Over the past several months, the customer marketing team at SMA America has been working hard to define a loyalty program that would resonate with SMA customers. The goal: Give SMA customers what they want – advanced industry news, product information and technical training. Sounds simple, but a lot of blood, sweat and energy drinks went into bringing SMA Advance from concept to launch!
I recently sat down and interviewed Ciara Wakefield, customer marketing manager for SMA America, to get the inside scoop on SMA Advance.
Where did the idea for SMA Advance come from?
Wakefield: The concept for SMA Advance came from our customers. We collect customer feedback whenever possible — in the field, at shows and through surveys. We recently saw some themes emerge; our customers wanted news, education and advanced product information. They wanted to connect with SMA America and feel a sense of community. SMA Advance provides a vehicle for that to happen.
How did you choose what member benefits to offer?
Wakefield: We looked at the core of what our customers were asking for and took it to the next level. The request for news spawned the creation of a members-only newsletter, SMA Insider, which gives members a behind-the-curtain peek at what’s happening at SMA America. Our customers want to stay up to date on solar industry best practices and products, so we are providing members with exclusive training opportunities through the SMA Solar Academy. They also wanted an online community forum, where they can connect with solar professionals in their area, or ask questions and get quick troubleshooting advice from SMA experts. Staying informed seemed to be one of the most critical requests we received. Ultimately, SMA Advance will give members a ticket to all things SMA.
What type of “behind the curtain” info can members expect?
Wakefield: When people join SMA Advance, they’re becoming part of a community. Members are first to receive new products, updates, news and get exclusive access to an online community forum, training opportunities and educational resources. The new SMA Print Portal is another fantastic benefit only available to SMA Advance members. The portal gives solar professionals 24/7 access to SMA’s online marketing materials and simplifies marketing efforts with an extensive database of sales tools. In addition, members are invited to our annual production facility tour in Denver, Colo. and various other training events throughout the year. I’ll say this: There’s a lot of great stuff – but if I told you everything – it wouldn’t be exclusive!
What’s your favorite thing about the program?
Wakefield: My favorite thing about SMA Advance is that it’s FREE! That’s huge!
Why should people join SMA Advance?
Wakefield: If you are an SMA customer – past, present or future – SMA Advance is the answer. SMA Advance was designed specifically and exclusively for YOU! The solar industry in North America and around the world is growing at an incredible rate. As a professional, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate through all of the industry changes. As an SMA Advance member, you will know what is happening before non-members, that information can be priceless. I could go on and on but the real question is: Why wouldn’t you join? It’s really a no brainer.
Thank you, Ciara, for taking the time to chat with me about the exciting new, FREE membership program, SMA Advance! To get more information or to become a member, visit: www.SMA-Advance.com
Social Media Specialist
Company and industry news, interviews, videos, and events through various social media channels. Some topics include: solar technology, photovoltaics, and renewable energy.
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