Case Study

Renewable Energy


Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization that helps Oregon ratepayers use less energy, save on energy costs, and move to renewable resources. Market research was needed to identify barriers to participation and recommend changes or additions to Energy Trust’s marketing, communications, and program strategies to improve awareness of Energy Trust, its programs, and participation among target groups. In this case, DHM partnered closely with marketing agency Coates Kokes throughout the project.


DHM conducted focus group discussions with key audiences who had lower rates of participation in Energy Trust programs: business owners of color and from rural communities, and with rural and urban Oregonians over the age of 65.

DHM developed a topic guide in collaboration with Energy Trust and Coates Kokes that helped assure substantive conversations with participants about their behaviors and decision making when it comes to energy use and to test specific marketing materials including video and print media.

Because the target audiences for the research consisted of small sample pools, recruitment for the project required creative outreach strategies in addition to our standard use of randomized recruitment and pre-existing databases. Extensive outreach was conducted with culturally specific organizations and those serving rural communities. In all, we spoke with 28 business owners and 16 older residents across the state.


Coates Kokes and Energy Trust integrated the findings into marketing strategies, plans, and campaigns.

The Energy Trust of Oregon logo.