Could windows power our homes?

New solar technologies could transform the way we sell and market windows, according to PR consultant John Warren.

At the end of last year, a story was published about a new ‘double-glazed’ solar power system; a team from Warwick University had turned to IGU technology for inspiration, using gas, rather than a vacuum, to collect electricity.

The report explained that while an outer pane conducted electricity, the inner ‘window’ was coated with a special material, which generated electrons in response to sunlight.

It sparked my interest and I contacted Dr Gavin Bell, one of the project’s research leads. How far off was this technology? Could it be applied to our homes and workplaces?

His very patient response was that although similar to products that were already in development, their outputs were limited in comparison. The use of “double-glazed window technology” had the potential to transform this but material development was “some way off”.

If other sectors get it, the window industry itself frequently under-values its offer. IGU, glass coating and PVB/laminate technology is a case in point. It’s cutting-edge technology but it’s not effectively communicated to trade customers, let alone the end-user.

The latest report from Palmer [one of our clients], tracks a positive shift to higher-end products with a 7% increase in installed value compared to 1% volume growth at the last count. PVCU foils, aluminium – installed values are all up.

The argument on aesthetics is there for all to see. The scope to build-in additional margin throughout the supply chain is also there if we become more effective in communicating a more technical offer through to the point of retail.

You’re reading this because of good content. The image, the title, the sub-heading of this article, drove your interest enough to read on.

Content in all of its different guises – press releases, thought leadership, white papers, video, social media, infographics and more – needs to be part of your marketing strategy. It builds your brand, delivers leads and contributes to the buyer journey, and at far more touch-points than we ever imagined.

Content Marketing is about the strategic creation and free distribution of relevant, valuable and informative material to specific audiences, to drive action and ultimately customer acquisition. It’s not a single solution – but it should be a part of one.

For example, a recent study by LinkedIn and Global PR agency Edelman, revealed that contrary to the expectations of content marketing professionals, who believed that thought-leadership pieces were useful in building brand and helping to “close and win business”, 45% of b2b decision-makers said that they “directly” influenced their decision to make contact with a supplier.

A further 49% said that the influence of good content also made them to prepared to pay higher prices.

As opposed to content that is self-promotion and sales driven, good content evidences and educates, it adds value and provides an insight into the calibre of thinking or product and service a company can be expected to deliver.

We receive on average more than 2,900 marketing messages a day and it can be hard to be heard. It makes the case for high quality content that is – but it’s not a single solution and needs to sit as part of a wider marketing strategy.

The call to action in content marketing is less direct but it allows you to get more from your other marketing channels by building authority and, most importantly, trust because, ultimately, we only buy from businesses that we trust to deliver.

We support our clients in building their businesses by helping them to develop integrated marketing campaigns, including content creation and promotion, web design and SEO, social media marketing and web analytics and tracking. To find out more please email