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Archive for December, 2011

As I read the suggestions on how to have a green Christmas, I’m thankful that many of them — buying less stuff, re-gifting, and skipping wrapping paper — happen to align with me being cheap.

That said, sometimes you’ve just got to celebrate the holidays with a little bit of mayhem. For that I turn to the wisdom of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (some language and a glorious punting of a plastic Santa, so NSFW):

However, you celebrate them — be it with the electrical shutdown of a suburban block or otherwise — the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies wish you Happy Holidays and a safe New Year. See you in 2012.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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SpiroFlo discusses the struggle of marketing a green technology to the hardcore green crowd and how it’s important to find the Baby Bear of environmentalists: Those who are green enough to value everyday resource savings, but not so green that they aren’t widely accessible (by their beliefs about business or their frugal lifestyles).

SpiroFlo was recently invited to buy ad space on a general green living forum, but declined.

The main reason: The hardcore green crowd often doesn’t personally financially support businesses.

Some of them hate capitalism; others think if you’ve got a product that benefits the environment you should give it away (or stick a government entity with the bill). Regardless of the reasoning, it often seems like that crowd is more likely to jury-rig their own energy-saving devices than buy from a business. (Please don’t electrocute yourself installing your own tin foil solar panels.)

Granted, I don’t expect the everyday citizens to buy an oil and gas well improvement tool or an industrial biofilm removal tool from us, but for residential hot water savings, Average Joes can bring green benefits into their home with one SpiroFlo device installed at the outset of the hot water tank. Getting a better, eco-friendly shower faster, all while improving your morning routine (by not waiting so long for hot water at the shower) seems like a no-brainer, but Average Joe water saving benefits don’t necessarily apply to fringe green groups.

Note: Saying “fringe group” conjures up images of terrorism. I’m not suggesting fringe green groups are attacking people with organic fruit and solar-powered weaponry, rather just acknowledging that they are, in fact, way in the minority.

http://www.wayfaring.info/2009/03/20/ivrea-carnival/

They even have fruit fighter outfits!

Additionally, often times, unconventional people have unconventional homes. From the tiny house trend to the build-your-own-humanure-toilet crowd, sometimes the upheave-your-life green fringe crowd doesn’t even have the type of living space that could benefit from minor green savings. If they’ve already made a major shift to green living, a cost-effective, easy green device like SpiroFlo is in a different league. I mean, why own a shower when you bathe in the previously wasted fountain water at the park?

I kid, but I can tell you this much: a good chunk of the people who are actively involved in general green living forums—as in, the kinds of people who would see our advertisement there—are likelier to fall into the above categories, making the marketing dollars wasted dollars. Perhaps if the green forums were more specific to residential water savings, the ad would pay back its cost, but at this stage, there’s still a difference between marketing to a niche than an inaccessible fringe.

The key is to find people who are just green enough—with enough green awareness to care about environmental impact/resource savings (along with a better shower), but not so much that they’re beyond the benefits of the everyman water-saving SpiroFlo device—but guess what? Average people don’t hang out all in one universal area.

Whether it’s a small fringe group or the white noise of a large, carry-all home supply chain store, sometimes it’s hard to know where to speak your marketing voice let alone what to say with it. Regardless, good, simple green products need to get out there somehow.

Time for Occupy Home Depot?

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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So you tell me, is Texas in a drought?

*Ag = agriculture

Considering one SpiroFlo device saves a household thousands of gallons of water a year and a lot more states are looking like Texas, those savings are looking pretty good right about now.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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SpiroFlo explores why it’s always 4 out of 5 experts who agree on anything and how that magical number often winds up being true, even when you wish it wasn’t.

Oh, 4 out of 5 experts, you can’t recommend every product, can you? Let’s look at some of the ways marketing sometimes skews that number:

1. The Statement is Dishonest

Oh, fifth dentist, have you no heart?

Take a marketing statement that’s been explored a little: 4 out of 5 dentists recommend sugar-free gum.

Turns out there was actually the added caveat of, If your patients insist on chewing gum, which type of gum would you recommend? That’s not the same as recommending the product with no strings attached. Now regardless of whether this fifth dentist is the kind of candy Scrooge who hands out toothbrushes on Halloween and dental floss at Christmas, even when they phrased the question in a way that was likely to win over sugar-laden gum, this fifth dentist still wouldn’t recommend their sugar-free product. Which brings us to our next point:

2. Someone Always Agrees / Disagrees With You

I’ve heard it said that when it comes to dealing with large groups, barring an extreme option, 20% of people will always support you. Likewise, 20% of people will go against anything, too, so you’re really only trying to sway 60% of the room. Here’s where my amazing math skills come into play: That 1 out of 5 who disagrees — yup, there’s your 20% right there.

3. They Literally Asked Five Experts

The old infomercial statement was “9 out of 10 doctors agree…” but apparently that number became too risky.

Things is, whether it’s 4 out of 5 or 9 out of 10 experts, you would hope they asked hundreds or thousands of experts (enough to get a meaningful consensus) so that the statistic actually equates to an 80-90% approval rating, but those numbers are really difficult to attain, so much so, that 70% is an overwhelming majority. I mean, you tell me: When was the last time 70% of congress agreed on anything?  As a result, sometimes marketing groups use less data points to imply a much stronger statement.

4. Nobody Believes 100% of People Like Your Product

Even with the above points, I think this one is a gimme: You can’t please everyone all the time, so in a sense, people inherently know that a 100% approval rating is bogus. With 4 out of 5 though, there may be a myriad of reasons for those rare detractors (or one detractor if you went with a mere five experts).

I feel bad for the poor guy bestowed with the rare grace of 100% of people enjoying his product, because he probably has to adjust his statistics for the worse to be believable. Additionally, even if it’s not based on opinion — it’s just something that works or does not work — nothing can work all the time in all situations. Which brings us to our final point:

5. Sometimes It’s Actually Just What It Is

SpiroFlo received a grant from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office to test its water saving device in homes around the Denver Metro Area. After getting 100 SpiroFlo devices for installation — man, we should’ve gone with five: would’ve been quicker, cheaper and easier — and spending seven months on the project, we got our results. Although every home received up to a 5% water volume savings on every hot water outlet, 78% received hot water an average of 35% faster at their shower. One install received hot water 67% faster with SpiroFlo, but it was an anomaly and thrown out as a data point.

Of course, 78% isn’t a pretty number, even if it’s statistically impressive. 78% is good enough for an average grade in school and maybe it’s that marketing groups have hiked up expectations or that people expect too much (see any star rating system where anything less than 100% is often considered majorly flawed), but yup, now SpiroFlo gets to say it, too: 4 out of 5 households will receive a faster, more efficient shower from the SpiroFlo device. Who cares if every housing unit in the U.S. had a SpiroFlo device, the total amount of water conserved in a year would be over 500 billion gallons (and that’s before the electrical savings from not heating as much water)?

I hate marketing sometimes.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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Top Spam Comments: Q4 2011

Although this is a blog about green commentary / green small businesses in a tough, red economy, sometimes you’ve just got to take a moment to enjoy the spam comments that come your way.

Despite being (thankfully) hidden away by WordPress, I figured I’d share some of my favorite spam comments from the last quarter:

“batman christmas toys ##URL## batman christmas toys”

Batman toys? Really? I figured writing a green blog would at least get me Green Lantern toys, but perhaps Ryan Reynolds’ grinder abs didn’t do so hot in 3D…

“I enjoy studying and I believe this website got some truly utilitarian stuff on it!”

Utilitarian — that’s what I was going for here: being functional and nothing else. Eh, at least the spambot was excited about how functional the website is.

“My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was once totally right. This put up actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!”

Even with English as a second language (what’s a “put up”?), the spambot still busts out surfer lingo. Totally awesome, bro!

“WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. ?There are certainly quite a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice point to convey up. I provide the ideas above as normal inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you convey up the place crucial factor will be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of only a second抯 pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

Okay, I’m not sure what needs a shower first — me or my grammar — but that “second pleasure” (be it length of time or number of times) can stay far, far away.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

Read Full Post »