The impact of societal marketing programs on customer attitudes toward corporate image in Thailand

Apisit, Chattananon (2003) The impact of societal marketing programs on customer attitudes toward corporate image in Thailand. Other thesis, University of Southern Queensland.


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[Abstract]: Corporations in the twenty-first century are increasingly concerned about managing societal issues in marketing to benefit key stakeholder interests, particularly customer groups. A number of industry surveys attest to the positive effects of societal marketing and its related concepts on consumer attitudes and behaviour throughout various countries. However, a scarcity of empirical research in this field still exists, especially in Thailand. Thus, this thesis addresses gaps in the literature by investigating the research problem: 'How does a societal marketing program influence the attitudes of Thai consumers in relation to corporate image?' Specific objectives this research program addresses are to: - develop a Thai model for societal marketing's impact on consumer's attitudes toward a corporate image; - gain better understanding of demographic factors, such as gender, age, educational level, income level and marital status, that also influence consumer attitudes toward corporate image; and - test the Thai model of societal marketing's impact on corporate image with data gathered using the Brand's Educational Summer Camp program on customer attitudes toward the image of Cerebos. The methodology used in this research comprises three distinct stages, firstly a review of existing literature, secondly exploratory studies consisting of in-depth interviews and focus groups and finally, a descriptive survey of the customers of Cerebos (Thailand) Limited which implemented the societal marketing program, namely Brand's Educational Summer Camp program. Following a review of related literature on societal marketing, corporate image and their related forms, three key gaps were identified. Firstly, that the extant literature empirically describing the impact of societal marketing on consumer attitudes regarding corporate image in the Thai context was relatively limited, with most of the existing explanatory models or theories lacking the empirical testing necessary to support them. Secondly, it was possible to distinguish a lack of studies conducted on demographic influences regarding corporate image. Finally, as most previous empirical studies in this field were initiated in the United States, there existed a lack of studies from different countries, particularly from Thailand. Based on results from the review of literature, three in-depth interviews and four focus groups were conducted to further identify and refine the model of the impact of societal marketing programs on customer attitudes regarding corporate image for the Thai context. The final and main stage of this thesis was a mail survey, completed by 1,153 Cerebos' customers achieving a 38.4 percent response rate. The data was analyzed by SPSS and LISREL using structural equation modeling, which measured the strengths of the variables and tested the structure of the model. A two-step approach was then applied to simplify analysis of the complete model. In summary, the findings of this research indicate that in the research context of Thailand, a societal marketing program and corporate marketing communications can create positive customer attitudes toward corporate image. Two specific demographic characteristics of respondents, educational level and marital status, show particular and significant impact on attitudes toward corporate image. Additionally, both feeling and belief components serve as important determinants of attitude toward corporate image, with a belief component indicating more important a role than a feeling component, for attitude formation in the Thai context. The theoretical implications of this research empirically support the theory that societal marketing has a positive effect on Thai consumers' attitudes toward corporate image. Additionally, that a Thai model of societal marketing's impact on customer's attitudes in relation to corporate image has been developed. Moreover, that the use of a multidisciplinary research approach and structural equation modeling in the research of societal marketing impact on corporate image, can now be supported. The practical implications of this research promote the provision of better information that will ensure corporate marketers application of societal marketing in order to differentiate themselves from competitors. Also, such results can be used as input to government policy makers to encourage the use of societal marketing programs by business enterprises to both benefit key stakeholder interests and establish alliances with non-profit organizations to engender the promotion of their social activities and concerns. In conclusion, future research was identified in three areas namely, delimitations of scope, then, a further testing and validation of scales and the model developed and finally, the continued improvement and refinement of the methodology used. Ultimately, future investigations should be extended to different societal marketing programs and strategies across different industries in the Thai context.

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Item Type: Thesis (Non-Research) (Other)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) (Pre-2008) thesis. The DBA as accredited from 1998 to 2007 was a professional doctorate with both coursework and research dissertation components.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:31
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: societal marketing programs, programmes, customer attitudes, corporate image, Thailand
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1505 Marketing > 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1505 Marketing > 150506 Marketing Theory

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