How can marketing in a recession help boost your green energy company?
You might know how to market a company through an inflationary period. You should know how to market your company in a recession (and no, “no marketing at all” is not an answer). But as the CEO of a cleantech company, how do you put together a marketing strategy when inflation AND a mild recession are passing you by? It’s not straightforward, but it is not as antithetical as it sounds–and it’s happening now.
2023 looks a lot like…2022
The global economy has been experiencing the worst inflation period in decades. In the United States, the cost of most goods has risen, and some are even skyrocketing. To slow down the inflationary spiral, the U.S. Federal Reserve has and apparently will continue to hike interest rates as an anti-inflationary tactic. That was in 2022. In 2023, one year older and wiser, the Fed says 2023 looks about the same. And it is working so well, that the U.S. is now facing the possibility of a mini recession in 2023.
Your marketing strategy needs to read the room
So how has the renewable energy sector fared during this roller coaster time? There is evidence that at least for the moment, home renewable energy system costs–wind and solar primarily– are actually recession-proof. For whatever reason, there hasn’t been much talk about it and the sector doesn’t even make it onto Forbes’ list of recession-proof sectors. The reality is that no business or industry is completely recession- or inflation-proof. Let’s just call it–recession/inflation resistant.
Here’s how we got here without anyone noticing. In 2021 and 2022, solar technology prices did go up to the tune of 12 percent. Normally that would be a hefty jump. But it was short-term and has or will shortly melt away. Over the years it has been around, solar equipment costs have not just been going down, they have been plummeting. Cost reductions have been so drastic, a momentary blip of 12 percent (as a comparison, the price of cars rises just under 2.5 percent each year).
Cleantech prices are a good news/bad news kind of thing
In 2023, solar prices are expected to start their downward trend again dropping potentially as much as 40%, as the costs of production inputs such as silicon are being slashed, in some cases as much as 50 percent. Up 12 percent, down 40 percent is quite the wild ride.
The rest of the renewable energy sector is somewhat of a mixed bag. Wind energy prices were always lower than solar, and continue to show improvement. Geothermal prices, both in terms of energy production and home climate control, would be expected to remain steady if it weren’t for new incentives and programs that will increase demand as costs become more manageable for a larger universe of customers. Battery storage (the hot technology at the moment) will actually see a rise in costs after a full decade of retreat.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is raising all cleantech technology with $391 Billion in grants, loans, and tax incentives for industry, government, and homeowners who implement energy-saving and renewable energy technologies. This certainly will make cleantech even more resilient than it already has been.
Smart Cleantech CEOs are checking their marketing strategy right about now
With resiliency strongly established, new incentives that are longer term, and focus on renewable and sustainable energy technology, the cleantech sector has the opportunity to ride out any recession or inflationary period. Not a bad place to be, which is why the sector is expecting new entrants at a fast clip. It’s also why smart cleantech CEOs have to come up with new strategies to build or retain market share. It’s not inflation or recession that could spell trouble, it’s failing to step up and be heard in a market that is suddenly grown more crowded.
Here are three places to look to recession/inflation-proof your marketing:
- Target Niche Markets. Find a niche and focus on marketing to a more narrowly defined audience. Your marketing dollars will go further and be more effective.
- Emphasize Cost Savings and Efficiency. In a recession, businesses and consumers are particularly concerned about reducing costs and improving efficiency. Position your cleantech offerings as a solution to achieve both objectives.
- Leverage Digital Marketing Channels. Digital marketing channels offer cost-effective ways to promote your cleantech solutions, especially during a recession when budgets are tight.
Essential CMO is the Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for the renewable energy industry and is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan with clients across the United States and Canada. Essential CMO is owned by Marketing Monsoon, LLC, a growth agency specializing in lead generation, client acquisition, and customer engagement with alternative energy, healthcare-related, and HR consulting companies. To schedule a Marketing Clarity Call, contact us at 866-851-1793 or schedule a call online.
Entrepreneur | CEO | Lead Generation Systems Expert | Inbound Marketing Expert Through Marketing Monsoon she has helped hundreds of business owners to develop automated marketing systems with their website. Ms. Burch has a background in organizational development and leadership development in large healthcare organizations. She is a Graduate Master Business Coach.