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For reasons unknown, Dunkin’ Donuts – often shortened to Dunkin’, Dunkies, or Dunks – reigns supreme in the minds of many Bostonian coffee drinkers. Everyone from Red Sox legend David Ortiz to your entirely uninteresting cousin Becky buys into the propaganda noise narrative that “America runs on Dunkin’.” Well, guess what: Becky’s a fraud. America does not, in fact, run on Dunkin’. America runs on many things.
Petroleum, natural gas, coal, renewable energy sources, and nuclear materials, to be precise. As of last year, that list is in descending order from most to least popular.
Petroleum, coal, and natural gas are known as fossil fuels, and they have long dominated the American energy sector – in terms of consumption as well as production. After a steady decline between 1970 and 2008, domestic production of crude oil began to climb again in 2009 and approached record highs in 2015 and 2017. Coal production has followed a similar trend, reaching a low-point in 2016 and kicking back up the following year. Recent upward trends in both of these sectors are due to innovations in technology, which make production more efficient and cost-effective.
Fear not, lovers of trees and birds and frogs and bees: production and consumption of renewable energy – solar, wind, hydroelectric – reached record highs in 2017. Although it may seem counterintuitive, fossil fuels and renewable sources are both on the rise. That’s because Americans like to consume a lot of stuff, and a lot becomes more every year. The cast of RENT weeps softly.
While energy demands increase yearly, the growing number of options creates a challenge more marketers across the sectors. How can you persuade consumers that your option is the best?
Let’s be honest: advertisers responsible for selling fossil fuels are facing an uphill battle. Environmental consciousness is an increasingly influential force acting on energy consumers. Although not many people are out on the front lines planting trees and repopulating bee communities, nobody wants to contribute to climate change. Your biggest advantage? Fossil fuels are the norm. Researching renewable energy and making the transition requires a lot of time and effort that many Americans are unwilling to spend. Emphasize that sticking to fossil fuels is the cheaper, easier option.
You can go the emotional route, too. Use the classic image of the American coal miner to get consumers feeling patriotic. The more closely you can associate coal production with the American spirit, the easier your job gets.
Advertising renewable energy is no walk in the park, either. Sure, you can appeal to consumers with the environmental benefits of solar panels and wind turbines. Plus, renewable options are increasingly cheap ‒ to the point that there’s no real price advantage to sticking with fossil fuels. However, as we said before, transitioning to renewable sources requires a lot of research and planning. Americans keep themselves busy, and only the most motivated in the environmentalist community are willing to invest their time.
Still, there is a growing market for residential renewable energy sources, and plenty of strategies to employ. Remember to offer clear solutions in your search headlines. Appeal to your frugal prospects with something like “Cut Your Utilities Bill Now,” and target the eco-friendly crowd with “Eliminate Your Carbon Footprint Today.” You’ll definitely have to remarket, too. That’s because buying solar panels is far from a snap decision. Expect searchers to click through to your site and bounce for further consideration. Use the display network to keep your company in the fronts of prospects’ minds while they continue to mull it over. Also, use RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads). This tactic allows you to bid up on keywords when a remarketing prospect once again searches something relevant to your product. This way, you’re able to zero-in on consumers who consistently indicate high purchasing intent.
Renewable marketers can go the emotional route as well. Use video advertisements to give prospects a better idea of what fossil fuels do to the environment. Contrast these upsetting images by showing evidence of all the good that solar, wind, and hydroelectric power can do for the planet. These tactics won’t convert everyone, but they’re sure to leave a strong impression.
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