By Published On: September 6, 2023

Storytelling plays a big role in marketing. And we spend a lot of time doing it on behalf of our clients. Today, as we move toward more purpose-driven marketing with aspirations to serve the renewable energy industry, the story is about us. And it begins with me.

It was a birthday gift (wrapped in newsprint) from my brother some 30 years ago. The dumbfounded look on my face said it all as I retrieved an off-white canvas bag with the word NEITHER on it: “What the #*$&?”

I’ve always looked up to my big brother—slaying life is his specialty. In those days, he’d been on a new kick, talking about reducing, reusing, and recycling ad nauseum, and spewing stats he’d read in the paper or seen on the news about the bloating human population and its impact on the planet.

When he explained how my new canvas bag would reduce waste at the grocery store when the clerk asked if I wanted paper or plastic, I saw my chance to connect with him on a new level and do something good at the same time. I was stoked to use my power as a consumer to change the broken system my brother lamented. To make less waste; to be more thoughtful about my personal footprint; to protect the oceans, the trees, and the animals; to stop the warming.

Since then and to this day I buy organic and bulk, donate to climate charities, commute by bike, drive a hybrid car, buy carbon offsets, shop at thrift stores, idolize Yvon Chouinard, volunteer, petition, rally, and vote. I do everything I can to make a difference.

Now, as the mercury continues to rise, I realize my personal choices, while important, aren’t going to get us out of this mess. What will, is pushing forward green policies and renewable technologies.

I’ll continue doing what I can on the policy front with my dollars, voice, and vote. On the technology front, the best thing I can do is offer my marketing and branding skills to renewable energy companies to help them get their products and services into the hands of their target audience. And I’m wildly fortunate to work with a supportive group of fellow marketing folks who feel the same way.

But here’s the thing. It’s challenging for an agency of our size to break into a new vertical. Even though we’ve done it before, we know some companies want their marketing partner to come to the table with previous industry knowledge.

I get it, but please hear me out.

Sure, it can be nice to work with an agency who already knows the jargon. But all good agencies are pros at conducting upfront research on every new client and project and can pick things up quickly. They can also bring ideas that work in other industries.

What’s MUCH more important, I think, is that your agency knows how to approach marketing for complex businesses. Because contrary to what many people might think, marketing is hard. Not hard like rocket science hard. But not easy either.

Marketing is especially hard in manufacturing. Where R&D is plentiful, and marketing teams are small or nonexistent. Where engineers run the business, and branding can be an afterthought. Where salespeople need warm leads, but prospects aren’t answering their phones. Where content is king, but no one has time to create it.

Marketing is also complicated. Specialists are needed to make sense of—and manage—the details for whichever marketing channel your buyers spend time in. And those buyers want meaningful interactions with your brand before talking to a sales rep, which means your content needs to be easily found and highly useful.

That’s where we come in.

Understanding audiences is our thing. We design creative that gets their attention. We create content they need to make buying decisions. We find out where they spend time and put your message in front of them. We get your name near the top of the search results on Google. We position you as the company who will solve your buyer’s problem. We help you meet your goals, whatever they may be.

As we jump in with both feet to learn the RE Industry and help innovators like you grow your business, we hope you’ll consider bringing us along for the ride. Our pricing is flexible. Our research is thorough. Our team is sharp. Our work gets results.

And when renewables become the norm instead of the alternative, I can proudly say I’ve done my part.

Thanks for reading my story. Now let’s go make the world a better place.

About the Author: Danette Knickmeier

Danette Knickmeier
The number of hats Danette wears at the agency rivals the number of toppings you can put on a pizza. Now seven years into her second residency at cat&tonic, she enjoys putting her many talents to use, including (but not limited to) account services, project management, strategic planning, copy and content writing, general operations, and snack ordering. Her wicked planning skills and natural ability to keep projects on task—without annoying all parties involved—make her our go-to, get-it-done person. Danette’s first stint at [c&t] lasted six years before she got the itch to try on a few larger agencies for size. She grew professionally and made several life-long friends in those days, but she missed the small agency vibe and was eagerly welcomed back by her life-long [c&t] friends.
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