What’s a key concern for cleantech now? Nailing a marketing strategy. Another? Keeping pace with everyone and meeting the wants and needs of investors, partners, and customers is making for a wild ride. Those are my biggest takeaways from hosting the first season of our Green New Perspective Podcast.
Over 30 cleantech, naturetech, biotech, and agritech CEOs and marketing experts came on the podcast to share their wisdom. I’ve gathered their insights to look at cleantech marketing’s top trends.
Collaboration matters more than ever
Strategic partnerships help with resources and boost participation
The Arctic Ice Project, spearheaded by Anette Eros and known for its work developing technology to preserve Arctic ice, has undergone a significant strategic shift. Instead of solely focusing on internal research, the company is now branching out to partner with leading external specialists and organizations.
Their Scientific Advisory Board, stacked with global big brains, is guiding the ship, making sure they're on the cutting edge. Funding-wise, they're pulling in support from all over the globe. But it's not all about the money. They're also sharing the knowledge and getting everyone in on the action, especially indigenous communities.
Partnerships also boost market penetration
Victor Peltola, Chief Commercial Officer at HEVO, a company that develops wireless charging for EVs, and Natalie MacVarish, Director of Marketing at ICPG — which produces sustainable packaging — shared insights on leveraging partnerships for market readiness and product integration.
Collaborating with industry giants and conducting global trials are crucial in introducing innovative cleantech solutions.
Eco-Friendly Supply Chain
Iain McPherson, Sales Director at ecoSPIRITS, the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste spirits and wine distribution technology, highlighted the role of partnerships in promoting a circular economy. Working with hospitality industry players demonstrates the practicality and benefits of sustainable practices.
Engaging content is ever-important
Use content to explain, not just promote
The cleantech industry faces a widespread challenge: effectively communicating its innovative technologies to a wider audience, and clearly explaining its functionality. Anette Eros of Arctic Ice Project told us that utilizing explainer videos, blogs, and thought leadership content helps present these concepts in simple, accessible, and engaging ways.
Raise Awareness to raise demand
Victor Peltola from HEVO said that using social media is necessary to raise customer awareness. Creating demand for new technologies can’t happen if people don’t know what’s out there.
Educational marketing is a worthwhile strategy
For companies like ICPG and LanzaTech, educating the market is as important as the product that their companies are developing. Natalie MacVarish from ICPG and Sarah Ye, from LanzaTech, a company that collects and recycles carbon, said that there is a need for strategic content that showcases the advantages and practicality of their solutions.
Leverage AI with a caveat
As cleantech companies strive for more content, they have looked to AI. Generative AI seemed to burst onto the scene and offer fast and quick ways to create content. Caroline Banfield, Director of Marketing and Digital Operations at Dynamo Energy Hub, the leading global network for the energy transition, noted that AI plays a crucial role in that process.
But at the same time, AI can make content seem a bit too cookie-cutter — and campaigns and messaging need to be authentic and feel real to draw an audience. But there are effective ways to deploy AI to optimize, organize, and analyze as well.
Keep communication clear and simple
Be real about your innovations
Catherine Roggero-Lovisi is CEO of Modern Meadow, a biotech firm that fabricates sustainable materials. She stressed the importance of clearly communicating the capabilities and limitations of new technologies. Dispelling misconceptions helps consumers and brands grasp the benefits of your technologies. Better to keep the parameters clear and say what something doesn’t do as well as what it does.
Choose a marketing agency that specializes in cleantech
Melissa Puchalla is VP of Sustainability Solutions at Wastebits, a firm that offers cloud-based waste management software to track the complete waste lifecycle. She highlighted the importance of a marketing team with the knowledge and skills for cleantech campaigns.
Firms that work exclusively (or regularly) with cleantech clients bring deeper insights into the industry's dynamics, requirements, and language. This expertise is crucial in distilling complex ideas for varied audiences and tailoring communication to the industry.
Keep your sights on the big picture
Be part of a supportive community
Ryan Buckley is Co-Founder and CEO of Shovels, which helps climate tech companies connect with homeowners. He encourages any firm — including a startup — to become part of communities such as Work on Climate, My Climate Journey, and Climatebase, as well as various founder networks. They make networking and recruitment in climate tech infinitely easier.
Be flexible, open-minded, and focus on your positive impact
Caroline Cotto, the CEO of a food upcycling company Renewal Mill, suggests tackling problems with a beginner's mindset — make sure you truly understand the issues and are open to adapting your solutions. Collaborate with other innovators to speed up progress.
And stay flexible: that’s critical for staying above water when it comes to being a sustainability entrepreneur. Focus on the positive impacts you make despite the challenges, and remind yourself that the smallest step still contributes to a more sustainable future.
Seek investors who align with your vision
Sanchali Pal is CEO and Founder of Commons, an app that helps consumers shop more responsibly. She said that finding investors who believe in the problem you're solving is crucial: it's easier to secure funding from those already familiar with your mission than to start from scratch with explanations.
Stay on top of industry insights
If you're keen to dive deeper into the world of cutting-edge cleantech technologies and explore advanced marketing strategies tailored to your industry, the Green New Perspective podcast is for you. We've recently launched its second season offering and I’m excited about the new trove of insights and tops coming your way.
Be sure to tune in!
We launched the podcast at New Perspective to join the industry conversation, and it’s certainly exceeded our expectations: this is a fast-changing field full of very bright stars. If you’re interested in just finding out more about marketing your cleantech innovation, reach out: the New Perspective team would love to help you stay ahead in this ever-changing field.