To dare or not to dare – taking a stand in marketing campaigns - How companies’ decisions to take a public standpoint in social issues affect consumers’ perceptions and behaviour
Based on an interest to contribute to further understanding of the area of CSR marketing the purpose of this article is to explore the perceptions and effects of marketing where companies take a public standpoint in social issues. Through analysis of millennials’ perceptions and the outcomes of this type of marketing the study aims to increase the knowledge of how business as well as society are influenced. In order to gain knowledge in the area and be able to answer the research question, a qualitative study was conducted. The study included netnographic observations of companies’ advertisements and communication on social platforms. In addition, ten interviews were carried out with receivers of the marketing type explored, representing the millennial generation, in order to get their perspective of the phenomena. The findings led to the insight that multiple various perceptions and effects exist. Mixed emotions toward this type of marketing were evident, both between different consumers and on an individual level. The influence of the three Cs, the type of company, the consumer and the specific cause, as well as the interplay between them, was closely linked with the mixed emotions. The study further presents how both social and business impact can be seen as a result of this type of marketing, where companies are suggested to be important social actors through contributing with additional awareness and new forms of social issues communication. Simultaneously, influence on consumers' attitude and behaviour can result in both positive and negative effects on business outcomes. Further, a long-term perspective and a bigger picture of the CSR initiative is identified as important both on the business and societal level. In summary, it can be seen as a complex phenomena, indicating a high risk when taking a public stand in social issues through marketing, with potential of both success and setbacks. The findings of the study contribute to insight of the consumer perspective within the studied area. Hence, the discoveries in this article are valuable for companies since they provide important knowledge in how to perform this marketing strategy in the most beneficial way.
MSc in Marketing and Consumption
Pagoldh, Rebecca Lindén
Corporate social responsibility
Master Degree Project