Mike Frame, Executive Director of Sales, Consumer Services, Valassis
Published Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019
Consumers in deregulated states have a golden opportunity to choose who supplies the energy to their home. However, choosing an energy supplier in today’s marketplace can be confusing because many of the deregulated markets are flooded with multiple suppliers with different offerings. In an effort to help consumers better inform their decisions, online forums provided by each state’s Public Utility Commission (i.e. www.powertochoose.org) were created to empower consumers with information like prices, plans, etc. and encourage competition. So, how can retail energy providers cut through the clutter to get noticed and generate new leads?
The first step is creating awareness about energy choice in the serviceable footprint. That awareness should take a teach-first, sell-second approach. Energy deregulation can be difficult to understand, so the explanation of what it is and what it means to people is a must in your messaging. Your website must go even deeper to explain how the process works and include easy-to-follow visuals. Many retail energy providers have also included helpful chat functions on their websites to engage consumers and encourage them to ask questions.
Once consumers understand how it works, the buying process starts. Although the process can be weighted heavily on savings calculations and price per kilowatt hour, other important decision points include establishing trust, education, customer service and how easy it is to make the switch. Trial offers are very successful in generating the excitement necessary to drive conversion during this stage.
Your data is pure gold and it should influence every marketing decision…where/who to target, which media you choose to buy and it should drive the segmentation of messaging and offers to new/lapsed customers. Speed to market is critical and you can be very nimble today with both online and offline media. Media companies that have invested in data science should be at the top of your list of vendor partners to consider for your marketing campaigns. Not only can they analyze your serviceable footprint and customer database to identify the best areas for you to target with your marketing communications, but they can go beyond that by using matchback technology to identify leads that have visited your website (but did not convert) and scale personalized media campaigns online and offline to active low-funnel leads.
Post-campaign analytics are critical to ensuring that you are making the smartest decisions regarding media selection and you are maximizing your return on investment. This is something that you should demand from media partners that you work with on every campaign, every time.
Data is a living, breathing part of the smartest advertising campaigns and it is exciting to see the retail energy category continue to lean into the most intelligent, data-driven solutions to generate leads and retain customers.