Have the Right Partner for Your Solar Energy Marketing Efforts?

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Have the Right Partner for Your Solar Energy Marketing Efforts?

Have the Right Partner for Your Solar Energy Marketing Efforts?


Solar energy marketing agencies and boutique marketing outfits are in the business of delivering measurable improvements for intrepid clients in pursuit of positive ROI.

In this post, I want to talk about how a lot of digital marketing people are being taught by industry gurus to sell simple marketing solutions to clients, and why this could be a red flag.

There are amazing products, exclusive one (more on that soon…), but there are just as many cookie-cutter products that get sold as “the only solution you’ll ever need!” in the pitch, but when boiled down over time, don’t deliver.

I want to take a little time here to explore what the motivations behind selling these types of packages might be, and if or how these products might benefit you.

The Business Model of Most Marketers


The idea behind this approach with regard to a solar energy marketing strategy is that the more narrow the focus, the better and more efficient the service will be.

In theory, if a marketer has a streamlined, one-size-fits-all product, they will be able to highly refine that offer and get the best possible results for their clients.

Pricing will be consistent, and systems will be in place to deliver results time after time at scale. The approach is a savvy one for a marketing business to effectively scale, but does it actually work?

What Do Results From a Single Marketing Method Look Like?

Unfortunately, the results of this kind of model work like a charm when growing a marketing business, it works like magic when selling to other marketers, but it doesn’t always work great for the customer. Why? Because the ecology of a business is much more complex than a cookie cutter solution can be responsive to.

Now, to acknowledge the many working parts and dynamic nature of a business does not suggest that a marketer who offers “everything but the kitchen sink” will have a fundamentally better service.

The truth is that a service business needs some level of specialization to ensure quality. Otherwise, the service ecosystem runs a risk of being watered down by its own good intentions.

The real problem with the single product model is that the focus is entirely on the efficiency of the agency and not of the unique qualities that each company or customer brings to the table.

You Need More Than One Arrow for Many Targets

Companies, Like Fingerprints, Are Unique

Now it’s pretty obvious to say that no two businesses are built in just the same way.  Solar companies, just like companies in any other vertical come in many different shapes and sizes.

Along with that uniqueness, every company brings with it its own set of unique strengths and weaknesses.

I recently witnessed how the distinct properties of businesses (not the marketing) affected outcomes in the real world by looking at a side by side Facebook campaign comparison.

Over the last two months, I tested two virtually identical Facebook ad campaigns that I ran for two separate businesses and got completely different results.

Though the campaigns weren’t truly identical, they were very similar in structure

  • They both ran video ads (ensures more engagement and a lower cost per click)

  • They both used the same targeting for Ad set #1 (interest-based)

  • They used the same demographics, including age range, income level and home ownership.

  • For audience #2, they both used an existing customer list to create a targeted lookalike campaign.

  • Both campaigns went through our same optimization process.

The Result? 
The first company’s results were really fabulous: $21 per lead with 23 leads over a $500 ad spend.  We went on to spend much more, but we had awesome results right out of the gate.
As for the second company, with the same conditions set inside Facebook, the results couldn’t have been more different.  A big zero for conversions!
Contradictory results seem to defy logic but there’s a reason for it.  It’s not just a random thing.

The Current State of Your Business is The Foundation for Marketing

It’s because the conditions that create an environment for successful advertising is a critical factor.
In most cases, but not necessarily all, you can put up an Instapages landing page for example and run video Facebook ads to a lookalike customer list, which are all best practices by the way, and that can get you profitable results.
Even if you do that though, there’s no guarantee that all companies will be able to get the same results from identical campaigns. Why? Because of the differences between businesses.
One customer, for example, might have a very active Facebook page.
They may be interacting with customers, the public and other interested people frequently.

In this scenario, the business has a lively exchange going on on social media and they’ve built a lot of excitement around their brand and products or services.  Maybe they’re active in their communities too, engaging the public in a variety of ways.
Now compare them to another company that has almost no activity on their Facebook page or on their other social media channels. Further, maybe they’re just not engaging anyone at all online.
Maybe a year has gone by since their last post and they’re not really doing the outreach.
So if I follow best practices and run video ads, greatly reducing the cost per click, to a beautiful landing page custom designed for the business and if I then use the same design of landing page for both the companies, changing out logos and colors of course, it would seem that I would get similar results between the two of them, whether the results are good or not.
The naked reality that businesses need to face though is that the company who highly engaged their customer base, the company that’s doing a lot of activity on social media independently, that company gets much higher conversions than the company that is not doing anything on social media at all.

The Levelheaded Marketer

When it comes down to it, the sign of a solar energy marketing agency that could be a great partner is, for one, they’ll be willing to tell you no.  Hollywood and the Army might say how high when you say jump, but a responsible partner will not risk being sloppy with your business on the line.
Whether there is one service or many on the table, an ethical and experienced marketer will guide you honestly.
If need be, they will tell you, “no, you’re not ready for this product, it’s not going to work for you”. They may offer other services to help you build a foundation and the initial conditions for success so that when you do start spending advertising money and driving traffic, your efforts will bear fruit.
You can’t have a house that will be strong and long-lasting when you don’t do the foundational work to build the house in the first place.
A lot of solar energy marketing agencies want to promise quick fixes and rapid success and a lot of companies want that sweet solution too. Sometimes you will get it. But the reality is it isn’t always that easy.
For companies with undeveloped online assets, there’s a process that has to be gone through before you can get the most from your advertising. If, for example, company X hasn’t given the proper attention to the foundational aspects of their business, then company X will have problems no matter how hard they attempt to spend their way into success.

Marketing Is A Partnership

If the relationship between company and marketer is very one-sided, if the marketer is left with all the responsibility for the outcomes and no interaction from the business, well let’s just say it’s not a good sign. Those companies who just want to sit idly by and not participate in the process, waiting for a miracle might be disappointed.

Tying It All Together

And for the solar market, online (solar marketing strategies) are very important. Most people, the majority, begin their path to purchase towards solar online. Researching and learning more about how everything works with solar, all of that happens online. Solar is a very online-centric business.
And it’s really a shame that so many solar companies out there aren’t doing what’s required to build their business in that direction.


Tough love may be required.

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Have the Right Partner for Your Solar Energy Marketing Efforts?
Have the Right Partner for Your Solar Energy Marketing Efforts?
The marketer that has your best interest in mind is willing to be firm & advise not just with urgency but with a sense of responsibility for the realities...
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By |2019-06-16T00:01:41+00:00November 8th, 2017|Advertising|Comments Off on Have the Right Partner for Your Solar Energy Marketing Efforts?

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