There are many reasons Ruby Assembly so enjoy working with professional services deemed ‘boring’, ‘risky’ or ‘complex’. Without fail, each of these expert businesses are peopled with individuals as interesting and varied as any other part of our community; it is our remit to help our clients’ prospects better understand who they are and why they are the people to work with. It’s a hell of a lot more fun than e-commerce, and our ability to make an impact is palpable.
Ruby Assembly’s commitment to supporting these un-sexy but very essential businesses is probably part of our longevity and success as a digital agency (celebrating 15 years in 2024). A newer entrant to our great comms loves (amongst them property and real estate, finance and banking, law and allied health) is the Australian energy industry category. The energy industry is fabulous, huge and hopeful. Of course, on a basic level energy is something we all need. The ways we use energy as individuals and companies, and the technologies developed to collect and store our precious energy is at the heart of humanity’s future health. We’re proud to work with leading Australian energy brands, and to further our learning about this huge category. We recently attended the All Energy Australia Conference in an effort to better understand the trends impacting the industry, the relationship between governance/compliance and consumer offerings, and the future of energy solutions in Australia. Interestingly at two of the industry panels, the last 20 or so minutes of each discussion focused on the importance of clear communications as helping to moving the energy industry forward. Communications is notoriously difficult and risky in the energy category; on one hand, the industry is driven forward by technical talent and inventors. Their focus isn’t branding and messaging (and nor should it be – there are other people to support those projects). Suppliers of energy are also in a tough position where marketing is either entirely price-driven (AKA a race to the bottom), or not considered beyond hard-sales techniques. Government also understands that messaging is valuable, as without having the citizenry value energy or opportunities to improve their own use of energy, it is hard to legislate for community-wide change.
Here are several reasons why businesses in the energy category need to prioritise their marketing and communications strategy.
- Premium value is only unlocked with communication
No-one has an get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to communications and marketing. There’s a reason even the best-loved brands continue to market their products; if they cease to take up our psychological space, our business will go elsewhere. The same goes for energy-category businesses and doubly so if you have a rare, innovative or costly offering. Price isn’t necessarily a barrier to consumption; a lack of marketing that positions you in your price bracket is the real issue at hand.
- Clients and customers buy what they understand
If the latest failed Referendum in Australia is proof of anything, it illustrates that the strongest message wins. It doesn’t even need to be the right message. Why is this important to understand? Because decision makers will take action based on the best story made clear to them (for good or bad). The energy sector has such potential for good, it serves our businesses whether b2b or public-facing to invest in clear, elegant and appealing communications. When it comes to products in energy, they are undoubtedly complex and in a high-regulatory environment. This can easily make messaging boring, technical and proforma which is a barrier to understanding. Communications can’t be a second-tier priority if growth is on your agenda.
- Marketing is necessary for social change
One of the most exciting aspects of the energy category is its inbuilt technical innovation and true capacity to improve the future of humanity. If there’s one business worth being in, it is a category that helps to generate and capture energy in cleaner, safer way. But changing the kind of energy we consume, the way our homes are designed, and our engagement with energy markets is a gigantic project. Many ‘traditional’ energy businesses understand that marketing is essential to their ongoing success, which is why the mining sector (for example) is so prolific when it comes to lobbying both governments and the public. #NewPower businesses need to adopt a similarly focused approach in order to educate their governments and public on better solutions for the future. There is no change without education; think of the urgency of AIDS campaigns in the 1980’s with their iconic ‘grim reaper’ imagery. If energy businesses want to build a willing customer base and influence policy, marketing is the basic hygiene necessary.
- Highly regulated environments require experts
Energy categories are on the cutting edge of technology. These businesses are futurism made real, and governing bodies are playing catch-up by creating regulations that are reactive and stymying to progress. This means that your communications strategy as a business in the sphere of innovation or essential service provision needs to be both sophisticated and risk-aware. Don’t confused this with have a complex message; what I am suggesting is that the work needs to be done around designing your brand and implementing an educated comms strategy that supports sales whilst being aware of regulatory risk. It is not a job for someone you know who happens to spend a lot of time on social media. We’ve been involved in the clean-up of many brand identities which have been butchered through inexperience and a lack of literacy (in both messaging in a complex arena, and in strategy). Please engage a professional to make this aspect of your business safe and growth-focused.
To work with energy-category social media and marketing specialists Ruby Assembly, click here.