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Our B3Ps From Our Interview with Duke Marketing Professor, Dr. Keisha Cutright

2 min. read

The traditional, conventional wisdom in business marketing is to ignore competitors. “Don’t give them oxygen.” But that’s wrong, according to Duke University marketing professor Dr. Keisha Cutright. Dr. Cutright’s research, first covered by NPR’s Planet Money, shows that companies who compliment competitors actually improve customer perception of their brands. In other words, the complimenter gets the credit from customers. 

Modern Cleantech Marketing Guide + [B2B Marketing Checklist]

8 min. read

B2B Purchase Decisions In Cleantech And The Digital-Social Criticality Scale

Across clean economy sectors, the sales and marketing teams we talk to share a growing frustration: it’s gotten harder to get renewable energy customer prospects to engage during the marketing process. They’re all too familiar with sending that seventh “touch base” email to a prospect they’ve connected with at the trade show and hearing nothing back. This experience has three main sources: what we’re calling the “VAR Phenomenon” (Volume, Attention, Relevance), and it's increasingly becoming a challenge in the smartphone age.

Topics: Marketing & Communications Digital Media & Advertising

Episode 4 - Cleantech Podcasters Roundtable by Tigercomm & SunCast Media

0 min. read


Episode 4 of our quarterly podcast roundtable is on the books — Nico Johnson and I had a great conversation with Marie Burgquist, Gil Jenkins, Tim Montague and Joshua Porter. I’ll be sharing my big three takeaways from this session soon. In the meantime, you can watch the whole episode here.

Navigating the Clean Economy with Bob Fishman - Scaling Clean Ep. 2

2 min. read

We’re up with episode 2 of Scaling Clean, the podcast for clean economy CEOs, investors and the people who advise them. Our goal is to convert company leaders’ experience into useful insights for you in your work.  
 
This episode features our conversation with Robert E. Fishman, a veteran CEO of three energy companies with experience in renewables, fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Bob’s a thoughtful, humble and accomplished leader and mentor. He’s got a wealth of experience in several areas, but I suspect you’ll find most useful his insights into assembling and maintaining the right executive team.  
 
If you don’t have the 30 minutes to listen to the whole episode, here are skimmable highlights below:  
 
5:20 – How to manage leadership teams you inherit, the signs to look for in determining who to keep and who to change out and the mandate you should secure from your board
 
14:17 – The challenges for clean economy companies are customer acceptance of a new product and having a balance sheet strong enough to match the promise of the product  
 
15:20 – How the software experience of impatient VCs doesn’t equip them to understand the capital intensity of clean economy companies 
 
16:50 – The role of the effective clean economy CEO  
 
18:27 – Best backgrounds for cleantech CEOs 
 
20:20 – Tips on hiring, including doing off-list reference checks and accepting that the best you get is a 2/3rds success rate in hiring — plus his favorite interview question 
 
24:50 – How his most important mentor’s “servant leadership” ethic impressed him 
 
We’re looking for feedback (lots of it!) on the usefulness of this format to you as people working at clean economy companies. Do these interviews convert to useable practices, tips and perspectives in your work? Please let us know.

Announcing The Scaling Clean Podcast

2 min. read

Hello cleantechers!

I'm announcing today that Tigercomm’s launching: “Scaling Clean, the podcast for clean economy CEOs, investors & the people who advise them.”

Think of this show as a cross between NPR’s “How I Built This” and the New York Times’ “Corner Office” interview series. We’ll glean lessons and best practices from experienced cleantech leaders and curate them for the next generation of sector leaders – all in a compact, rich 30 minutes.

B2B Social Media For Cleantech Companies: The Ultimate Guide + a FREE B2B Social Media Checklist

8 min. read
This article was updated in March 2022 to reflect industry changes.

 

Why Should Cleantech Companies Invest In Social Media?

Spoiler alert: We’ve found that almost every wind energy company is using social media as a limited distribution platform. That’s understandable, because social is great for distribution as the first, highly targeted yet far-reaching platform. And there’s the lure of social media’s lightning-in-a-bottle potential to “go viral,” organically attracting massive numbers of eyeballs with only a modest initial investment.

Yet most wind company programs are leaving on the table the real potential for social media… targeted engagement. Social media is definitely cheap distribution, though for all but a few (like the Federal Reserve), a distribution-centric strategy can’t hold audience attention. There’s too much content and too many voices vying for a finite pool of people’s attention.

The potential for long-term attention through social media lies in targeted engagement, with networks of people investing their time and attention in a company’s products, policies and successes. But the engaged have to find value in engaging. And one of the surest value propositions is not just being responded to, but having impacts on brands, products and policies.

Many companies are already engaging – see ratings from Uber drivers and riders. The trend is underway elsewhere. You can accessorize the car model of your choice, and it’s a sure bet that car companies are using the resulting data to time when customer online input will drive which decisions to make on which models. Others are on the threshold: with only half the daily newspaper reporters on staff as compared to 20 years ago, the news industry continues its financial slide because readers won’t pay the full cost of professional reporting. It’s being argued that news reporting’s most viable path is having readers choose what gets reported in the first place. You get the idea.

The point is that value-add engagement is only secured through a two-way conversation that matters. The buzz phrase is “democratized ownership.” It’s rare right now in high-ticket B2B sales, though the potential value remains. However, those benefits will only be reaped through well-designed, intensively managed social engagement programs. They aren’t cheap, but we see distribution-only tactics beginning to cost the wind industry more in opportunity than targeted engagement will require.

Topics: Marketing & Communications Digital Media & Advertising

Clean Energy Marketing: How to Sell Emotions in Cleantech

4 min. read

Note: This article was refreshed in March 2022 to reflect the current state of the cleantech industry.

What do your customers buy, really? Is it your product? Or is it something that your product gives them?

Topics: Marketing & Communications

Operating Wind and Solar Farms Might Be Cleantech’s Most Underutilized Public Affairs Tool

9 min. read

We recently teamed up with our friends at Conservatives for a Clean Energy Future and the folks at Embold Research to do something untried: use cutting-edge public opinion measurement tools to go deep on attitudes toward renewable energy in one rural bellwether community.  We first presented these findings at the CLEANPOWER trade show in Salt Lake City.

How You Can Prepare for the New Wave in Clean Energy Communications

2 min. read

It was fun to talk with Adam Torres of Mission Matters Media about how public relations is both serving and changing the way businesses interact with consumers.

Topics: Clean Economy Marketing & Communications Thought Leadership

Cleantech PR and Marketing Tips for Clean Economy Startups

4 min. read

This article was updated in January 2021 to reflect the most recent industry developments.

We recently had the pleasure to go on the Growth Secrets Podcast with host Reade Milner. Reade runs an intriguing marketing consulting practice in Atlanta that helps a range of businesses market better.

Topics: Clean Economy Marketing & Communications Thought Leadership