Retailer teams up with PR firm to target younger audiences

August 5, 2016 By    
Photo courtesy of Conger LP Gas

Conger LP Gas employees pose for a photo before a three-day training session in April. Photo courtesy of Conger LP Gas

Newspapers, radio advertisements and traditional marketing methods often fail to reach younger generations of consumers.

Dan Richardson, president and CEO of Conger LP Gas, recognized this earlier in the year, realizing his company’s marketing efforts weren’t reaching younger or new consumers.

“Those outlets weren’t working for us,” he says. “And we weren’t doing any other marketing.”

In March, Richardson hired an outside public relations firm to determine ways his Tifton, Ga., company could improve its marketing approach to younger generations. The propane retailer partnered with Virginia-based Dotted Line Collaborations for this initiative.

The firm first met with Conger LP Gas employees and several members of the Propane Education & Research Council to learn more about the propane industry. Dotted Line Collaborations also hosted customer and non-customer focus groups to gather opinions about the propane industry.

After only a few months of research, Conger LP Gas gained some insights from the firm’s findings. Richardson learned there’s a need for propane retailers to educate millennials about propane to try to gain them as customers.

“When [millennials] think of propane, they think of a 20-pound cylinder that hooks up to a gas grill,” he says. “Some also think it’s the same as natural gas and don’t understand there’s a difference.”

To better educate millennials, Conger LP Gas rebranded its logo and has plans to update its website and social media accounts. Richardson hopes to reach more millennials as customers and potential employees through those mediums.

“We’ve found the best tool we have to reach new, young employees is Facebook,” he says. “We put an ad on Facebook [in May] for a customer service opening. Before that ad even ran in a local newspaper, we had 10 very good résumés come through on Facebook.”

Conger LP Gas also appointed one of its employees to transition into a full-time marketing role so the company has one dedicated person working on its image and maintaining its relationship with customers.

Overall, entering into a partnership with Dotted Line Collaborations has been highly valuable in figuring out new ways to reach customers, Richardson says. He wants Conger LP Gas to continue to work with the public relations firm to update the company’s marketing strategies.

Richardson encourages other retailers to consider analyzing and refreshing their marketing strategies.

“Don’t be afraid to be different,” he says. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We’ve got to change our methods. If this industry is not willing to change in the next decade, it could hurt us.”

More on Conger LP Gas

FOUNDERS: Perry and Dolores Conger
OWNER: Dan Richardson
PROPANE SALES: 3 million annual gallons

About the Author:

Megan Smalley was an associate editor at LP Gas magazine.

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