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International Journal of Psychological Research

Print version ISSN 2011-2084

int.j.psychol.res. vol.9 no.1 Medellín Jan./June 2016


Community Strategic Relationship and Marketing to Foster the Development of Communities and the Sustainability of Organizations

Relación entre estrategias comunitarias y mercadeo para fomentar el desarrollo de las comunidades y su sostenibilidad en las Organizaciones

Fernando Juáreza,*

a Escuela de Administración, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia.
* Corresponding author: Fernando Juárez, Escuela de Administración, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia. Email address:

Article history: Received: 15-08-2015 Revised: 29-11-2015 Accepted: 01-12-2015


The purpose of this study was to define community strategic relationship and marketing (CSRM) as a relevant tool to foster the development of communities and the sustainability of organizations. The method was rationalist, theoretical, and conceptual; it comprised the analysis of a propositional structure. Articulated propositions provided a framework for analysis, discussion, and conclusions. After giving a definition of CSRM, several analyses were conducted that determined the uniqueness and usefulness of this approach. These analyses were: 1) the usefulness of the community concepts and strategies in CSRM, 2) the existence of a community approach to different strategic areas or marketing, and 3) the relevance of the use of community concepts and strategies to foster the development of communities and the sustainability of organizations. The conclusion was that CSRM and the use of these concepts and strategies have the potential to be a fruitful research and strategic approach in marketing and in all of organization activities.

Key words: marketing, community, relationship, development, strategy, business sustainability.


El propósito de este estudio fue definir la relación estratégica communitaria y el marketing (RECM) como una herramiento relevante para promover el desarrollo de las comunidades y la perdurabilidad de las organizaciones. El método utilizado fue racionalista, teórico, y conceptual, comprendiendo una estructura de análisis de proposiciones. Las proposiciones enunciadas proporcionaron un marco para el análisis la discusión y las conclusiones. En primer lugar, se proporcionó una definición de RECM y posteriormente se realizaron diferentes análisis los cuales determinaron la utilidad y singularidad de este enfoque. Los análisis fueron: 1) La utilidad de los conceptos y estrategias comunitarias en RECM 2) La existencia de un enfoque de comunidad en diferentes áreas y marketing, y 3) La relevancia del uso de los conceptos y estrategias comunitarias para promover el desarrollo de las comunidades y la perdurabilidad de las organizaciones. La conclusión fue que el uso de RECM y estos conceptos y estrategias tienen el potencial de ser un fructífero enfoque estratégico en marketing y en todas las actividades de la organización.

Palabras clave: marketing, comunidad, relación, desarrollo, estrategia, perdurabilidad empresarial.


There is a growing interest in introducing the concept of community into corporate operations and language. Globalization and international markets require an understanding of how to conduct interactions with different communities. This type of relationship with the communities is not only the result of a social and humanistic interest in the state of the community development and social problems, but also a viewpoint that supports the corporation-community strategic link.

Other concepts that relate to a corporation-community relationship are social responsibility (Kakabadse, Rozuel, & Lee-Davies, 2005; Korhonen, 2002), community-corporation involvement (Burke, 1999), social marketing (Whitcombe, 2009), social programs (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000a, 2000b), and shared value (Porter, & Kramer, 2011).

In the same sense, another topic that leads to a link with the community is relationship marketing, which is one of the latest developments in marketing. It consists of the activities of attraction, construction, and maintenance of the relationships with clients (Berry, 2002; Payne, & Frow, 2006) and it considers the human dimension to be crucial (Constantinides, 2006). Relationship marketing focuses on creating emotional bonds with customers to increase their brand loyalty. The orientation is individualistic, but there are several issues regarding the types of relationships which deserve attention and result in community strategies.

Relationship marketing is of great importance, but it has to confront the impossibility of having a relationship that goes further than a social, commercial relation with each customer (Juárez, 2011). In this sense, the emotional bonds to attain in relationship marketing are no more than pecuniary-prescriptive emotions. However, trust, vision, dreams, satisfaction, and loyalty, among other aspects (Payne, & Frow, 2006; Theron, & Terblanche, 2010; Tzokas, Saren, & Kyziridis, 2001 ; Venetis, & Ghauri, 2004), which are the goals of relationship marketing, create bonds that endure over time and result in long-lasting relationships between corporations and communities.

The creation of bonds with communities has an impact on corporate sustainability, which is a mainstream issue in business strategy. Sustainability arises from many business topics, such as sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder theory, and corporate accountability theory (Wilson, 2003). The idea of sustainability also implies a long-term orientation (Beckmann, Hielscher, & Pies, 2014).

The sustainability of an organization relates to environmental issues (Aragon, 2013) and places. It is not only about specific issues (ValliSová, & Dvoráková, 2014; Epstein, & Rejc, 2014) or business long-term performance (Sayem, 2012), but also social goals and sustainable development (Wilson, 2003; Müller, & Pfleger, 2014). However, there are many issues related to its implementation (Tollin, & Vej, 2012), management (Ahlrichs, 2012), or integration with the business strategy.

Sometimes a new business model and professionalism guarantee the sustainability of the enterprise (Aho, 2013). Marketing can also help to relate the ecocentric view of sustainability with the company strategy (Borland, & Lindgreen, 2013) based on the concept of shared value (Urquhart, & Kuznetsova, 2014). This concept promotes strategies to include the community into the corporate operations.

All of the above show that the organizational context includes many community-relevant aspects. The operations of a company regarding sustainability focus on the long term, but, in some way, leaning on community. Accordingly, the organization must enter into a genuine relationship with the community and the environment. Organizations should have a relationship with places and people (Aragon, 2013) and, within a holistic management approach, showing an interest in the community initiatives will help to reach organizational excellence (Blaga, 2013). Sustainability also consists of models of excellence (Asif, Searcy, Garvare, & Ahmad, 2011).

In accordance with these ideas, the concept of sustainability implies the community, with a link connecting the organizational goals with those of the stakeholders.

Moreover, the development of the community also relates to the sustainability of the organizations. It has to do with economic growth, environmental protection, social equity (Wilson, 2003), and financial institutions that support community development by promoting the access to financial services (Wilson, 2012), among other actions. They are contributions to the sustainability of the firms.

However, the development community narrative changes, and issues related to education, power, and communities of practice are acquiring more influence in the decision-making process (McArdle, & Mansfield, 2013), so the actions aimed at community development must involve rigorous procedures. Regarding organizations, the central issues can relate to topics such as consumer and community capacity, community partnerships, or the influence and linkage of sectors and resources (Lauckner, Paterson, & Krupa, 2012). Therefore, the community approach requires more coordinated actions.

The promotion of community development demands a real presence of the organizations. It is important to have some skills such as understanding everybody's position, empowering, self-renewal, moral support, partnership/coalition, management and planning, and creation of hope (Weyers, 2011). Other actions aimed to develop the community are social capital (Onyx, & Leonard, 2010), leadership (Harmon, & Schafft, 2009), and financial help to improve capabilities by education programs (Maruyama, 2009; Sauer, 2013).

Many of these skills or actions are community-relationship strategies, and, in this way, good relationship organizational practices with groups might constitute development policies. Moreover, when the companies render accountability for communities, more cooperation they have from these communities (Handley, & Howell-Moroney, 2010).

On the other hand, the relationship between the organization and the community can be mistaken for a social contract. In this contract, everyone, but mainly the organization, is committed to perform some actions for the benefit of the community. Despite the worthiness of this approach, it misses the integration of the organization into the community, which is a relevant issue when companies try to enter a relationship with a community.

Based on the above, the community strategic relationship among organizations and their environment and marketing, proposes that it would be worthy to use community strategies within this relationship (Juárez, 2011). This approach would benefit from the different marketing tools and create long-lasting emotional bonds with a large number of individuals. The goal of this strategy is the development of the community and the sustainability of the corporation, and it consists in the use of community concepts and strategies along with marketing strategy.


The purpose of the study was to analyze the usefulness of community strategic relationship and marketing (CSRM) as a concept, method, and tool. This approach uses community concepts and strategies to foster the development of the communities and the sustainability of the organizations.

The analysis used a theoretical, conceptual viewpoint and a rational, analytical method. The analysis involved an explicative logic, identifying relations, differences, and links among concepts. It also provided some cause-effect type interpretations, with CSRM as the leading cause of changes.

The theoretical analysis used a structure by stating and testing some propositions (see Yin, 1981; 1989). Following the structure of logical propositions and the associated explanations is helpful in guiding the analysis and discussion. However, it is not intended to force the discussion into an empirical design, only to lean on a series of propositions.

According to this theoretical-conceptual approach, the analysis starts with three propositions:

    1. Community concepts and strategies are appropriate to use in CSRM.

    2. The community approach exists in different strategic areas and marketing in the organizations, but they do not correctly use community concepts and strategies.

    3. The use of community concepts and strategies would lead to a more efficient marketing solution, community development, and sustainability of the organizations.

The following analysis discusses these three propositions.


3.1 A definition of CSRM.

In a previous paper, the strategic relationship of organizations with their environment and marketing was briefly explained (Juárez, 2014); this concept is the same as CSRM. Also, in that paper, a concise description of the relationship marketing limitations along with the differences between the relationship of the organizations with their environment and marketing and other related concepts were provided. However, a more proper conceptual definition is needed.

A definition of CSRM is as follows: It is a relationship comprising community concepts and strategies, along with marketing methods, in which organizations address communities of strategic interest in order to promote the development of the communities and organizations themselves.

In this approach, organizations must strongly believe that the development of communities is also their own development. In other words, an organization develops as long as the community develops too.

This definition has some issues of interest, such as:

    a) CSRM is a strategic relationship - i.e. it is not corporate social responsibility, and it does not intend to provide humanitarian help or assistance to communities because there are other organization activities that do that. The organizations hold their identity and responsibilities as social enterprises, but in order to be effective, CSRM needs to have a distinctive definition.

    b) CSRM has a great confidence in the capabilities and potential for development that communities and organizations have. In this sense, CSRM focuses more on these capabilities and potentials than on the deficits and vulnerabilities. Organization strategies, tactics, and operations aim at positive characteristics, even when they are trying to eradicate deprivation conditions.

    c) Organizations firmly believe that they are members of the communities and not external agents. It is common to see the community as the arena where companies perform their operations; however, communities are more than just a place to provide/obtain products or services. They are the place where organizations share a life.

    d) The destiny of the corporation links to that of the communities; development is a community concept and not the result of an individualistic action. The sustainability of the organization is not possible when the actions are decontextualized; in addition, when the quality of life of the individuals in a community improves, they will be in better conditions to interact with the organization.

    e) There must be a concept, or several concepts, of community and community strategy in the company operations to guarantee the proper application of CSRM. In the absence of these formal or informal but accepted descriptions, the language of the community in the organization discourse becomes trivial and utilitarian.

If a company wants to enter a community, it must identify useful community concepts and strategies for that particular context and act in accordance. Therefore, companies must have a repertoire of concepts and strategies that fit every community with which they relate.

Based on the definition and issues above, the provided definition can be comprehensive enough to include all the activities of the organization. Thus, the community view is part of the company strategy; it is not foreign to the operations of the company.

In what follows, the definition and principles of CSRM will be analyzed and compared to other concepts, and the three propositions previously stated will be analyzed.

3.2. Analyzing the propositions.

This section comprises an analysis of the three propositions stated in the problem formulation. The analysis is based on related literature and a conceptual and logical discussion.

3.2.1 Community concepts and strategies are appropriate to use in CSRM.

CSRM must use the community concepts and strategies to be congruent with its definition. Therefore, the application of CSRM needs a definition of community or a description of the community strategies. Community concepts.

A community is a socio-geographic ecosystem and historical group with interactions, networks, groups, and subgroups (Cieza, 2010; Engestrom, 2004, p. 6). All these groups have the same objective as a community (Hartley, 2007). Besides, the community comprises affection, the commitment of all of its members to values and norms, and the development of symbolic processes, such as meanings and culture (Etzioni, 1996).

Other characteristics related to communities are achievement, aggression, optimism, hard work, government, competitiveness, risk, uncertainty avoidance, individualism or collectivism, power distance, control of the environment, and equity (O'Grady, & Lane, 1996).

All of the above mean that a community is not merely a geographical location but an ecosystem that encompasses many objective and subjective characteristics. Organizations cannot address them with just a focus on infrastructure or economic issues.

Moreover, companies can not confuse the use of networks in the community to maintain their legal or social status with a community focus. The former is part of the strategic social activities of the companies, whereas the latter is a real interest in the development of the community, and both require attention.

Community is an appropriate term to use in business language and the world; it is already in many business activities. Communities of small enterprises and productive groups try to enter the global markets (Rodríguez, 2014). They reorganize in other countries (Omeje, & Mwangi, 2014), develop more efficient products or services at a small scale (Clark, 2015), and render services to communities of people (Myran, 2013) or an appropriate support (Hallak, Brown, & Lindsay, 2013), but most of all they try to be viable (Bates, & Robb, 2014).

Accordingly, an idea and understanding of the community exist in the business world. However, on many occasions, this concept involves some helpless attribution to the community or a reference to the struggles that the community of small businesses has to go through when trying to survive.

In this sense, the communities addressed by CSRM are numerous; they go from very small communities, located where the company is operating, to large national or international communities. Nevertheless, all of them are, in the same sense, communities, and they possess all the complex characteristics that communities have. Community strategies.

Strategies are another important issue in CSRM. It demands that organizations make proper use of the community actions, selecting and using the one that meets their requirements and those of the community. If the company is a real member of the community, both requirements will be nearly the same.

Many strategies are available to address the community (Juárez, 2011; Juárez, & Chacón, 2013a, 2013b). Most of them come from the social, health, and community fields (Minkler, Wallerstein, & Wilson, 2008). Besides, marketing is not foreign to community concepts; for example, they are widely used on the Internet (see Chaston, & Mangles, 2001).

The primary community strategies are listed in Juárez (2011) and Juárez y Chacón (2013a, 2013b). They are community development; critical awareness and reflection; building community identity; political and legislative actions; culturally relevant practice; spontaneous associations of neighbors, colleagues, or groups with a particular interest in a topic; leadership in communities; empowerment; and critical reflection (Juárez, 2011). Additionally, there are grassroots organizations (Gundelach, 1982), coalitions (Butterfoss, Goodman, & Wandersman, 1993), coalitions with spontaneous union, joitn community-based organizations (Feighery, & Rogers, 1989), and research on quality of life issues (Yanos, Rosenfield, & Horwitz, 2001), which are also community strategies.

Other types of community strategies are community development and building, encouraging communications and expressing desires, and community development programs by which the members of the community participate in planning and sharing information (Zepke, & Leach, 2006).

In addition, there are community development projects to address standards of living, culture, history, institutions, environment, government, economics, and technology (Anderson, Scrimshaw, Fullilove, Fielding, & Task Force on Community Preventive Services, 2003). Also, there are learning community, involvement of the individuals to explore opportunities and facilities, volunteering and community-based action (Holland, & Robinson, 2008), interactive practice community, reflection and meta-reflection, and communication and discussions (Barrett, Ballantyne, Harrison, & Temmerman, 2009).

Finally, among other topics of community strategies, there are working communities with volunteer programs to grow professionally (Holland, & Robinson, 2008), development of social capital, relationship building, awareness, trust, reciprocity, cooperation (Kilpatrick, Field, & Falk, 2003), and a particular use of empowerment and critical reflection, which is helpful in understanding and coping with real-life conditions (Pearlin, Schieman, Fazio, & Meersman, 2005).

Given the number of community strategies, it is not surprising that differences exist not only between regions or countries but also between small communities with distinctive psycho-cultural characteristics. These strategies were created to address many different conditions, so those differences exist in the communities.

Moreover, marketing usually encompasses short runs, many models, and changes (Calantone, Drõge, & Vickery, 2002), which is consistent with all of the strategies mentioned above. In this sense, CSRM encourages the use of multiple adapting community strategies, along with the many forms and tools that marketing has. After the identification of a proper strategy for a community, the implementation and results will depend on how much it fits the community.

The community demands concrete forms of interactions creating a useful relationship between corporations and the community. It is impossible to cooperate with a community without knowing the type of community it is. For these reasons, community concepts and strategies are needed, and they are appropriate to use in the CSRM approach.

3.2.2 The community approach exists in different strategic areas and marketing in the organizations, but they do not correctly use community concepts and strategies.

Some issues related to community, in a programmatic but very intuitive way, are: a) corporate social responsibility, b) community-corporation involvement, c) social and community marketing, and e) shared value, among others. They are analyzed in the following paragraphs. Corporate social responsibility and CSRM.

Corporate social responsibility was developed a long time ago (Bowen, 1953), and it consists in the idea that organizations have more responsibilities than their legal obligations (Simcic, & Belliu, 2001). Organizations must have relationships with many groups in society, such as the government, employees, communities, and others, in a socially responsible manner (Saeidi, Nazari, & Emami, 2014). Accordingly, they need to promote solidarity and a cooperative image across these groups and the population.

Despite the fact that social responsibility aims at the community, it is hard to see what the community is for a company in a particular location when conducting socially responsible actions. Moreover, the community can be the neighborhood surrounding the facilities of the organization or the entire country where the company is located. However, both of them lack a proper definition for the company, and even the viewpoint of corporate social responsibility does not require it.

Besides, on many occasions, in corporate social responsibility the concept of community involves characteristics of vulnerability and social and economic deprivation conditions. In this sense, companies come to fill some government gaps, and, therefore, governments could transfer their social responsibilities to companies (Kakabadse et al., 2005).

The most important issue is that corporate social responsibility does not stick to a concept of community. It seems not to need it, and therefore it does not use it.

On the contrary, CSRM is community-based, and identifying the community concept that fits a community is the starting point of the process. In this approach, horizontal cooperation substitutes the verticality of the corporate social responsibility; the community is not only helped out but also consulted, taken into account, and asked for participation in decision-making.

Finally, in CSRM the development of the community does not involve a previous deprivation, vulnerable conditions, or some deficit in the community, but takes the community to the highest possible performance and benefits at that moment.

Given these differences, it is also clear that corporate social responsibility does not use community concepts and strategies to support its actions for the community. It is a need-based approach, which results in benefits for the community. However, it lacks the analysis that social intervention in the community requires. On the contrary, conceptual analysis encompassing a concept of community and determining the requirements for proper community cooperation is mandatory in CSRM.

Adequately addressing the community requires designing actions that rely not only on infrastructure, employment, or deprivation relief, but also on empowerment, community, or community identity building. These would help to develop the community and the sustainability of the organization. Corporate community involvement and CSRM.

Corporate community involvement means that the organization has a greater commitment to the community than that of social responsibility. It is a relation between the company and the communities to promote programs of interest to both parties, involving impact, operations, and relationships with many groups in the community (Burke, 1999).

Corporate community involvement is taking a great role in marketing operations (Rochlin, & Christoffer, 2000), adding value to the firm (Rochlin, & Christoffer, 2000, p. 1). It is part of corporate-community investment, which also comprises discretionary philanthropy, community partnerships, and strategic community investments (International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2006, p. 6). Corporate-community investment is a business involvement with the community in which companies operate to promote social initiatives and meet needs (International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2006, p. 5).

In this sense, corporation-community involvement possesses many characteristics that corporate social responsibility has. It promotes the need-based approach and makes the community the objective of the corporative actions. However, the strategic component of the corporation-community involvement makes little difference to corporate social responsibility. In the former, the organization activities are not only a mode of helping the community but also a strategic design. It also admits a form of community partnership, mainly in the investment operations.

Corporation-community involvement is a step ahead to fully integrate the community into the business, but it still lacks opportunities to have the company as a member of the community or the community as part of the company core. The primary deficit is that it comes from an assistance viewpoint and not from a strategic viewpoint.

Development relies not only on economic conditions but also on cultural conditions and the belief system, which are much harder to change. Accordingly, the community concepts and strategies must be in the community actions of the organizations, within a strategic viewpoint that promotes long-lasting changes.

In the corporate community involvement, the community concept still has some naïve reminiscence of a utopic community. However, companies can adapt to this condition and manage to operate by creating value and benefits.

Nevertheless, corporate community involvement does not fully use the community concepts or strategies because of its particular approach. The identification of the community to address and the strategies that would result in the best possible benefits are a need.

CSRM aims to create long-lasting bonds with emotional content. The way to accomplish this is far from the utilitarian view and consists in taking part, as a member, in the community. To accomplish this, CSRM makes extensive use of the community concepts and strategies. Social and community marketing and CSRM.

Social and community marketing intends to foster sustainable behavior (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000b). The theory of social action helps in creating community brand (Jensen, Muñiz Jr., & Arnould, 2009). In social marketing, organizations also help in the social changes, promoting better lifestyles (Carrigan, Moraes, & Leek, 2011). Besides, welfare is a principal component in social marketing actions (Choi, Eldomiaty, & Kim, 2007) and aims to eliminate the barriers to social programs (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000a; 2000b).

Therefore, the interest in social welfare and better quality of life is a characteristic of social and community marketing. In addition, social and community marketing also intends to foster sustainable behavior by using community-based social operations and a psychological approach (McKenzie-Mohr, 2000b). Moreover, the use of images helps promote the community in a type of marketing (Burkhart-Kriesela, Cantrellb, Hodurc, Narjesd, & Vogte, 2014) that comprises a mixture of psychological and community concepts.

However, in these marketing orientations the analysis of the communities might end up looking for the operational elements and characteristics related to the purchasing intention of individuals.

That is what happens in virtual communities (Hoon, Hoon, & Kyung, 2009), where advertising aims to meet community needs (Natarajan, 2002). Marketing campaigns extensively use virtual communities, where connectivity is replacing the concept of community. Therefore, the old traditional marketing style is transferred to new ways of interaction. Segmentation by psychographics or socio-graphics, characteristics is now replaced by connectivity, mode of access, likes, or preferences in the web material. Social and community marketing is sensitive to these issues.

Nevertheless, there are still links among marketing, cultural attributes, leadership, community spirit, and economic development (McKee, Wall, & Luther, 1997). Furthermore, coalitions use community-based social marketing to promote policy change (Biroscak et al., 2014) and development.

Despite these efforts to include community concepts and strategies into social and community marketing, it still is uncommon. Social and community marketing, are in proper conditions to introduce community concepts and strategies; they do on some occasions, but without any proper foundations and not in a systematic manner. The expectations were that community marketing would make extensive use of the concepts and strategies of community in this field, but this seems to be more a consequence of the orientation of the researcher than a programmatic principle.

This is not the case in CSRM, where the community principles are a requirement. They include the identification of the community, in a profound sense, and application of the community strategies. This is a difference from social and community marketing.

Moreover, CSRM has an orientation to every topic related to marketing and not just welfare or social programs. Also, it tries to influence all aspects of the production or services process. For this purpose, a feedback circuit is continuously activated, and the community participates in the core business of the organization. Shared value and CSRM.

Shared value is a strategic component that produces benefits in the communities and companies. The concept consists of the policies and operating practices that enhance company competitiveness and advance the socio-economic conditions of the communities (Porter, & Kramer, 2011). Shared value creation focuses on identifying and expanding the connections between social and economic progress.

This concept assumes a simultaneously societal and economic growth by companies reconceiving products and markets, improving productivity, and promoting local cluster development at the same time to their own benefit (Porter, & Kramer, 2011). However, it is not entirely incorporated into a comprehensive analytical framework (Daniel, & Sojamo, 2012).

Shared value tries to combine the benefits for the company with attention to the needs of the community. In this sense, it focuses on the needs in the same manner as previous approaches and concepts, such as social responsibility or corporate community involvement, but it also focuses on the market needs. It is a type of administrative action that has an impact on the value chain. Additionally, it aims at the competitiveness of the company but is reconciled with local cluster development.

However, this is not surprising, as clusters are essential in the new economics of competition (Porter, 1998). So this approach is an extension of the competitive view, but with a greater use of local resources. At the same time, the impact of the creation of shared value in the value chain consists of a redesigning of the operations of the company for a better use of the resources. Internalizing externalities is costly to companies, so they have to create new methods to reduce additional costs.

The idea of shared value does not imply a concept of community or a community strategy; it is a firm belief in the capacities of the organizations to promote socio-economic development while growing. No doubt, it is a significant improvement in the social role of companies in the communities, but it is not a reflection of the type of community where it is or the community strategy to apply.

The community provides a kind of continuous feedback on the operations of the company, but strategies are mainly business agendas.

On the contrary, the CSRM proposal starts identifying the position of the company in the community, for which it is necessary to define the type of community, goals, and community strategies. The difference with shared value also relies on the fact that CSRM does not put an emphasis on the competitive view. Competition is important, but community is not at the service of the competition; both the company and the community determine goals.

3.2.3. The use of community concepts and strategies would lead to a more efficient marketing solution, community development, and sustainability of the organizations.

Some arguments support the view that the use of community concepts and strategies would lead to more effective marketing solutions, community development, and sustainability of the organizations, and that CSRM leads to a proper application of this principle.

First, it is not possible to have a relationship with a community without knowing the type of community it is.

Second, it is not feasible to create solutions for a community without knowing the real problems (not just the needs) it has; this requires becoming a member of that community.

Third, it is not possible to get into a community or become a member of that community without using tools focused on community actions.

Finally, to overcome these barriers, the community concepts and strategies are needed for marketing solutions and the relationship of the organizations with the community.

Thus, coordinated actions need developing; these activities also require new arguments and logic. An integrative logic would overcome the contradictions that sometimes exist between the community and the organizational narratives (Gao, & Bansal, 2013). Other logics are available to provide a sort of integration.

Mostly, the narratives of sustainability, community development, and CSRM share some community language. This intersection allows providing practical solutions.

There are examples showing that the community concepts and strategies are crucial to foster sustainability and community development: community participation is essential to keeping some businesses running in small communities (Amberg, 2010), customers are also considered a community (Pombriant, 2010), and ethnographic methods allow recognizing that social capital is essential to micro-small business (Vargas-Hernández, 2010).

Moreover, sustainability plays a significant role among social marketers (Brennan, & Binney, 2008), and there are cross-cultural issues when trying to educate in marketing tools (Pentina, & Guilloux, 2010). Besides, relationship marketing assumes the concept of "social" along with the notion of sustainability when using social portals (Wereda, & Wozniak, 2013).

Furthermore, the community context is important in organizational decision-making and sustainability (Selem, 2011); the introduction of marketing into the strategy of the business includes societal and relational aspects (Vágási, 2004), and there is an association between the decline of the enterprise to that of the community (Armando, Alfonso, & Benavides, 2011). Additionally, anthropological issues are close to the concept of sustainability (Veteto, & Lockyer, 2008).

All of these arguments show the many ways that the topics of community are intertwined with those of sustainability and development, addressing different environments, contexts, and activities. The relationships of the organizations with the communities take place in several contexts. This phenomenon allows using the concept of polycontexturality (Günther, 1979) or the existence of different contexts where some definitions, strategies, and relations are valid while in others they are not and need changing.

Moreover, the experience of marketing goes further than just designing, selling the product, and even creating emotional bonds with the customer. It involves entrepreneurship, distribution channels and networks, decision-making, community development, pricing strategies, sustainability, an adaptive process to social conditions, integrating marketing tools, brand building, etc.

Consequently, many communities have a relationship with the organization, and they deserve differential attention. Therefore, companies must match their goals with social media and markets by social media tactics and actions (Fong, 2013). They have to use geographic targeting to create a sense of belonging and to build a community (Minsker, 2014). Likewise, the associated interventions into social marketing will have to take into account the community trends (Stead, Hastings, & McDermott, 2007), the community interactions to create products (Brent, 2010), the community-organizations interactions (Wehling, 1996), and the community of production planning (Upasani, & Uzsoy, 2008). Also, the citizens are more likely to value companies that devote resources to significant causes for them (Gupta, & Pirsch, 2006).

In the same form, a process such as corporate-government interaction takes into account national differences (Sardinha, Ribeiro, & Alves, 2014). Other issues such as regional differences in resilience (a real community concept in its origin) (Svoboda, & Klemento, 2014) and innovation depending on the type of economy (i.e. transitive economy) (Korableva, & Litun, 2014) are linked to social aspects. Consequently, all of these processes connect with community concepts and strategies. Organizations must create deeper bonds with the groups with which they relate.

All of these arguments and researches support the idea of the relevance of CSRM to foster the community development and sustainability of the organization.


Based on the previous discussion of the three stated propositions, it is concluded that the CSRM approach could be of interest to both corporations and communities.

However, to be truly effective, it requires a rigorous application of the principles and strategies of the community actions intertwined with marketing tools and corporation strategy, which is in fact the essence of CSRM.


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