Cause-related marketing in international business: what works and what does not?

Demetris Vrontis*, Alkis Thrassou, Michael Christofi, Riad Shams, Michael R. Czinkota

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose:                                                                                                          The purpose of this paper is to investigate the irrevocable role of cause-related marketing (CRM) and its research imperative, exploring its contemporary insights in and across international markets, toward scholarly and executive application. 

Design/methodology/approach:                                                                     This research is theoretical and it compiles and interrelates, in a multiperspective fashion, significant extant works in the field; focusing on how established and emergent variables and constructs can be leveraged, in order to develop insights into what does and does not work in international CRM. 

Findings:                                                                                                        Extant works on international CRM still present significant gaps pertaining to key questions. Furthermore, true understanding of CRM stems from comprehending consumers, both individually and collectively; and both their underlying and contextual motivators, factors and forces. This calls for a multiperspective and cross-disciplinary approach to CRM to that weaves in contextual (sociocultural, etc.) elements to the equation. 

Research limitations/implications:                                                          Limitations naturally pertain to the research's theoretical nature that requires empirical testing. 

Practical implications:                                                                                     CRM offers consumers both the means and the ends of acquiring their target core value benefits, additionally or peripherally to their core purchase purpose; potentially making the difference between business/brand success and failure. 

Social implications:                                                                                   Through CRM, the contemporary consumer seeks product value benefits that transcend quality and functionality (etc.), to engulf abstract and intangible values pertaining to social, ethical, self-image and self-actualization factors. 

Originality/value:                                                                                             The comprehensive review, contextual elucidations and cross-disciplinary perspectives of this paper originally present the scope, depth, complexity and gaps of the subject, and pave the way for the research that still needs to ensue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2020


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