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Effects of cause-related marketing campaigns on consumer purchase behavior among French millennials: A regulatory focus approach

Judith Partouche (Paris School of Business, Paris, France)
Saeedeh Vessal (Paris School of Business, Paris, France)
Insaf Khelladi (ICD Business School, Paris, France)
Sylvaine Castellano (EM Normandie, Paris, France)
Georgia Sakka (University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 6 February 2020

Issue publication date: 3 December 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of cause-related marketing (CRM) campaigns on consumer purchase behavior among French millennials contrasted with their international counterparts. Based on the regulatory-focus theory, the influence of the types of arguments and products is tested on French millennials’ attitudes, intentions and behaviors in the context of CRM campaigns.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experimental studies among French millennials examine the effects of a CRM campaign vs non-CRM one on purchase behavior (study 1) through varying the formulation of the argument (promotion or prevention – study 2) and the nature of the advertised product (utilitarian or hedonic – study 3).

Findings

The results reveal French millennials’ favorable attitude and greater purchase intention for products carrying CRM messages, displaying similarities with American and Dutch millennials. When exposed to CRM advertising with promotion messages for hedonic products, French millennials, similarly to their South African and American counterparts, show greater purchase intentions, exhibiting cause sensitivity with hedonic products to reach aspirational goals.

Research limitations/implications

Inconsistent findings related to French millennials’ willingness to pay are linked to possible message formulation and product nature biases. The study contributes to the CRM literature by bridging regulatory focus and product type in a CRM campaign context, while contrasting millennials’ perceptions from diverse countries.

Practical implications

To improve CRM effectiveness toward millennials, firms must ensure the consistency between the causes, types of messages and products.

Social implications

CRM campaign efficiency is enhanced when promoted by brands, thereby increasing millennials’ engagement toward the causes.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to explore, in a single study, CRM campaign regulatory focus and product type among French millennials compared with their international counterparts.

Keywords

Citation

Partouche, J., Vessal, S., Khelladi, I., Castellano, S. and Sakka, G. (2020), "Effects of cause-related marketing campaigns on consumer purchase behavior among French millennials: A regulatory focus approach", International Marketing Review, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 923-943. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-12-2018-0348

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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