Energy company marketing that helps you stand out and cut through the clutter
Big challenges for energy companies today.
Innis Maggiore’s emphasis on positioning and strategic messaging makes us a perfect fit for the energy industry.
One of the biggest challenges faced by energy companies of all sizes and types, from the regional oil and gas company that manages landowner wells to global conglomerates that direct billions of investment dollars into energy projects, is public communications.
In an era of concern about the environment, public opinion has increasingly shifted against the energy industry. This has created the need for energy company marketing that speaks to every possible stakeholder, from employees and their families to individual and business customers, to investors, to local politicians and business and community leaders, to the media. Communicating effectively with all these groups is a unique challenge, requiring out-of-the-box strategy and intelligently crafted creative (from print to digital to PR).
Innis Maggiore’s emphasis on positioning (more on this in a minute) and strategic messaging makes us a perfect fit for the energy industry. We’ve collaborated on a range of project types with several different types of organizations over the years (check out some of our case studies below). The constant across these experiences has been managing communications to all stakeholders intelligently, strategically, and creatively.
Effective Work for Industry-Leading Clients
The results speak for themselves.
Strategic messaging key to building positive goodwill around complicated wastewater project
Marathon’s Canton, Ohio refinery needed to move its treated wastewater outfall to a larger waterway, a move that would require building a waterline across more than 30 privately owned parcels. This had the potential to raise environmental concerns in the community, so Marathon needed a communications strategy that would get buy-in from all relevant parties. Innis Maggiore’s solution was to get ahead of the story and focus the messaging on Marathon’s investment in the region: from creating jobs to improving environmental protection and more. Tactically, this messaging was conveyed by creating PowerPoints and coaching managers on how to engage in one-on-one and small group presentations to leverage media contacts. On top of PR efforts, we built a website to help communicate the message. The result was an overwhelmingly positive response. Media coverage was positive, public officials and regulatory bodies got on board, and there was no public opposition to the project.
Babcock & Wilcox
Established energy company repositions as a future-focused innovator by marketing its environmentally friendly inventions
Babcock & Wilcox, based in Akron, Ohio, has been servicing clients with original energy solutions for more than 150 years. Despite B&W’s long history providing reliable and quality energy, the company struggled to rid itself of old preconceptions that it was a “high-pollutant coal-burner,” a label heavily frowned upon in an environmentally minded world. B&W sought Innis Maggiore to reposition it as the future-focused innovator it had always embodied since its founding in 1867. Innis Maggiore devised a marketing strategy to reposition B&W as a clean power production technology company by highlighting its innovative form of hydrogen production that simultaneously minimizes carbon emissions. The strategy encompassed a remodel of the website, the creation of ClimateBright™ marketing materials, and crafted pitches tailored toward community and media engagement. Innis Maggiore’s repositioning strategy not only permitted B&W to engage consumers effectively, but also allowed the company to embrace a position that appealed to its vision of progress in the energy industry.
Creating global demand for a hyper specialist in an unknown category
United Initiators creates customized organic peroxides and inorganic persulfate initiators. These initiators and other cross-linking agents are predominantly supplied to the solar panel manufacturing market. Innis Maggiore was tasked with generating online sales leads. Our approach leveraged what we call Web/PR 2.0. We first built a five-page microsite that was rich with SEO-sculpted content. Then, we put together four news releases and four paid search campaigns paired to the keyphrases used on the microsite. Over the next three months, the site achieved 1st rank on Google for more than 20 keyphrases, appeared in more than 150 online publications, and saw more than 2,500 unique visitors. Within seven weeks, the client had heard from every single solar panel manufacturer in the world.
Santmyer Oil Co.
Family-owned energy company gets a brand facelift
Santmyer is a family-owned energy company with more than 60 years of delivering on-demand fuel to homes and businesses. But Santmyer faced a brand confusion problem: the brand portfolio had become convoluted, with even minor services having their own logo and being given the same weight as the parent brand. As with every client, Innis Maggiore began by crafting a positioning strategy. In this case, we positioned Santmyer as “a family of companies dedicated to on-demand fuels since 1952”—a move that leveraged both the brand's heritage and specialty. Next, Innis Maggiore created a new brand identity for Santmyer, bringing conformity to all other brand names and logos. The result is a much clearer brand structure that sets Santmyer up for the next 60 years of success.
Aligning business and community goals through communication strategy
Advanced Power was hoping to construct a natural gas electric generation facility in Carroll County, Ohio, but backlash from the surrounding community posed an alarming obstacle. In preparation, Advanced Power reached out to Innis Maggiore to form a strategy that would tackle the project’s perception. The strategy comprised of building websites for each plant as well as accompanying marketing materials like plant diagrams, presentations, news releases, and media collateral all aimed at bridging understanding between Advanced Power and the Carroll County community. Representatives were coached by the agency about how to engage with the public during organized cookouts and other community events where questions and open dialogue were shared. Innis Maggiore’s campaign bolstered immense success for Advanced Power, not only expediting the permit process, but also bringing wealth back to the community in the form new school buildings, sports teams, the arts, and clubs through investments from Advanced Power. Through thorough communication tactics and public relations strategies, Innis Maggiore overcame public perception to reveal the alignment of Advanced Power and the community’s interests in local growth.
The Fuel Cell Corridor
The campaign that brought industry to Ohio
Innis Maggiore launched a campaign to brand the state of Ohio as a leading candidate for fuel cell development, commercialization, and use. Innis Maggiore helped the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition create a three-pronged strategy to position Ohio as the Silicon Valley of the East. In the first part, we branded the region as the “Fuel Cell Corridor,” giving Ohio authority as an existing leader in the marketplace. The second portion was called the “Go2Ohio” campaign, which attracted fuel cell developers both directly and indirectly to work in the state. The “Go2Ohio” campaign was so popular that it garnered publicity from Fuel Cell Today and its web portal was even awarded “the most eye-catching feature” at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Hawaii. The final phase of our strategy involved a multi-level campaign for fuel cell groups such Wright Fuel Cell Group and SOFCo-EFS. The outcome of Innis Maggiore’s campaign? Billions of dollars in economic growth for the state of Ohio.
Changing impressions over breakfast
When Chesapeake Energy started negotiating and acquiring land in the Utica Shale region, the concept of hydraulic fracking had a negative impression as a nefarious and careless operation. In response, Chesapeake reached out to Innis Maggiore for help in breaking down this seemingly cemented belief. Innis Maggiore launched a campaign to open dialogue and change these impressions using weekly breakfasts. At these breakfasts, the agency invited eight to 10 community leaders to presentations to reposition hydraulic fracturing as something beneficial to the local community. Everything from identifying the influencers, organizing the events, creating visuals, and coaching speakers was coordinated by the agency. As its success grew, we extended the campaign to local libraries and community centers where fact sheets and news releases were distributed. The success of repositioning fracking came in increased revenues for local organizations like the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, which was able to lower local taxes while using the profits from fracking to undertake massive infrastructure improvements. Fracking also led to the City of Canton’s new title: the Utica Capital®, an honor which the mayor of Canton at the time, William Healy, directly attributed to Innis Maggiore. The agency’s work with Chesapeake is yet another example of how Innis Maggiore can energize your energy company's marketing.
Creating Custom Messaging
Creating custom messaging for each stakeholder, while maintaining a consistent brand image and standing out from the competition, requires a precise balance across all media:
- Website and other digital assets: needs to combine best practices in SEO, information architecture, and design with a “feel” that is on-brand, content that positions you in the marketplace and, where needed, personalized channels for different audiences.
- PR: positive media hits are a must have to generate goodwill in the community. Being involved in and giving back to the community can create valuable messaging for the media, but make sure your energy company marketing partner can tell the stories in a way that puts you in the best light.
- Ongoing communications channels: regular sharing with your community, via tools like e-newsletters, can build trust by creating space for dialogue. People think of you as being transparent, your brand positioning and messaging is reinforced and updates, such as steps you’re taking to protect the environment, are conveyed more easily.
Innis Maggiore has developed these tools and tactics for many other energy companies, creating the conversation that their stakeholders needed to hear. And all of this messaging occurred against the backdrop of positioning. So what is positioning?
The Impact of Positioning on Energy Company Marketing
Many energy company marketing firms will talk about branding, but really, branding follows positioning.
Positioning is simply how you position yourself in the market. In other words, it’s standing for one simple, relevant idea in the minds of your prospects. What does that mean? It’s all about differentiation. How are you standing out from your competitors? Consumers are overwhelmed with messaging. So a lot of it gets ignored, especially in a field like energy, where the public has significant skepticism and doubt about the ethics and honesty of organizations.
Positioning helps clarify messaging, helping your brand stand out to prospects. Then, when a potential customer requires a service that you provide, picking your organization becomes easy because you're at the top of their list of options. As America’s #1 Positioning Ad Agency, Innis Maggiore is the only full-service agency with years of experience in energy company marketing who orients all tactical marketing and communication efforts around solid positioning. From there, we build out web assets, marketing campaigns, and more, all firmly rooted in positioning strategy.
To find out how we can help your organization stand out today, contact us for a quote, or check out results we’ve gotten for other energy companies below.
Put Some Fuel in Your Energy Company Marketing
If it’s time to recharge your marketing campaigns, web assets, branding or more, Innis Maggiore’s years of experience as an energy company marketing firm and full suite of services can offer just what you’re looking for. Reach out to us today to discover how we can help you stand out in the marketplace.