There are a number of tactics, channels, and messages designed to engage customers in energy efficiency. But how do you know whether you’re choosing a best-practice solution or a total bust? The answer is: It depends. Because one size does not fit all.

Image showing a "one size does not fit all" laundry tag

Not all consumers are the same. They have unique energy demands and uses, and they have varying attitudes toward energy—if they think about it at all. Naturally, their motivation to conserve energy or to enroll in an energy-efficiency program varies as well.

Utilities have to be smart about how to engage customers and break through the clutter of information that people are bombarded with daily. Understanding customers’ differences is key to framing the benefits of energy-saving opportunities in ways that resonate with them. In other words, using customer insights helps drive more-engaging and more-profitable interactions with your customers.

Organizations now have access impressive and vast volumes of information about customers, and everyone wants to know how to use this data effectively for marketing purposes and to improve market success. Leading tech firms like Google use big data and personalized marketing strategies to influence customer behavior. Utilities can do it too.

Usage behavior, demographic information, and past participation information can be combined to build sophisticated segmentation and coordinated outreach. This means that utilities can better target their marketing efforts to drive meaningful engagement with customers. Analytics that detail the words, messages, channels, and tactics that connect with customers can also be used to refine marketing efforts for improved success. Many utilities have successfully used internal data, enriched with customer-centric perspectives, to target their marketing activities. They know it’s all about finding the right product, at the right time, with the right message, delivered through the right channel.

Utilities that want to learn more about using customer data to uncover the most effective ways to target customers’ interests to drive participation and increase energy savings in their service territory should join us at the E Source Forum 2015 from October 13 to 16 in Denver. We’re hosting a session titled “Marketing Strategies That Sell Energy Efficiency” to discuss ways that utilities can use big data to develop marketing initiatives that spur customers to enroll in energy-efficiency programs.

Find out how a Northwest utility used personalized emails to drive a significant uptick in audit program participation and how a Southern California utility used multichannel outreach to deliver peak reduction on the hottest day of the year. Hear successful case studies that document what works for utility account reps, particularly those teaming with trade allies, when they’re attempting to sell efficiency to large commercial and industrial customers. We’ll focus on the importance of analytics and suggest strategies for understanding customers and developing segment-specific messages that can boost program participation. Sign up today to attend this year’s Forum, and bring back actionable insights to your utility!

Contributing Authors

Lead Analyst, Market Research Services

Rachel Cooper develops and implements market research studies, critically analyzes data, and interprets findings to help E Source members better...