The outcomes show that CRM can be a very effective way of enabling a firm and its employees to display and live up to their corporate values (Chong; Kitchen and Schultz) and communicate these to key stakeholder groups such as customers, the local community and society at large. Thus, BMW (Cyprus) successfully used CRM as a strategy and a promotional tactic to underpin brand awareness and develop a new product, while simultaneously enhancing corporate reputation by highlighting its cultural values.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Marketing Department, School of Business Administration, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus 2: Faculty of Business, Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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