When Targeting Isn’t Enough: Marketing Energy Efficiency to Commercial Customers

Posted by Tucker Wright on April 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Tucker Wright is a Strategic Lead at KSV. His areas of expertise include brand strategy, digital strategy, and b2b marketing.
Full disclosure: On May 4th I’m giving a talk at AESP’s Spring Conference titled, “Hyper-Targeting, Native Advertising & the C&I Customer” so writing about why targeting isn’t enough when marketing energy efficiency to businesses seemed poorly timed. But the reality is, it’s true.  

Why? While hyper-targeting is incredibly important, it’s also completely useless if you’re reaching the right person with the wrong message.

And in our experience, that’s often what’s happening with most energy providers’ B2B marketing.

A small business owner who rents their space doesn’t care about an energy management system, but the challenges they face in managing fixed costs might be keeping them up at night. 

And a COO doesn’t care about a variable speed drives, but improving employee productivity is likely one of their top KPIs.

So when we market energy solutions to businesses why is it we’re often marketing products our target audiences don’t care about?

What we should be selling are the end-benefits those products deliver.

And while hyper-targeting isn’t enough that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it. In fact, if you’re tasked with making your marketing drive energy savings it’s practically a requirement.

Here’s three ways you could be targeting. You should ask your agency or marketing department if they are already doing this (and if not, you know who to call).

1. Have you gone vertical?

Different types of companies have different needs and pain points. Industry vertical targeting allows us to speak directly to the needs of the type of business we want to reach whether they're a data center or a food manufacturer. 

2. Are you using LinkedIn targeting?

What social network does nearly every business leader use? That's right, LinkedIn. Are you harnessing the power of the LinkedIn platform and its targeting capabilities?

3. Are we re-targeting off-site?

Regulated industries often have strict privacy policies that don't allow for on-site retargeting but there are ways around that through off-site digital body language. If you aren't retargeting you should be - and if you aren't sure what retargeting is we'd love to talk to you about it. 

So, if you’re interested in learning more about hyper-targeting or how to be relevant when marketing energy efficiency to businesses download our white paper. Or better yet, if you’re at the AESP Spring Conference in Salt Lake next week, look up my session and come say hello. 

Update: Here is the executive summary of Tucker's presentation at AESP.


Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Utility Communications, Data and Analytics, Digital Transformation and User Experience, Innovation, Marketing Strategy and Best Practices, Audience Segmentation