David Grand, head of marketing at Sirea Group, tells us about energy management and automation.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined the Sirea Group.
David Grand: I was a freelance graphic designer in 2014 for Sirea, and I joined the company in 2015 as an intern with UI design missions on the company’s software. Then I worked on the company’s product development and rebranded the product documents (website, datasheets, user guides, newsletter). I gained extensive knowledge of all its products and services, so I worked on press releases following new product features and managed the social media accounts. Today I oversee all marketing missions, from print to digital.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
David Grand: Yes, by curation. This is the best way to “stay in the move” of your business by having updates on the latest product in the market, how other companies are marketing it, and marketing your own products.
How does Sirea Group market its product/services online?
David Grand: We’ve different ways to market our product based on our customer segment. We’ve for 3 years, intensified our effort on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. We use LinkedIn mainly to promote corporate content. We have a tiny but engaged community that promotes our content and our new product features step by step. We have also taken a long time to build a strong community on Facebook. Then we created our own platform MicroLADDER Community to give our customers an alternative.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
David Grand: We have been working with Google Analytics to track user traffic on our websites. But this year, we migrated to French software, Matomo. The goal is to gain powerful insights into ethical user tracking. We use two French tools, Swello and Agorapulse, to manage social media. We have worked with Mailchimp for 5 years because it was one of the first tools to allow us to automate newsletters from the WordPress RSS feed. We now use Zapier or Make (formerly Integromat) for that purpose. Still, we are also planning to switch to Sendinblue.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
David Grand: We receive a lot of applications from jobseekers. Our focus is on sustainability which has a lot of opportunities, and many potential candidates are interested in building innovative products.
How are you funding your growth?
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
David Grand: We work in many fields (environment, energy, health), but our added advantage is related to energy management. This is something crucial to customers today in relation to the world context. There are competitors like Europeans or Asian companies building electric cabinets with storage. However, Sirea uses European or french industrial components with recycled batteries to reduce the customers’ environmental footprint. We build local partnerships to ensure the continuity of the supply of components. For our smart energy managers or PLC that we manufacture in France, we obtained the certificate of industrial French-made products to help our customers who want to integrate European products into their own products.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
David Grand: One of our customer success stories that we’re very proud of is how we helped a small city in the South of France manage all its energy consumption points using a web application. They can control heating, air conditioner, and light from a global platform shared between all department managers (sports field, gym, town hall, etc.). They can program how to switch on every electrical device thanks to our SmartEMS and the MicroSERVER platform. This way, the goal is to help them reduce up to 50% of their buildings’ electricity consumption. Today, the PLC, sensors, and web app are deployed, and they’ve already built their dashboard and custom reports. Let’s see in a few months energy savings.
Your final thoughts?
David Grand: Energy efficiency, sobriety, and renewables are the 3 important elements to develop to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s why the Solar Impulse Foundation labeled our product (SmartEMS for companies and AEA electric cabinet for individuals). However, this is not enough, we need to go further and find other elements to reduce climate change quickly.