The opportunity for a fresh start has never been more welcomed. For marketers, the new year is always a chance to revitalize their customer engagement strategies and look ahead at emerging trends. This year, the changing of the calendar comes with the added excitement of emerging from quarantine, rebuilding customer connections and — someday soon — getting back to normal.
To get things started on the right foot, here are three New Year’s resolutions for energy utility marketers in 2021.
1. Reach customers where they are
While the shift from traditional media to digital channels has been decades in the making, the coronavirus pandemic dramatically accelerated the trend. Questline’s 2020 performance metrics not only showed increased engagement with digital messages, but fast-tracked the adoption of paperless billing and other “hands-free” ways to stay connected. Even that reliable stalwart of digital engagement, the email newsletter, has experienced a resurgence.
In 2021, you can no longer expect customers to come to you, and they’re certainly not going to settle for stodgy old bill inserts or paper newsletters. Connecting with customers means reaching them where they are — on their smartphones, mostly, using email, text and social media apps. Make a resolution to optimize your marketing strategy across all digital channels this year.
2. Personalize messages to customer interests
The shift to digital isn’t just about the devices customers are using. Digital media is also driving customer expectations for personalized communications. Not surprisingly, there’s a generational shift to consider as well. According to the U.S. Census, more than half of the population is now Millennial age or younger. Engaging with this crowd in 2021 means speaking to their specific interests and needs.
How do you that? By building customer segments around their behavior — such as content consumption or program participation — and delivering targeted, relevant messages to those specific audiences. With the help of a CRM or marketing cloud platform and your customer data, you can implement a smart content strategy that’s personalized to each individual customer.
3. Get social with shareable video content
The explosive growth of TikTok was the digital marketing success story of 2020. And while your energy utility probably doesn’t need to create an account on the trendy social app, there is an important lesson to learn from its popularity: Customers love video content. They love engaging with it and they love sharing videos with their friends.
Your social media strategy (which is hopefully heavy on Facebook, not TikTok) should lean into video content in a big way. If you have an important or helpful message to communicate, customers are much more likely to watch a fun video than read a text article. And, as Questline’s performance metrics show, videos in a series drive repeat views, reinforcing messaging and bringing customers back for more engagement. Make it your resolution in 2021 to get your messages moving with more video content.
Meet your marketing goals in 2021
For energy utility marketers, change is part of the job description as we constantly adjust to customer interests and respond to digital engagement trends. The promise of a fresh start makes that even more important this year. These New Year’s resolutions will help you kick off your customer engagement strategies for 2021.