Today, South Africa is among the top 20 countries with highest carbon dioxide emissions, with more than 75% of the primary energy requirement being derived from fossil fuels. The country, however, commits to a more sustainable future by harnessing the potential of renewable energy resources, particularly, solar and wind. The renewable energy sector experienced an enormous growth in the past few years.[caption id="attachment_262" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: Renewables 2020 Global Status Report[/caption]
The renewable capacity in South Africa is forecasted by 40%, from 8 GW in 2017 to 12 GW in 2023. Solar energy is currently the most utilized renewable resource in South Africa, and 2 solar thermal systems built as a part of SOLTRAIN (the Southern African Solar Thermal Training & Demonstration Initiative) were launched in 2019, which are the 2 largest solar thermal systems south of the Sahara.
Here is an overview of power consumption across various sectors in South Africa:[caption id="attachment_263" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: DFIC-Energy Efficient Technology for South Africa[/caption]
Digital marketing allows the strategic implementation of the concept of segmented targeting. Utilizing it appropriately will multiply new clients to a large extent as well as retain the old ones. After all, segmented targeting is meant to specifically attract a certain sector using personalized content.
In the commercial as well as non-commercial sectors, reaching out to various industries and letting them know how much they can save on energy consumption costs, how they can meet their CSR commitments, maintain longer and healthier client and public relations, forecast risks and manage them, and improve their employee engagement-everything in a detailed and informative manner will develop a more transparent and loyal customer base. For example, in the agriculture industry, how harnessing wind power to pump water and generate electricity could save on costs and labor might fetch a lot of attraction from this industry towards renewable energy suppliers.
On a residential level, how utilizing solar power panels, wind turbines, solar ovens, solar ACs, Powerwalls (or other similar large rechargeable batteries), could be cost-effective and safe for large housing projects, residential complexes and even commercial buildings -such type of emphasis will help attract clients from the housing industry on a large scale.
Targeting the construction industry, in particular, could result in significant milestones in successful integration of renewable energy resources. In this case, everything begins with design. And, architects today take various factors into consideration, including natural light, rooftop solar panels, smart windows, energy efficient HVAC systems and water heaters. Construction sites require a more economic model, which should ensure that each stage of any building project feeds into the next stage without creating waste or redundant materials, including energy. Buildings that are designed to cater to this model are restorative, produce low waste, and either recycle or store energy.
Bio-energy is among the most promising yet under-utilized forms of renewable energy for “green buildings” today. Since bio-energy fuel and equipment are produced locally, it is beneficial economically as well, other than regional ecological value. It is generated by burning biomass to produce fuel. Hence, a much more affordable housing and economic balance can be achieved at a residential level.
Now, “bio-energy for green buildings” alone could be a segment of target through digital marketing of the renewable energy sector that might have a massive potential of converting energy requirements in the construction industry from non-renewable sources to renewable ones. Because of 3 factors.
So first, utilization of digital marketing to spread awareness about the terms “renewable resources”, “bio-energy” and “green buildings” instead of directly diving into advantages would help achieve more positive and structured responses from the crowd.
For implementing such educational content-based marketing strategies, social media and other interactive platforms are ideal assets. Changing mindsets was never easy; in fact, it often takes years. But then, there was a time when phones did not exist at all. So why can’t renewable energy take on the power industry?
The key factor when opting for digital marketing in this sector is transparency. Because, it is more of an industry-to-industry kind of a service, and the relations are long term. Hence, investments are big, too. Live interactive sessions, discussion forums, customer service availability, and fact-based content: all this, and finally, customer satisfaction add up to make world a better place to live in, with renewable energy industry achieving a trusted level of confidence across the industries that drive South Africa.
And obviously, these factors are added benefits when reaching out the potential market of renewable energy through digital marketing. Strategically putting emphasis on one or more of these factors when targeting a specific client industry will also help attracting powerful ones with simple mind imagery of how renewable resources will help gain more incomes and profits through a sustainable outcome in the future. Digital marketing will not just amplify the number of clients, but also ensure these clients are retained in the long run.
Digital Piloto, May 20, 2021
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