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Refrigeration and heating technology with heart: How ENGIE Refrigeration is breaking new ground in B2B marketing

03 June 2024

B2B marketing is boring? Not at all! ENGIE Refrigeration shows that creative communication and marketing approaches are worthwhile - and, on the contrary, should not rely on purely rational messages when it comes to cooling and heating if they are to be fully effective. This is because ENGIE Refrigeration's marketing activities differentiate it from the market in the same way as its product portfolio. Tatiana Köhler, Head of Marketing and Communication, reports on strategies, measures and channels in the "on point." magazine.

Tatiana, B2B marketing for refrigeration and heating is your speciality: you've been in charge of marketing and communications at ENGIE Refrigeration for 19 years now. What is your favourite project from this time?

Tatiana Köhler: Oh, that's a difficult question right at the beginning - one that I can't possibly answer with just one project. Because there were and are so many. That's because both the range of communication tools in B2B marketing and the requirements in the cooling and heating market have changed massively in recent years. Bringing both developments together and continuing to do so gives me immense pleasure. Our strategic approach at ENGIE Refrigeration is to offer excellence in cooling and heating with our product and service portfolio and to be the pioneer for climate-neutral cooling and heating technology in the B2B sector. We naturally transfer this claim to our work in B2B marketing. One of my current favourite projects comes to mind, where we are succeeding brilliantly - it involves augmented reality.

Augmented reality is seen as a fairly new trend in B2B marketing. What experience have you already gained with AR glasses?

ENGIE Refrigeration has actually been working with augmented reality (AR), or more precisely with AR glasses as smart end devices, for several years now. The idea originated in the Technology & Development department. AR glasses are also an integral part of our trade fair appearances, for example at Chillventa and Heatexpo. Since 2022, we have been attending events and trade fairs without any real exhibits. And what can I say? The response to our trade fair appearances is always positive all round. The guests clearly enjoy experiencing our products with the AR glasses. This in turn makes us happy and has become an integral part of our B2B marketing. Current examples of short videos on the subject of augmented reality can be found on our YouTube channel.

You just mentioned that ENGIE Refrigeration no longer shows "real" chillers and heat pumps at trade fairs. How do you deal with other conventional B2B marketing tools?

Do you mean boring technical data sheets and dusty product brochures? You won't find anything like that at ENGIE Refrigeration (laughs). But seriously, I think that B2B marketing is always about inspiring our target groups and ultimately strengthening our company and our brands - and that requires us to be bold and think outside the box. Personally, I am convinced that inspiring messages and eye-catching designs suit ENGIE Refrigeration very well. One example is our bright online brochures, for example for the QUANTUM Water chiller or the SPECTRUM Water heat pump. We hear again and again how well these stick in our customers' minds - precisely because they are different from the norm.

AR glasses, online product brochures - do you think the future of B2B marketing for cooling and heating is digital?

Not exclusively, but intelligent, digital communication plays a decisive role in B2B marketing and opens up new opportunities. At ENGIE Refrigeration, we are proud to be one of the pioneers in the refrigeration and heating industry. A real success story is our heat tunnel, through which our avatar Aurora guides users as a virtual employee and provides them with information about heat pumps and the heating market to help them make decisions. We developed our Aurora in the summer of 2023 in the marketing department. It is our ticket to digital sales - and proves that this approach also works for highly complex products that require explanation, making it an example of successful B2B marketing. Chillers and heat pumps can be presented in an exciting way and innovative methods can be used to offer added value for customers and generate leads.

What do you think is essential for successful B2B marketing?

At ENGIE Refrigeration, we primarily want to show ourselves to the outside world as the innovative company that we are, tell people about our future-orientated products and inspire and enthuse people. I believe that partnerships are becoming increasingly important for this. For example, we work closely with Hololight on AR glasses; a really good and fruitful partnership has developed here. We have had close ties with Condair for years: together, we organise the "Expert Symposium for Energy-Efficient Building Technology and Cooling and Heating Generation", or Efficiency Forum for short - this year on 20 June at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg - and have been offering a unique format in Germany for eight years that creates real added value for our target group. Because in future, it will be increasingly important not only to inform, but also to inspire and thus build strong bonds. I can tell you that we at ENGIE Refrigeration are already working on many new ideas for this.

You want to inspire customers with future-orientated approaches in B2B marketing. What stimulates your own creativity?

Most of all our production! When I'm looking for inspiration, I actually go to where our chillers and heat pumps are manufactured. After all, they are the focus of the B2B marketing measures. As ENGIE Refrigeration relies on "Made in Germany" and we produce here at the Lindau site, I only have to walk a few metres to stand right next to our test benches, for example. The incredible dimensions of our products impress and inspire me every time.

Dear Tatiana, thank you very much for the interesting conversation!

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