For a long time the energy industry hasn’t been the most riveting sector in the world, but it’s been necessary. However, more recently, companies in this industry are flexing their creative muscles when it comes to marketing thanks to the adoption of new technologies and a wave of challenger brands that have reared their heads.
But it’s not as simple as doing a one-eighty and going all guns blazing with experimental marketing tactics. The industry remains a pretty serious sector and there are numerous strict regulations in place when it comes to advertising and other areas of business.
On top of that, B2B buyers today are more demanding than ever thanks to the endless amount of knowledge they have at their fingertips. This means they have more options than ever before, forcing energy companies to rethink their strategies and get innovative with their marketing campaigns.
That being said, there’s been an upcurve in the number of energy brands embracing technology across the board, with a slew of new, innovative marketing strategies becoming more popular by the day.
1. Embracing Customer Experience
Customer experience is the number one priority for almost every single business out there. In fact, in a recent study, it was revealed that it was the single most exciting prospect in the coming year in regards to marketing.
On top of that, a Jaywing study showed that 73% of utilities marketers ranked improving their customer strategy as their top priority, which is higher than most other sectors.
Take First Utility, a large utilities provider that has openly named data-driven customer experience as a huge factor in its continuing success.
The brand’s “My Energy” platform provides a place for customers to go to better understand their energy consumption through eye-catching visual graphs and information that’s conveyed in as clear a way as possible.
As a result, customers feel like they have greater control over their energy consumption and are more likely to remain loyal to First Utility.
While this may be a B2C example, B2B energy companies can take inspiration from the idea of creating specialist platforms for their buyers and providing visual information that can help them make better decisions.
2. Using Data Insights
Data is the buzzword of the moment, with brands from almost every sector and both B2C and B2B landscapes diving into the insights they have available at their fingertips.
In a recent survey by Enervee, 90% of respondents said that they should be using energy-efficient appliances. On top of that, almost 80% claimed that their energy supplier was a crucial cog in helping them to make better, more energy-efficient choices. This is an example of how customer-facing energy brands are gathering the data they need to provide more targeted marketing campaigns.
From the B2B angle, brands can use analytics collected from their previous buyers and tap into the values and buying habits of their clients to fuel marketing campaigns. But they can also go one step further than that.
Back in 2017, 43% of utility companies admitted to do absolutely no channel personalization, which showed that there was a long way to go until they caught up with other, more forward-thinking industries, like travel and retail.
However, more and more companies are choosing to use the data they have to provide consumers with more personal marketing, whether that means serving up advice based on previous purchases or simply by segmenting email lists based on where they are in the funnel.
3. Getting Creative With Content
Content is such a huge part of marketing today, and not just because it forms an important part of every step of the sales funnel.
Content is a way for consumers to connect with a brand, with more people than ever choosing to learn about a business via blogs, videos, and other easily-consumable content.
This has meant energy companies have had to revise the often dry way they delivered information in the past and step up their content game.
It hasn’t been easy, though. The industry faces strict regulations when it comes to marketing, and it has consistently been behind many other sectors when it comes to innovative and groundbreaking marketing methods.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Take Claxton Engineering, for example, who are hot on creating engaging downloads and have a number of “lead magnets” for consumers to snap up in exchange for their email addresses. These premium pieces of content have garnered the brand a significant amount of leads over the past few months.
But it doesn’t all have to be so serious. Subsea7 created a video on one of their oil rigs off the coast of Africa that parodied the hit song “Africa” by Toto. It quickly became a viral sensation and boosted awareness of the brand all over the world.
It’s Time to Get Innovative
Energy companies are starting to release themselves from the shackles of boring, dull content and create marketing campaigns that are compelling, informative, and engaging. Thanks to new-found technologies and the surge in challenger brands that have created hot competition, the industry is beginning to realize the importance of innovation in marketing.
As a result, we’re seeing some awesome pieces of content emerge, some of which are even going viral.