The formation of perceived marketer motives in corporate societal marketing
Since the early days of corporate societal marketing, managers and researchers alike have considered perceived marketer motives as a key factor in eliciting positive consumer response. However, little is known as to how the perception of marketer motives is formed. This dissertation research looks into a number of factors that may influence the process of perceived marketer motives formation. In particular, the roles of corporate societal marketing type, cognitive capacity, ad skepticism, and cause-involvement are examined. In addition, the underlying structure of perceived marketer motives is also explored. The results showed that the effect of corporate societal marketing type on perceived marketer motives was not significant. Cognitive capacity did have a significant effect that subjects with unconstrained cognitive capacity perceived higher community-oriented motives than those with constrained cognitive capacity. The effect of ad skepticism was equivocal. Ad skepticism had a significant effect on perceived marketer motives in Study 1, but not in Study 2. The key methodological difference between the two studies is that ad skepticism was measured along with other constructs in Study 1 whereas it was measured two weeks prior to the lab experiment in Study 2. Cause-involvement had no significant effect on perceived marketer motives, although it did affect the subsequent consumer response. As for the structure of perceived marketer motives, data from both studies suggest that there are three dimensions: community-oriented motives, company-oriented motives, and manipulative motives. These three dimensions appeared to be independent from one another; each of them had unique effects on subsequent consumer response. Most notably, company-oriented motives had no significant effect on company evaluation, attitude toward the company, or purchase intent. As expected, community-oriented motives had positive effects on all three indicators of consumer response whereas manipulative motives had negative effects. Limitations in the current investigation are discussed and suggestions for future research are proposed.