Marketing of proactive improvements should be directed to both consumers and contractors.
In previous Daily Insights, we’ve noted that some 21 million homes were built in the U.S. during the boom years of 1994 to 2006, and we’ve outlined strategies to prepare for the replacement boom in appliances, HVAC systems and water heaters.
These are “reactive replacements”: When these items break, consumers are in a reactive mode: they have to replace them. Consumers are not in control and they know it. On these big-ticket “reactive replacements,” a knowledgable, reassuring contractor can help a homeowner pick an appropriate energy-efficient replacement product.
Opportunities in “proactive” investments
Retailers and manufacturers also have a different kind of marketing opportunity to encourage homeowners to make proactive investments in energy efficiency, notably:
- Replacing leaky windows with high-efficiency ENERGY STAR windows
- Adding caulking or weather stripping
- Installing extra insulation
- Buying higher-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerators, freezers or dishwashers
When homeowners are thinking about making proactive improvements, they are in an empowered state of mind.
Our research shows that when homeowners have specific improvements on their radar screens, they are willing to research and learn about them – usually online. And while about half are DIY’ers, the other half rely upon contractor recommendations.
For these reasons, marketing directed at homeowners can be even more effective if it is backed up by well-informed nudges from contractors. It’s important to utilize both BtoC and BtoB marketing activities – particularly online tools that offer improvement prioritization help, comparative product information, installation instruction and a network of knowledgeable contractors who can do the work.