PHPI March 2023
1st March 2023
As our nationwide network of renewable installers grows, so does the number of customers we can communicate with. Businesses that join our network benefit from the knowledge and skills of our in-house digital and marketing and communications (marcomms) team to reach more customers and, in doing so, maximise the help we can bring to more customers.
Many local, reputable businesses that join our network are primarily highly skilled engineers, electricians and heating engineers. They may not be marketeers. Some are more advanced than others, but all the companies joining our network benefit from joining a more significant business with established centralised digital marcomms. Indeed, for many companies becoming a part of Green Building Renewables, it offers vast appeal as often the company may have reached the limits of its capability and resources regarding marcomms. To grow further, they need the support that we can offer.
Why do good marcomms matter?
When a business can reach its intended audience multiple times across various channels, they begin to resonate with its audience. Creating informed and qualified leads that can be converted to sales is our mission within the marketing department at Green Building Renewables.
Our products and services are related to something highly emotive – our homes. At the same time, highly emotive subjects and issues are involved in what we communicate, such as energy, sustainability, saving money and particularly newsworthy and current topics like the cost of living.
Across the various channels available, we must do an excellent job of consistently communicating our brand and message. When we do this, our customer is even more likely to recognise and trust the brand, especially when speaking about important issues.
This is why we have developed and are constantly evolving an integrated marketing communications strategy for Green Building Renewables to make what we say consistent. Our marcomms strategy requires a lot of care, consideration and thought when we acquire and merge existing businesses into our family. We ensure that the transition from one brand to Green Building Renewables for our network is as smooth as possible for all involved, especially the existing customers familiar with the company joining the network. With this considerate communication, the audience can receive a cohesive experience.
Why do we use multiple channels to communicate with our customers?
Using multiple channels to communicate to an audience increases the number of people a company can reach and can have an amplifier effect when used in conjunction with each other. We recently launched our first national radio advertising campaign, using a network of regional stations that overlay to ensure coverage. The campaign uses major radio stations that would be beyond the budget of just one of our offices. We can see from our form fills and how people first heard about us that this has already positively affected enquiry numbers. We have also recently expanded our commercial (B2B) strategy with case studies to demonstrate our expertise in various settings, which have again resulted in an uptake of such enquiries.
How do we focus our marcomms?
With each new regional office joining our network, whether through organic growth or acquisition, we get a new audience to talk to - an audience with regional differences and opportunities.
With both new and expanding audiences, we must understand that we can't be everything to everyone. Without focus, you risk lacking direction and a scattergun approach that misses everyone. This is why we have developed an audience-focused system for our marcomms. With an audience-focused approach, we can target our potential domestic or commercial customers whose specific needs we can benefit most. For example, delivering LPG replacements option in rural areas or messages around business energy rates for our commercial customers with large roof spaces for solar. Digital analysis and research have allowed us to understand our audiences and share this with the companies that joined us who previously didn’t have those resources in-house.
What is an audience-focused approach to renewables?
Many marcomms and advertisements for renewables, particularly around solar panels, can be misleading and can confuse audiences. Adverts can overpromise or hook potential customers in with incorrect information. With our audience-focused approach, we aim to ensure that our messages and content are focused on the specific needs of our customers. Whether domestic or commercial, we have tried to shift our thinking from "what are we selling?" to "what solution do our customers need?" This is fundamental to Green Building Renewables and in the DNA of our parent company Efficient Building Solutions; indeed, it's in the name.
What do you need today for a successful audience-focused approach to marcomms?
In-depth knowledge about who we are trying to talk to is essential. This is why we have invested in a Digital Marketing Specialist to help understand our audiences better, especially when we expand in new areas. If we know our audience, we can focus our messages effectively. This means more than just crucial demographics such as age, gender, location, etc. but also includes what they value, like and their priorities. We also understand where the industry is going and our role within this. With this knowledge, we can develop and deliver content unique to people who can benefit from our products.
The work we have put into our marcomms and continue to do so helps the regional businesses that join Green Building Renewables to gain a competitive advantage over the local competition and increase customer engagement, leading to more conversions.
We also believe that tools like our solar panel calculator and heat pump calculator help improve customer experience and create qualified leads that far outperform lead generation sites. It offers from the outset a consistent message and ethos throughout our branding, from the first point of contact to its delivery.
Demonstrating value through our marcomms
At Green Building Renewables, we communicate regularly about our products and services' sustainability and environmental benefits. Key to this communication is avoiding greenwash and ensuring that our products and services are discussed in more than just their "green" value. Our products and services must appeal to customers because they provide value and benefits in the same ways that "non-green" products might.
When talking about our products, it's easy to see their main benefit only regarding their environmental benefits, but this is not true. Our products offer functional value such as value for money, efficiency and quality. They provide emotional value by improving the physical comfort of their homes, and they have social value too.
What next for our Marcomms at Green Building Renewables?
Our capabilities in marcomms continue to grow, and we become more knowledgeable about what we must do daily. As we grow and expand our business around the country, our audience will become even more significant. The need to focus our messages and to speak directly to people's energy needs will also grow. At a time when there is so much concern about energy, there could be an assumption that "selling renewables" is easy and all you have to do is (as the famous American marketeer Elmer Wheeler famously said) "sell the sizzle and not the sausage" - an approach that many in the renewables industry appear to adhere to. But when it comes to Green Building Renewables, we believe in "selling the value" of renewables or, better yet, taking that value to where it can have the most benefit and impact.
Published 1st March 2023