» Growing Pains Mergers: Marketing and Managing for Profitability
1. How do you successfully raise the profile of your products and services?
2. What are the best internal and external sources of funding?
Why it’s essential to raise profile
- To counter misinformation
- To build trust in “new” technologies (some are well adopted in Europe)
- To generate demand for solutions that are cost-effective (long-term)
Best practices for raising profile
- Have a simple value proposition: “when you use our product, you benefit by ….”
- Keep message adaptable, target to specific user groups
- Be persistent and consistent in messaging
- Get a credible third party to tell your story
- Seek out speaking opportunities and ways to engage the public; use a good spokesperson
- Target the next generation: children and students
- Depending on product, shift focus from retail customer to system integrator/OEM; win over one OEM and you can dramatically increase revenues
- Use industry associations (piggy-back on their web sites)
- Use cross-industry initiatives and OEM marketing (spread the message sideways: circulating at trade shows, co-promotion); collaborate with competitors
- Trade shows, webinars, targeted direct mail
- Newsletters, radio shows
- Place thought leadership stories
- Invest in product demonstration, models: if they see it, they will buy it
- Avoid advertising (unless highly targeted)
- Avoid press releases
Challenges in marketing for profile-raising
- We need regulation to force adoption
- Unreasonable expectations on ROI
- Getting to the consumer who doesn’t even know he/she needs the product; creating demand through education
- Measuring return on marketing investment
Potential sources of funding
- Ontario Centres of Excellence in Energy
- Different levels of government (tap into their green agenda)
- Private placements; build a marketing plan into terms for use of proceeds
- Personal savings
- Parent company
- Establish a formula: for example, 5% of net profit will go to marketing
- Aim PowerGen Corp.
- Alternate Energy Solutions Inc.
- BOC Canada Ltd.
- BSH Appliances
- The Canadian Energy Expo
- Cummins Eastern Canada
- GE Infrastructure Energy
- Hybridyne Power Systems Canada Ltd.
- Hydrogen Village Project
- Linde Canada Limited
- Pure Energy Visions Corporation
- Redwell Canada, Inc.
- Siemens Canada
- Sol Source Engineering
- Sustainable Resources Management Inc.