How Architects Could Be Your Ticket to the C&I Customer

Posted by Ann Hoogenboom on February 16, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Are you struggling to get commercial and industrial customers to invest in energy management? Do you hear phrases like…


“It’s too expensive.”
“We can’t afford to schedule a shutdown."
“By the time we finish the update, the technology will be obsolete.”


If you do, you’re not alone. We conducted research and spoke to over 100 decision makers from large, energy-intensive C&I companies.

Our research reconfirmed that C&I customers:

  • Are risk averse
  • Feel overwhelmed by strategic energy management plans
  • Don’t see the benefit that energy improvements offer to their business goals
  • Have a hard time articulating a compelling reason to invest in energy efficiency investments

But, we have a new way in. Trust.

Our research shows that building trust is paramount. Customers are looking for proof points.

So, we asked the question,

“Could architects, engineers and members of the design community who influence capital improvement projects become advocates for our programs?”

The answer was yes.

C&I customers might not be prioritizing a conversation with you about energy efficiency, but they are talking to architects, HVAC technicians, contractors and other professionals. The key is to get these people—your trade allies—to deliver your message through a comprehensive content marketing strategy.


Here’s how:

1. Find your proof points. Who are the people influencing your customer?

2. Insert your message through their voice.

3. Create a win-win situation; deliver value-based online and offline content that makes your trade allies look good to their customers.

4. Build individualized content marketing; use native advertising or sponsored content in the media this audience seeks out—trade magazines, regional or local newspapers, online publications.

5. Know what is creating the win-win; analyze the messaging and targeting that is getting engagement from both trade allies and customers.

And you can also use the lessons from “Baking a Cake for the C&I Customer to help you. Create personas for your trade allies, and provide content based on what you know about these individuals and where they get their information. Trade allies as influencers are a great resource—don’t let this untapped opportunity pass you by.


Interested in learning more? We’ll be speaking at AESP 2018 in New Orleans talking about 3 ways to breakthrough to the C&I customer and how we’ve seen unprecedented successes. Not able to attend? Reach out, we’d be happy to talk. 


 C&I Energy Management  Click to download.


Ann is KSV’s Mission and Brand Manager. Her experience in marketing and communications is deeply rooted at the intersection of sustainability and energy with fellow certified B Corps. And whoever thought Superman had the best capes never met Ann. Read more from Ann here.

Topics: Research