HOW TO GO ABOUT IT
Generate an initial list of the types of activity you could complete to start engaging companies in your target market. Some initial ideas to get you started are provided below:
- Present an overview of eco-innovation services when visiting companies that you work with already that fall within your target markets for eco-innovation.
- Contact the relevant trade or industrial association or Chambers of Commerce for your target market to discuss the opportunities to run joint events and co-promotion on the topic of eco- innovation. They are often keen to find new ways of supporting their members and offering new services.
- Initiate a project to address a sector-wide challenge or opportunity. If funding for the project can be secured, this can facilitate the recruitment of industrial partners to provide further investment.
- Make use of the partnerships you have developed. If you have developed partnerships then think about what new contacts they may be able to provide. Also, how could you work together with your partners to build greater reach and impact for your marketing events?
- Organize a ‘CEO Forum’ which introduces the concept and benefits of eco-innovation to business leaders in your target market.
- Develop a market-specific presentation about the drivers and opportunities for eco-innovation within that sector market and then contact individual companies from within that target sector market to arrange a meeting to deliver this presentation.
- Contact the customers and stakeholders of a company and ask them how they rate the sustainability performance of the company. If you identify an area where the company is failing to live up to stakeholder expectations this can be useful information for the company.
- Publish a White Paper on the business benefits of eco-innovation targeted at your target market. A White Paper is a piece of marketing literature, typically around 4 to 5 pages in length, which describes a new approach or new product that can help to solve a business problem. When writing a White Paper, it is important to clearly identify the audience for the White Paper and provide suitable content and language for your target audience (i.e. if your intended audience is the CEO of the company the focus should be on the business benefits, capital costs etc. not the technical detail of a solution). Try to include pictures, diagrams and examples where possible to help explain and reinforce the points you are making. Some relevant content can be found in the ‘Business case for eco-innovation’ published by UN Environment but try to complement this with examples and arguments that are more specific to your region, country and target market. Once complete, putting your White Paper on your web page where people can download it for free in return for providing their contact details is a good way to generate leads. You can also try sending an email to existing contacts to let them know about your new eco-innovation services, including a link to the White Paper download page on your website.
Review the list and decide which of the ideas you will implement, taking into account factors such as:
- Time, cost and effort to organize and implement
- How many good quality leads (contacts within relevant companies) the activity would generate.
- The capacity you have available to run these activities with the team you have available.
Generate a schedule of activities for the next 6-12 months, make sure one named person is responsible for each activity, then start organizing your first activity!