CMO Council Study Finds Marketing by Utilities Must be Relevant, Targeted

• Only 30 percent of consumers recall receiving general information about going green.

“Relevant, targeted and trusted content is moving the needle for customers,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Marketers must move towards ensuring that the multitude of channels reacting customers leverages the most relevant, fresh and targeted content possible to maximize Content ROI.”

Utility marketers, the report reveals, have a significant opportunity to impact solution adoption and even purchasing decisions through the delivery of relevant, targeted communications. An impressive 40 percent of customers indicated that they purchased the products recommended to them by their utility companies. And, among consumers who recalled receiving communications from their utility companies, 73 percent took action based on messages offering specific offers, tips or solutions compared to 67 percent of consumers who were compelled to respond or react to general messages around green practices.

Of the consumers who did not act on the messaging, 36 percent felt that the messages were either unrealistic, impossible to implement, or that not enough information was provided. Twenty-five percent rejected the recommendation or solutions because they felt no real advice was offered—just an abundance of marketing messaging.

“What the study reveals is a real opportunity for the utility industry to improve business outcomes by leveraging content relevance and customer engagement,” stated Sandra Zoratti, vice president of solutions marketing for InfoPrint Solutions. While consumers acknowledge their continued struggle through financial hardships, even in a constrained economy there are loyal consumers who are open to building deeper, more engaged relationships with companies who provide more on-target service and support without adding to operational overhead.”

Marketers are answering the call for relevance by focusing on better targeting and segmentation of their customers while developing programs that leverage customer insights to provide relevant content. The top three engagement priorities for the year ahead include educating customers through relevant and understandable content (35 percent) gaining a deeper understanding of needs and expectations (34 percent) and improving the relevance and value of content (33 percent).

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