How a deeper customer understanding can energize innovation

In today’s crowded and competitive energy markets, many product manufacturers fall short in their marketing, writes Andy Beck, Executive Vice President of Makovsky’s energy and sustainability practice.

“They’re forgetting a vital principle: that we motivate behavior by understanding and addressing the desires of the end-user customer. Vaunting product attributes–the default marketing formula among many companies–will only move the needle so far. What’s often lacking is the missing link: direct marketing to end-user customers, based on genuine insight into how the products benefit end-users and addresses their needs.” […]

“One of the best ways that companies can begin to engage with end-users directly is through specialized “vertical” media. As opposed to marketing through a blanketed wide-ranging approach, the vertical strategy focuses on targeted sources where interested customers look to get specialized information. There is a web of trade journals, blogs, Internet forums, and social media outlets that target every relevant end-user, including those who influence them. This media is usually on the look-out for quality content–be it bylined articles or expert commentary. There are few better ways to build a company’s reputation with the individuals or groups that will ultimately purchase and use their product.”