Octopus Energy has an enviable brand when it comes to selling consumer energy – but also has a fast-growing B2B arm. Here CEO of Octopus Energy for Business Zoisa North Bond answers are questions about B2B marketing as the latest of our Marketing Maestro interview series, presented in association with Lead Monitor – New Statesman Media Group’s AI-driven content marketing solution.
What’s the big idea?
Since 2018, Octopus Energy for Business has developed a technology-backed and customer-led approach to selling energy. We encourage businesses of all sizes to go greener, from large energy users like Arsenal Stadium to local coffee shops, by supplying them with 100% renewable electricity.
This is supported by Octopus Energy’s proprietary technology, Kraken. Built in house by our dedicated tech team, Kraken works by automating much of the energy supply chain whilst supporting innovative time-of-use tariffs, allowing customers to benefit from the times when energy is cheaper and greener.
Kraken enables us to create bespoke products for energy-dependent sectors that are advancing the UK’s sustainability agenda. For example, we have created a dedicated tariff for UK’s vertical indoor farms, we are supporting the transition to electric vehicles by providing 100% green electricity and dynamic pricing for electric charging networks across the country, we have developed a combined energy tariff for businesses with solar panels where we actually pay customers for surplus green energy they export back to the grid.
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What are the main messages you try to get across?
The business sector is one of the largest carbon emitters in the UK, and so companies of all shapes and sizes have a critical part to play in the transition to Net Zero. Switching businesses over to 100% green electricity tariffs is a crucial first step, yet there is much more businesses can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Whether it be installing solar panels, transitioning their fleet to electric vehicles or partaking in community energy schemes, we want to support and empower businesses on their journey to zero emissions.
What are the main challenges of marketing energy to business?
One of the challenges we are overcoming is changing mindsets around the way businesses interact with energy suppliers. Traditionally, hunting around for business energy deals has been a complex and lengthy process, so time-strapped businesses would go via brokers to find a new supplier. Brokers in the energy market are unregulated and some of these companies don’t have the customers’ best interests at heart, locking businesses into the deals that earn the best broker commission, rather than providing any benefit to the businesses themselves.
We are challenging this by providing a quick and easy customer journey for businesses. Companies looking to switch to us can view our prices upfront and sign up in a matter of minutes. On average, over 70% of our sign ups come directly through our website. This allows us to have direct relationships with our customers, simplifying the business supplier relationship and allowing us to be as honest, fair and transparent as possible.
How much of your marketing goes into renewable/clean energy?
Selling great value, green energy is one of our key messages and we always highlight this in our marketing activities. Each time a customer switches over to us, it’s a win for them and a win for the planet.
How big a part does technology play in your B2B marketing strategies?
Technology is an indispensable part of marketing nowadays. Like most businesses that rely on an online platform for selling their service or product, we use programmatic advertising for our direct acquisition strategy. The technology available allows us to target our key audience and track our performance incredibly accurately.
What is the biggest selling point of renewable power?
It is a common misconception that green energy costs more than brown energy. Through our tech led approach, we are able to offer 100% renewable electricity at competitive prices. If our energy is not the cheapest out there, it will certainly be one of the cheapest energy deals on the market. This means that customers can become more sustainable every day, at no extra cost to their business.