Awards case study: Inenco becomes authoritative voice in energy sector through multi-channel, content-led campaign
Learn how The Marketing Pod created an authoritative voice for Inenco on a government tax review through a multi-channel, content-led campaign that influenced end-users to have their say on energy taxes
The Marketing Pod were appointed by business energy consultant Inenco to position the company as a leading and authoritative voice in the energy industry prior to the government’s consultation on business energy taxes, thus building its profile among its target audience of major energy users across all sectors, and helping it to achieve increased sales of their energy compliance products and services.
A highly successful outcome was achieved through a multi-faceted and content-led campaign, utilising social media, video guides, expert blogs, sector forums, a dedicated website landing-page with downloadable content and an embedded feedback mechanism, editorial in key trade titles, and both online and print advertising. The Marketing Pod fully utilised media, stakeholder and strategic partner relationships for maximum impact and aimed to maintain a dialogue with affected businesses at every step of the campaign, which followed three stages: pre-consultation, consultation, and outcome.
Inenco is an award-winning business-energy consultancy that’s been offering tailored solutions for more than 50 years. Inenco employs more than 400 experts across the UK, delivering diverse solutions (from procurement to reduction) to more than 3000 customers including Sainsbury’s, Starbucks and Aldi.
A decade ago, the role of an energy consultant was different: market prices were volatile, procurement products complex and in-house buyers lacked confidence. In 2016, the world has changed: energy prices are flat and energy professionals are less dependent on third-party support.
Despite a decline in demand for procurement support, businesses were struggling to stay abreast of new energy compliance demands. As a result of legacy and new Government initiatives, schemes overlapped causing an administrative burden on businesses. Inenco recognised a need to reprioritise focus onto promoting compliance services.
An opportunity arose in September 2015: The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Treasury (HMT) and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) announced plans to launch a formal review of business energy taxes. Keen to get a head start, Inenco appointed the Pod to position Inenco as leading voice on the tax review.
Objectives of the campaign
- Raise awareness of tax review
- Position Inenco as leading voice
- Deliver editorial in identified trade titles.
The brief was to create an authoritative voice for Inenco on the tax review through a multi-channel, content-led campaign that influenced end-users to have their say on energy taxes.
This would educate and inform businesses on the consultation, and deliver the key message that this was an opportunity to shape legislation.
The Pod recommended a content-rich campaign that engendered a dialogue with Inenco’s audience, rather than talking at them via traditional advertising.
The target audience
Market opportunity: The opportunity was defined as 10,000 businesses caught by multiple compliance schemes. The campaign targeted professionals responsible for compliance.
- Energy compliance is complex and professionals are time-poor, so jargon-free content was critical.
- Speed to market: Government announced the consultation in September 2015 and launched that December, giving Inenco three months to deliver a successful campaign.
Strengths: Inenco’s team of in-house experts have proven success in supporting clients with compliance.
- Inenco is an energy compliance expert
- Inenco can help businesses achieve compliance.
Desired action: Businesses choose Inenco to support compliance needs.
Media, channels or techniques used
Website: Recognising the need to provide guidance throughout all stages of the campaign:
An online resource was developed allowing businesses to:
- Access jargon-free resources
- Download shareable infographics
- Have their say on consultations via embedded feedback mechanism.
Reports: Using stage one qualitative feedback and stage two quantitative feedback, insights from more than 130 businesses were collated into a report, submitted to government, and utilised as content.
Video guides and blogs: Four two-minute videos were produced explaining the changes and their impact. Videos were hosted on Inenco’s website and on a key media-partner’s site (Energy Live News), and shared on multiple channels e.g. emails, social media. Blogs supported the videos, each hosted on ELN’s site and Inenco’s landing-page.
Industry events: Recognising that the consultation would be a hot topic at MEUC and Energy Live industry events, the Pod secured speaking slots at both. Inenco also hosted two forums. The Pod secured HMT and BIS to present an update direct to customers, bolstering Inenco’s position as an authoritative voice.
During all events, the Pod conducted customer vox pops on the consultation with brands including Sainsbury's, Boots and Debenhams.
Webinar: The Pod set up an Inenco hosted webinar with Energy Live News, alongside BIS, giving businesses the opportunity to ask questions remotely.
PR: The Pod delivered a feature programme in targeted trade press, bylined by Inenco’s experts. The programme progressed from awareness to urging participation. Editorial was consistently secured in key trade titles (The Energyst, Energy Live News, Energy In Buildings and Industry, and Buying and Using Utilities).
Online advertising: Inenco placed animated online adverts on three key titles’ websites: Energy Live News, EDIE, and The Energyst. The content-led adverts achieved click-through of 0.3%; above site/industry average.
Social Media: Inenco’s Twitter handle was used to promote content. #HaveYourSay featured on infographics and articles. On key dates e.g. outcome of consultation during Budget 2016, Inenco experts were online providing live updates and deciphering what announcements meant for each sector.
On LinkedIn, senior Inenco employees shared images of themselves holding a campaign prop promoting #HaveYourSay.
Timescales of the campaign
September - October 2015: Pre-consultation
- Research and planning
- Set-up: Branding, landing page, social media, adverts
- Awareness: PR, blog, infographic, video guide on proposals, speaking events
- Qualitative research with 34 businesses.
- Report development and submission to government
- Infographic of findings.
November - December 2015: Consultation period
- Awareness: Refreshed advert creative, PR, blog, two video guides, webinar, sector forum event updates
- Quantitative research with more than 100 businesses to contribute to formal consultation
- Report development and submission to government
- Infographic of findings.
December - March: Consultation: Outcome - Budget day 2016
- Live Budget-day updates via Twitter
- Awareness: Refreshed advert creative, PR, blog, video guides
- Update, vox pops at Inenco forums.
The reports submitted to government allowed businesses to have a say on energy tax and successfully shaped the consultation.
- Landing-page unique visitors: 966
- 134 pieces of in-depth feedback
- Social-media campaign: 32,400 impressions, more than 500 positive engagements
- Video guide, unique views: 3074
- Blog, unique views: 1130
- 28 pieces of editorial: 17 features more than 1000 words. Total reach: 159,000.
- Inenco presented at two industry events to more than 900 delegates
- Inenco hosted three events alongside government, attended by 334 businesses.
David Cockshott, chief commercial officer at Inenco, said: "Have Your Say established us as an authority on energy legislation. Using timely, engaging content, the Pod successfully nurtured businesses through the sales pipeline and this was key to our success in achieving our product sales target."
B2B Marketing Awards 2016
This case study was submitted as part of the judging process for the B2B Marketing Awards 2016. It was shortlisted under Best multi-channel campaign: The future of energy taxes: have your say for Inenco by The Marketing Pod.