For Companies with Initial Funding

For the fortunate few who are able to secure funding for their green energy project, congratulations. You can now employ some of the more elegant, broad reaching and results-measurement marketing techniques available. Here they are in order of affordability, all of which can be performed by Marketing Green Power.

  • Conduct Comprehensive Competitive Audit from the marketplace (outside-in) view, rather than the inventor’s or engineer’s (inside-out) view. An in-depth review of competitors will reveal their marketing and messaging strategies and perhaps pricing.  And reveal how similar or different they are from your business. The audit can also help you define your competitive advantage and unique sales proposition (USP) for outbound marketing and direct selling.
  • Develop Proof of Demand component to the Business Plan. Investors need to know who will buy your green product (or service), how frequently and at what price. Some of this will come from the Competitive Audit, that is, if competitors with a similar offering are getting sales. Additional qualitative research may be needed among prospective buyers by presenting your product for their candid opinions. Their views will provide insights to competitors, help validate your own product, guide product positioning and pricing. Finally, Purchase Orders (PO), Letters of Intent (LOI) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) are reassuring to investors.
  • Develop a Brand Strategy. Your Brand Platform should be developed before you go public. Your brand is partly reflected in the images and language that appear on your website, brochures, etc, (called Brand Identity), but is far more. Brand Image is what you stand for, what you promise your customers, that makes you different and better (in their minds) than your competitors and is something you can live with long term. The foundation for this should come from three sources: your own value system, the Competitive Audit and interviewing prospective customers. (Brand management was my primary business at Visa and in Silicon Valley).
  • Upgrade website. Customize site with images and format unique to your business, including more pages, product videos, customer endorsements and generally a more professional look. Also, incorporate elements of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that prospective customers can find you online.
  • Expand marketing communications (marcom) strategy. Increase your email database through aggressive networking, exchanging lists with business partners and purchasing “lists,” as funds become available. Social media should be considered if your product is sufficiently broad in appeal to warrant a “shotgun” approach. However, high end, expensive energy products may have too selective a customer base to warrant Facebook, etc. With sufficient capital investment and/or sales revenue, paid advertising on specialized websites or in print media should be evaluated.  And don't forget the face-to-face benefits of trade shows.
  • Update Marketing Section of the Business Plan, including key findings from the Competitive Audit, the Brand Strategy and updated Marcom strategy.
  • Hire full time marketing director, advertising, public relations or market research firms, as funds afford. At some point, with sufficient funding or sales revenue, it will be necessary to put in place full time marketing staff and suppliers. Having hired marketing teams in Reno, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Detroit business commuunities, I know what to look for and can be a hiring resource.

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