EST targets ‘influencers’ to spread the green word

The Energy Savings Trust (EST) is gearing up to roll out a new marketing strategy that aims to take its message to the mass market.

EST director of marketing Matthew Wright says the government-funded organisation will take a new direction with its marketing communications and aims to focus people’s attention on the local and personal impact of climate change.

He revealed plans for the new strategy, which will focus on community and on targeting influential people from within, through the launch of Communities 8 (C8).

The new marketing strategy will aim to involve people identified as “opinion influencers” who can help spread the message of energy efficiency. It embraces the networking phenomenon of Web 2.0, and the EST has already set up a Facebook group as part of its new approach.

Wright says the EST chose this strategy because of a study by Henley Centre Headlight Vision and Wildfire which has been used to create an Influence Index, which was also launched this week.

It identifies four core groups of influencers: community changers (38% of the UK population and mainly women); armchair advocates (20% of the UK population and chiefly married men); tea-time solvers (17% of the UK population and mostly women); and self-contained singles (25% of the UK population and predominantly under 44 years of age).

The C8 is intended to mimic the political G8 summit and comprises leaders from influential communities with the most potential to drive large-scale adoption of energy-efficient behaviour. The C8, which includes the Royal Mail, the Women’s Institute and the Church of England, met the Prime Minister to discuss proposals.

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