• Eco-Marketing

    June 8, 2011
    We hear a lot of talk these days about green or eco-marketing. What is eco-marketing? Can you use it to benefit your business?

    We hear a lot of talk these days about green or eco-marketing. What is eco-marketing? Can you use it to benefit your business? Does your company have to be “green” to use it? Does each of your service techs have to drive a Prius or some other hybrid vehicle? Do you believe that somebody will buy a product from you because you say you are green? Will people pay more for that product? Is there any advantage to promoting a green product or company?

    Eco-marketing is also known as sustainable marketing. This is the practice of selling goods or services designed to improve the planet’s ecology and potentially reverse environmental damage such as global warming or climate change. The products in our industry that companies’ market, and typically fall into this category include geothermal heat pumps, tankless water heaters, hybrid heat pumps, and a myriad of other products.

    A company can profit from positioning itself as a green company. It’ll attract a certain clientele because a small percentage of people gravitate toward green companies. Remember that a large percentage of the population will not go green unless there’s something in it for them. Therefore, if it’s your passion to be green, then become a green company, promote yourself as a green company, walk the walk, and talk the talk.

    Individually you or I cannot save the planet; if the U.S. participated, but China and India didn’t, we would be fighting a losing battle. What reasons would people have for buying a green product and would they be willing to spend more for it than a non-green product? People buy a product to solve a problem or meet a need. You buy a drill because you want a hole. You don’t necessarily want the drill but you need the drill so you can make the hole. You buy a heating and air conditioning system because you want to be comfortable.

    When marketing and promoting green products companies often make the mistake of focusing on the “Save the planet” aspect of the product and not benefits of the products. Most people, particularly in today’s economy will not spend more money to buy a green product just because it is a green product unless there is something in it for them. Would you spend $30,000 - $40,000 to install a geothermal heat pump product just because it was green when you could have a conventional heat pump installed for $15,000? The answer more than likely is no, but if the customer falls in love with the features of the system and benefits, including, long life, quiet operation, energy efficiency, pride of ownership, and status, the customer will be willing to pay more. Studies show that geothermal owners show off their systems to the friends and family. The green part and feeling that you did something good for the planet is secondary to the energy savings and the status of ownership.

    The secret to successful eco-marketing is to promote and market the product’s benefits. The green aspect is icing on the cake. People will buy green products for same reasons that people buy Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, and BMW automobiles. A salesperson sells them on the benefits of the product and creates a desire to own that product. If you focus on the product as the primary reason to buy and the green aspect as the secondary reason to buy, you will have a winning combination.

    I’ll answer your marketing questions here. Email your questions to [email protected].

    Scott B. from Livermore, CA, writes that he’s interested in lead generation help.

    The best leads are the ones you generate yourself as opposed to purchased leads. Think of the home page of your website as an advertising space. It should clearly state what your company does and it should be eye catching as you only have a few seconds to hold your visitor’s attention. Place a lead generation tool in plain sight on your home page. It should capture, contact information including an email address and try to determine the potential customer’s intent to use your company’s products. To spur interest in using the lead generation tool, think about offering a monthly product drawing or offer a discount towards the purchase of a product or system. Enter all who provides contact information into a monthly drawing.

    Trade shows and home shows are an excellent source of leads. If you are successful at collecting contact information, you need a cost effective way to follow up on all of them. If you don’t have a strong sales force use email marketing to contact your leads.

    My website contains links to all the articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you want your marketing efforts pay big dividends, contact a marketing professional. I’m available to assist you in all of your marketing efforts. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with lead generation, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

    Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, PR, social media, and lead generation strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and startup companies find their voice in an ever increasingly crowded market by doing more with less($). Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the website www.fracicaenterprises.com.