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Best Marketing Practices for Existing Green Technologies - Telling the Story, Colin and Cliff
Colin Rowan – session leader
- Fossil based central station and transportation is not sustainable.
- Should we use same principles we use to sell cereal, prevent drunk driving, etc. to what we're trying to accomplish w/regard to green business?
- How do I, as a small business owner, use green best practices to grow my business? Related to marketing.
- What is it we're trying to sell? Idea, product, service? Must determine audience before you can define how to integrate sustainability.
- How do you reach the folks who aren't part of the green "choir"?
- How do we persuade clients who want to maintain status quo vs. adopting new green practices? Education. Give pros and cons of both ways of doing things. Use previous clients who have adopted sustainable way as case studies, testimonials. Why they chose that route and why it has been a good thing.
- Traditional marketing also works, meaning, you must define the target audience.
- Story, then cost-benefit valuation. Must convince target audience why paying attention to carbon is in their best interest (esp coming regs).
- Old adage: You can't get someone to care about something they don't care about. You need to get them to care first.
- Inertia is a significant obstacle. So is cost. Other things we stumble over when trying to get others to buy into sustainability: fear of the unknown, fear of change, preconceived notions of green.
- World is changing. Yet, if Thomas Edison were alive today and looked at it, he'd recognize it. The energy system is changing.
- Master narrative – get them engaged in something beyond the product you're trying to sell them.
- What does the path to change look like? If the hurdles are too high, they won't follow.
- The change we're talking about it revolutionary. It's taking the existing system and turning it upside down. This is frightening to many people.
- Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point.
- Prius . . . cool, different technology, forward thinking. They sold a car of the future rather than selling the technology.
- Sometimes it's the way you position "green" . . .
- Frank Luntz – convinced Republicans years ago not to buy into climate change. Read his book "Words that work". The most powerful words of the next 15 years, future, progress, imagine, re-anything (repurpose, restore).
- There is a certain fear of change, but perhaps a bigger fear is being left behind.
- Put clean energy into the hands of the customer. Empower the customer.
- The most important feedback of any kind is that that enables you to take action.
- RECOMMENDATIONS: Have a story to go w/the value proposition. Figure out the tangible benefits to sustainability and let them know why they should care. Also, using a "green" approach may not always be the best approach. For example, selling the "cool" factor, ease of use, etc. might work. Status quo may be the safe way to go in the view of some, but it really isn't the safe way considering the momentum of change currently happening.
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