How To Effectively Market Energy Efficiency to Consumers
Most of us are aware that marketing greatly impacts the way consumers make decisions and ultimately make purchases or investments. Still, depending on the products or services you are attempting to market, the costs and complexity of executing a marketing campaign will vary depending on the product's marketability. Thus, if you are attempting to market energy efficiency as a package of services and products, then you need to focus on developing an in-depth marketing plan.
The Consumer Mindset
The biggest gap to breach is convincing people that they need your product. Truth be told, many consumers these days do not view energy efficiency as a total necessity and are not easily convinced into spending a part of their budget on something as abstract as home performance. Even though somewhere around $7 billion have been spent to create utility energy efficiency programs last year alone, the public at times is still unaware of its importance.
Sure, consumers are aware what energy efficiency does. Save energy, save money. But how much? If the best thing you can do is reference a vague cut in their utility bills, then it’s not going to keep a lot of people interested. Most people who have the budgets to focus on energy efficiency in a meaningful way do not have trouble with their utility bills. An alternative approach is to find emotional value behind someone wanting an energy efficient home, and market through that.
Customer education comes into play here, but still, remember that you need to focus on solving problems for your customers.
Health as a part of energy efficiency
If you want to talk about good ways to market products, then relying on the fact that home performance and energy efficiency go hand in hand. A healthier home is usually the result of the joint effort of these two home renovation investments. Air quality is one of the first things you notice, and these days there are more than a few families that would invest in a home with cleaner air, even more so if some of the family members have chronic breathing trouble. This is problem solving! You have found a marketing point that really means a lot to people, identifies a target audience that cares about your product, and improves the lives of your clients and their loved ones. By bringing value to their lives, they will repay you with loyalty.
Green living, attitude, and storytelling
A lot of times when we market energy efficiency, we tend to have that doomsayer attitude. We caution, guilt, and advise, which sounds a bit preachy. It’s not that the industry isn’t making any valid points, it usually is, but the problem is that raising awareness isn’t always a good sales tactic. It comes down to attitude and is why the way you tell your story is crucial. If you have to deliver a bunch of information that may potentially confuse or bore your audience, attempt to change your storytelling method to make it more approachable. Infographics are generally a good approach, animated video clips with good narration are even better, since they can really paint the picture and set an atmosphere that works better with your branding plan. Still, these are not the only options at your disposal, and every company has its own thing. Find a storytelling approach that works for you and you will notice that your customers react differently.
There is also the problem of having to compete with the green advertising trend where “technically green” products are being pushed as the genuine article. This means that if you want to market yourself as a green product, you need to put in a bit more effort to prove you are a legit option. Fortunately, energy efficiency is one of the key elements of green living and you have a lot to offer. Branding an entire company around the green aspect will show your customers that you are not just one of the thousands of companies who are attempting to ride the green wave. It will show that you’ve built your entire business model around this particular point. Unlike greenwashed products, you are not riding on just one particular green aspect of your product. You are bringing the real deal. Furthermore, you have the option to go for certifications and seals of approval that are independent and have credibility.
The Bigger Picture
Once we as an industry recognize that a shift in attitude to a more positive approach is needed, then and only then will we manage to make bigger steps toward achieving more impressive marketing results. We need to identify our strongest selling points, combine them with precise market research and customer targeting, along with a fresh, new, and highly personalized approach, so the consumers themselves will recognize, without any doubt, that they are investing in the right thing.
The online environment is perfect for this kind of approach, and it is continuously becoming a more and more potent marketing channel. We need to ride the wave and reach our customers with a positive message, providing concrete solutions to their problems. Good luck!
Kurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he's learned from his experience. When he's not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning for the Professional Home Cleaning Inc website.
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