Electrifying the steel industry - Kanthal

Is it possible to convince companies within a traditional industry, such as steel, to choose electricity over gas for their heating processes? With Spoon’s help, global electric heating provider Kanthal gave it a shot. The results? The order books were filled.

The Challenge

Convincing the steel industry that electric is better than gas

Production of steel is a dirty business and requires several high-temperature heating processes, often as much as 1,300 degrees Celsius. The industry norm is to use gas-fired industrial furnaces, a technology that has been used for hundreds of years and works just fine.

As a leading global provider of electric heating solutions, Kanthal wanted to reach steel producers to convince them that electrically heated furnaces can do the same job as gas-fired ones, and some more: Not only do they minimize carbon emissions, they increase efficiency and productivity too. Kanthal also wanted to show that it has proven technology and expertise to help make the transition.

Kanthal asked for Spoon’s help to plan and carry out a campaign targeting steel companies in selected European countries, as well as in the US. The goal was to make the steel industry aware of Kanthal’s capabilities in developing new solutions and providing electric heating for high-temperature processes, and to nurture these companies to generate leads.

”The campaign generated a much higher number of inquiries than we are used to in this business. Bold messaging with really relevant content combined with the perfect timing, resulted in our most successful campaign so far.”
Patrik Johansson, Global Marketing Communications Manager

The Solution

Bold, tailored messaging across the entire sales funnel

Spoon convinced Kanthal to be bold, addressing the ignorance among steel producers upfront and debunking myths with the statement, “We can electrify any heating process.” Based on a creative concept, Spoon outlined a two-phased campaign. The first phase focused on building awareness about the benefits of electrification and Kanthal’s capabilities in the area. The other, on getting the target group to sign up for an automated nurturing stream of articles and insights from Kanthal.

We created articles and films for the entire sales funnel – from awareness through consideration to decision, and published it on kanthal.com/electrification. Based on interviews with both external and internal experts, as well as Kanthal customers, the content captured the logic of choosing electric heating over gas. For phase two, we also created a quiz and gated content to convince the target group to sign up for a newsletter.

A carefully planned social media campaign was drawn up together with our sister company, Trickle to get as much exposure as possible. In parallel, we supported Kanthal with press releases and articles on the theme of electrification for native advertising in online industry journals.

The Results

The most successful marketing campaign to date

From a brand awareness perspective, the campaign was a success with just above 2.8 million impressions on social media, almost twice as much as estimated, along with a high level video completions. The number of link clicks exceeded expectations manyfold.

The campaign also generated 21 000 website visitors and a high quiz engagement rate. Although only 152 people signed up for the automated newsletter, the Kanthal sales team testified to a successful campaign, getting more inquiries from the steel industry than ever before, especially in the US. Due to an overload on its own sales capacity, Kanthal had to postpone its next marketing campaign.

Want to know more about this project?


Samir Akhmedov

Marketing Manager