Greentech companies are experiencing an exciting moment in time. While new funding for startups may have gotten off to a slower start this year, the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act continues to juice an already-accelerating industry. With such a broad horizon for the sustainability industry, marketing and communication teams have an excellent opportunity to dig into the white space and create new avenues for brand narratives and visibility.
We put our heads together to share our thoughts on the challenges facing PR and marketing pros in the sustainability and Greentech spaces. The result? Here are three things Greentech marketers need to know:
1. Nail Your Audience
Because sustainability is, ultimately, an issue relevant to all humans, many Greentech leaders assume that the message needs to be equally broad to ensure comprehensive brand visibility. This challenge isn’t limited to Greentech, of course, but as a still-emerging industry, it can feel like we need to take big swings rather than focusing on hitting the targets directly in front of us.
What this means for PR and marketing teams – especially those in the startup space – is that we must have a clear and realistic understanding of our audience, a concise ‘why’ and a communication strategy that builds a bridge to a true ‘what.’ For instance, if a company is focused specifically on building a platform that connects municipalities with utility companies to provide better real-time monitoring, the true audience for your marketing efforts are the decision makers with buying power and the IT leaders ultimately responsible for implementing your platform. It’s tempting to spend time trickling visibility efforts down to the public, but unless you provide a consumer application, the time and money will be better spent nailing your true audience.
2. What Are You Disrupting?
The Greentech industry is inherently disruptive. Changing the way we approach energy usage, climate change, water usage, recycling and more means disrupting industries entrenched in traditional practices. If your company is positioning itself as a disruptor in the Greentech space, consider that the messaging may require some additional education.
Despite the momentum the sustainability industry has gained, companies in the Greentech space still face an education gap with the public. For many, knowledge begins and ends with renewable energy (solar, specifically) and a basic understanding of recycling – which is complex and differs not only from state to state, but even regionally within a state.
Keeping this education gap in mind as we build out our brand messaging strategy – including go-to-market, product launch, executive visibility and more – we may need to take additional steps to build true foundational awareness before expecting the market to fully understand your offering. Disrupting an already disruptive industry is exciting! It just takes a few extra steps.
3. Perception Is Reality
Yes, it’s trite. But, if we think about the greater discussion around sustainability, Greentech and beyond, we must remember that the forum is still growing – rapidly. The audience is a true range of seasoned professionals and business leaders, along with nascent participants like startup founders, policymakers and new consumers. The perception of your company may be the thing that makes or breaks a new partnership, catches the eye of a potential investor or helps build a strong word-of-mouth presence with a new customer demographic.
We know as well as anyone how important that first impression is, but with a growing industry, the perception of your company among a broad audience can influence not only the brand’s trajectory, but also its spot as a leader in a space in need of more advocates.
The path forward for sustainability and Greentech companies is exciting and filled with opportunity, and while the tech itself will be what truly pushes the industry forward, the brand vision and communication strategy + execution can be the accelerant your company needs.
If your company is looking for ways to educate, engage and inspire your audience, our team is ready to help. Learn more on our Energy + Sustainability page