The off-grid manufacturing and services industry has a lot of untapped potential. It lacks wide-spread adoption owing to lesser awareness and policy frameworks. While the government is coming up with subsidies and incentives, it becomes necessary to spread awareness among people or else this market will remain in the nascent stages only. This can be done by advertising and marketing. Some of the marketing avenues that are gaining relevance in the off grid solar industry has been elaborated in this blog.
This is most common and easily available medium for advertising and marketing. By understanding the widespread use of internet by customers for any product search, companies market through their websites. Any consumer in search of products first reaches out internet (Googling in common terms) and lands up in the company’s website. These media target common masses and domestic customers on a large scale. Online marketing and search engine optimization has become a vital strategy to reach the end user segment.
Journals and Magazines
In the recent days, a lot of renewable energy magazines journals have come up. This opens up a focused client base for companies who subscribe to these magazines. The extra edge in marketing is provided by this media as they have large number of those companies as subscribers- who are part of value chain in this sector.
Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Similar to renewable energy journals / magazines, the events (exhibitions and tradeshows) will bring together a focused customer base and this is one of the best avenues to have the products marketed. These road shows will also help the company in understanding the clear needs in the market and optimize their products and offerings.
SMS and E-mail Advertising
This type of marketing can be done to reach those who have been a client/customer in the past. Once experienced with the quality and performance of previous product/installation, it becomes easier to get them back and convince them to try next products. Also this leads to a strong customer support. This type of marketing can be implemented to win customers to take up new technologies and products.
Market Segment-wise Marketing
Many companies have come up with different marketing strategies for each market segment. The need and product demand is separate for each market segment- be it residential, commercial or industrial. For rural areas, many companies will have to set up stalls or small outlets which have products dedicated to rural needs. Also the dealer for such outlets is a person from the same locality. They are trained in order to understand specific needs and possible product solutions. For urban residential market segment, companies undertake door-to-door advertising and surveying. For commercial and Industrial segments, a company representative contacts the decision-making team of the client and explains to them about solutions that they can provide. A strong personality and logical reasoning are attributes needed in such persons.
Setting up network of shops and outlets under one brand name helps the owners to win customers. Aditya Solar is a brand chain of shops set up by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. MNRE has set up 294 Akshaya Urja Shops across various cities in India. The products are sold under brand name of Akshaya Urja.
Being Loyal than business minded
It’s easy to make business with people but difficult to maintain it. Considering a case where a customer approaches with requirement of say 100 streetlights, the company takes up the project and installs it. Observing the various constraints of capital investment and maintenance costs, customer may not turn again. But for the same customer, if the company understands, and educates about cheaper, alternative solutions along with solar street lighting, it may prove affordable for customer and may also pour in more customers through mouth advertising.
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