To avoid misleading customers, or simply through fear of legal backlash, advertising has evolved to hide the potential shortcomings of an offer in its disclaimer.
It can be hard to rise above competitive noise, especially when your market includes some less-than-reputable competitors.
For energy efficiency specialist, Energy Makeovers, success has meant avoiding the reputational damage that arises when poor service from some players has impacted all.
Energy Makeovers provides services to building owners to reduce their energy consumption and emissions, including replacing halogen lights with more energy-efficient LED alternatives. It has run extensive advertising campaigns through television, radio, newspaper fliers and a partnership with Bendigo Bank.
According to Energy Makeovers CEO, Bryn Deller, his call centre would often be mistakenly contacted by consumers complaining that technicians had not turned up when booked, even though the booking was made with another provider. The company had also observed significant negative comment through social channels relating to energy efficiency providers.
To combat this, it engaged social media analytics company, Digivizer, in the first half of 2015 to build a data-driven social media strategy and lift Energy Makeovers above the pack.
According to Digivizer’s head of customer engagement, Alan Smith, his company used its social media monitoring capability to better understand social conversations.
“That gave us the foundation of what was being discussed and what attitudes were,” he says. “From there, we built a social program, getting content into Energy Makeovers’ blog that drove the conversation around savings and getting clever about being effective with energy.”
Digivizer also had to develop a strategy to ensure Energy Makeovers could avoid being caught up in negative commentary, including responding authoritatively regarding the work of its own technicians.
“Our technology allows us to monitor the conversations daily, and how social conversations and conversations happening in things like Facebook and Twitter are affecting lead input in real time,” Smith says. “Monitoring the social traffic around complaints, we could see noise from competitors who weren’t as accredited as Energy Makeovers, so there was a whole management process around the confusion.”
The results have been strong, with Digivizer helping double traffic. Leads are up 135 per cent, and social traffic up 166 per cent, albeit from a small base. Digivizer has since implemented a broader digital strategy for Energy Makeovers to grow its search engine and organic Web traffic.
Smith says further evidence of the success of the work is that it has been copied by Energy Makeovers’ competitors.
“We have created content, which includes organic and paid social content, and seen competitors copy almost both the images and the messages,” Smith says. “That is perhaps symptomatic of some of the organisations in the industry.
“The trick is to strip away the noise, and those conversations have to be driven from the front.”
Importantly, Deller says more active social engagement is helping Energy Makeovers achieve its goal of being a trusted brand in the energy efficiency market.
“We want to be known as the company that makes your building over and handles your energy and emissions future for you, so that your grandchildren will have a better environment,”he continues.
“We are not about a transaction with one product. There are a series of transactions stretching out into the future that we will be doing with our customers. And that is because they have had experience and trust us.”