Graham McGregor 's Opinion

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: Using facts to sell

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Image / Thinkstock
Image / Thinkstock

I received some helpful advice recently from Alf Lombardi the MD of Shrewdd Marketing.

(Shrewdd Marketing is a business-to-business marketing and PR company based in Yorkshire, England.)

Alf noted that everyone has their own view on how a business can be established as the leader in their field.

He suggested that one of the simplest ways to do this this can be with the use of hard-hitting facts to demonstrate the negative impact that something is having on the world, and the positive impact that your business can have.

This can be done through word-of-mouth, social media, media and public relations, newsletters, and more.

Here is an example that Alf shared...

Harvard Engineering is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of control products for the lighting industry, including the innovative LeafNut monitoring and control system for street lighting.

The company wanted to increase awareness of LeafNut with key personnel in local authorities and highlight the benefits of dimming street lighting rather than switching them off.

To do this, the company used a number of hard-hitting facts to demonstrate the negative impact current street lighting is having on energy usage and the positive impact that LeafNut could have.

Market facts were used to demonstrate Harvard's knowledge about street lighting and their energy usage.

These facts included:

Street lighting accounts for 40 per cent of a council's energy usage

There are 7.5 million street lights in the UK costing 3;500 million pounds per year to run each year and emitting approximately 830,000 tonnes of CO2 per year

In the UK, there are legal requirements to make carbon reductions of 34 per cent by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050, based on 1990 levels

In the US, current estimates show that there are about 52.6 million public roadway lights installed nationwide - 26.5 million street lights and 26.1 million highway lights. According to the US Energy Department's Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium, these consume the energy equivalent of 1.9 million households and their annual energy and maintenance cost is $6-8 billion

There are 1.94 million public lights in Australia, annually costing $210 million. 1.36 million of these are on minor roads and use as much energy as 80,000 Australia homes

Specific figures were used for each of the countries Harvard targeted with the technology to show they totally understood each market.

Facts about the savings LeafNut could deliver were used, to showcase the technology's capabilities.

These facts included:

LeafNut can save up to 40 per cent in energy costs and 50 per cent in carbon emissions

LeafNut can save up to 100kg of carbon per street light per year and up to 46 pounds in energy costs per street light per year.

In Camarles, Spain, the implementation of LeafNut has saved the council 55 per cent on its electricity bill and is projected to cut 690 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next ten years.

In Luton in the UK, the installation of LeafNut is expected to save 4 million pounds over next 20 years.

Through the installation of LeafNut, Westminster City Council in the UK is anticipated to reduce carbon by 1.5 million kg a year and make energy savings of 420,000 pounds per year, based on current energy prices.

These figures made Harvard stand out from their competitors as the market experts and they soon became known as the leading company in the field.

Editors regularly contact the company for comments for street lighting articles, Twitter followers over a 12 month period increased from 229 to 819 with people interested in seeing Harvard's views on industry topics, and the company won a number of awards, including the Judges' Choice award at the Financial Mail's Made in Britain awards.

I liked the comments that Alf shared about using hard hitting facts.

It reminded me that these can often be useful to include in some of your marketing material.

'Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get em, get em right, or they will get you wrong.'; Thomas Fuller


Action Exercise:

How could you use hard hitting facts to position your business as the ideal choice for a potential client?


Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 27 countries.) You can email him at the link below.

Graham McGregor

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

Read more by Graham McGregor

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