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Why RPM?

There are lots of competent market researchers out there. Very few have experience inside the energy sector. That means they don’t speak your language, understand your issues or have context for understanding answers or knowing what’s actionable. That can show in the quality of the insights and  recommendations you receive.

At RPM you deal with someone with a depth of energy sector experience every step of the way from initiating the work to post-deliverable followup.


RPM stands for Research for Planning & Marketing.

Planning – whether designing energy programs, system planning or anything in between – is the fun part. Bringing the plan to life using Marketing (and Communications, and Operations) – is the satisfying part.

The name RPM was chosen because we are energy sector experts. Fun fact: the tachometer logo shows the draw for a 2-pole motor under load.

Finally, RPM means that we understand the immediacy with which results are needed – we don’t sit around figuring out what we should do: we have enough experience to go from zero to full speed at the flip of a switch.

How RPM sees things: market research is largely about risk management. It delivers two broad benefits: education and insurance.

Since risk management is the reason for market research, the amount you do and the stage at which you do it both depend on the amount of risk involved in the decision or action.

Education market research means learning what the market thinks as input to program or other planning and marketing

‘Education’ market research typically takes place early, when you’re looking for ideas or before too many resources are allocated to develop and deliver an idea (strategy, initiative, program, campaign) you already have.

Education market research gives a voice to customers, trade allies or other stakeholders in the design stage.

It can:

  • deliver new ideas
  • tell you what the market thinks of your ideas (and why) before committing development resources
  • identify opportunities to finetune your ideas for maximum effectiveness
  • give you tips on how to position your idea or communicate your message, associating with valuable customer benefits or solving important customer problems
  • identify 'headline' features or the most cost-effective incentives
  • show you how to bring the idea to market for optimum response


Insurance market research means understanding the extent to which the initiative will achieve the desired effect before you allocate the resources to bring it to market.

‘Insurance’ market research ( aka ‘disaster check’) typically takes place later, when you have committed to a course of action and want to make sure the market will respond. You can also use it to monitor progress once it is in market, to ensure there will be no unpleasant surprises.

Insurance market research can:

  • Identify features that are important but missing or unimportant and unwanted
  • Ensure you’ve aligned the initiative with benefits or customer problems that will prompt action, not just passive support
  • Let you know whether the target audience connects with the creative approach or the language used in the messaging