This post was originally published on FirstFuel’s website. FirstFuel is now Uplight.
Image you’ve just invested in a digital engagement platform that will provide your business customers with a one-stop shop to understanding and managing their energy costs and usage. Giving your customers instant, digital access to personalized energy insights will not only improve their experience, but also increase program participation and customer satisfaction scores.
Now, how are you going to get people to use the platform?
It’s not uncommon for any web product to be scoped, built and launched without users logging on for months. We can’t expect customers to find something they didn’t know about on their own. Customers need to be aware of the platform, motivated to use it, and then educated on how to get there. And, as today’s customers digital expectations increase, you only get one shot to make a good impression.
The key to adoption and continued growth of your digital engagement platform is to have a solid launch plan and ongoing marketing support. You’re building a customer base that need nurturing and attention – this is not a set it and forget it effort. This is an investment in your customer relationship that will last a lifetime.
At FirstFuel we’ve worked with utilities of all sizes and have seen what works and doesn’t. We’ve also seen the massive impact a strong marketing program can make toward realizing your business customer engagement investment objectives.
Here are two examples of FirstFuel customers’ platform launch plans:
- Utility A was concerned about making sure their customers were able to access their information and ensuring various functions in the tool were bug free. After making sure everything ran correctly, they launched the tool and then dissolved their product management team overseeing the deployment. They did little marketing to inform customers about the platform and over the first six months they failed to see any substantial uptick in their login rates.
- Utility B’s company vision is to be a trusted customer advisor. Once their platform launch date was set, their dedicated marketing team went into planning mode. This included creating detailed marketing campaigns that would reach target users at relevant times. They saw the launch as an opportunity to engage their customers and deepen their relationship by adding value. Over six months they saw steady increases in both new and existing users returning to the site – each increase boosted by a major marketing campaign.
Utility A’s tool was no better or worse than Utility B’s. The successful adoption of a digital engagement platform is directly related to the level of effort and commitment toward building on your existing customer relationship. If your customers have a good relationship with you, they’re more likely to try out the tools you offer.
At FirstFuel, we’ve identified that having an effective marketing program in place to support your platform launch can make the biggest impact toward whether you experience results similar to Utility A or Utility B.
We have also identified several key building blocks that ensure a successful marketing program: :
- Understanding your customer segments – Who are your customers? Small business, retail, commercial? Have they responded before? When do they like to be contacted and by whom? Brokers? Peer referrals?
- Investing in key resources to implement & measure campaigns
- Utilizing personalized insights in your messaging
- Collecting feedback, metrics and using that to iterate on your messages
When you deploy with FirstFuel we’ll conduct a thorough marketing best practices session to share with your team our recommendations and advice for developing an effective product marketing launch. Our team will work with your team to create a marketing playbook that enables you to take advantage your digital engagement investment to create and develop those valuable relationships.