Top Award-Winning Energy Marketing: Lessons in Customer-Centricity and Iterative Research

On December 16, 2021, PSEG Long Island (PSEGLI), with the marketing expertise of IDLab Global, introduced a voluntary Time of Use (TOU) program with the ambitious goal of getting  6,500 customers to make the switch from their current rate to TOU. The program’s overwhelming success surpassed all expectations, as nearly 14,000 customers had enrolled by December 2022. The remarkable achievements of the TOU program resulted from meticulous research, innovative messaging, and a commitment to customer-centric design. But how exactly did PSEGLI get such amazing results? We’ll discuss that and more in the following sections so that you have a better understanding of how to implement the strategies and principles into your own marketing efforts. 

The Foundation: Meticulous Research and Customer Personas

The TOU program’s success stems from a strong foundation of research and rich customer personas. Four distinct customer personas emerged: Skeptical, Price Conscious, Environmentally Conscious, and Tech Savvy. The research revealed unique preferences and information needs for each group, guiding the subsequent multi-channel marketing strategies. For example, skeptics and tech-savvy respondents preferred versions of their bills that presented information in a quick and visual manner. With that in mind, we made messaging more concise, simplified charts, and avoided excessive explanations.

Revamping Rate Options and Naming Conventions

PSEG Long Island used customer feedback to create additional rate options and simplified naming conventions to address varied customer needs. Short Peak, Early Peak, Late Peak, and Overnight rates were designed to cater to different usage patterns and lifestyles, ensuring customers could make informed decisions. Prior to the switch in rate naming conventions, customers had a difficult time understanding and appreciating what rates entailed, leading to confusion and frustration. By simplifying rate names, customers were more likely to be satisfied with their chosen rate since they had a fuller understanding of it. 

To make personalization efforts even more effective, customers were provided with personalized rate comparisons using the advanced billing engine GridX. This valuable tool enabled customers to understand how TOU rates could impact their bills based on their historical energy usage data, improving decision-making.

Refining the Billing Experience: Clarity and Personalization

Understanding the need for customers to comprehend the impact of TOU on their bills, PSEG Long Island enhanced billing systems and bill presentation. Personalized messages resulted in increased customer satisfaction (which will lift JD Power scores) and a significant 150% increase in conversion rates. By leveraging post-launch engagement data, a “1-Click” solution was implemented to streamline the enrollment process, resulting in higher conversion rates and a dramatic reduction in demand on the CSRs (customer service reps). As any marketer knows, the fewer hurdles your customer must overcome, the more likely they are to ultimately convert. The principle certainly held true in this case. 

Test First and Then Commit

The TOU program’s success was further fueled by a testing mindset, where strategies were validated through small-scale experiments and pilot phases. Throughout the TOU campaign, IDLab and PSEG Long Island invested in comprehensive research efforts and iterative strategies. Avoiding assumptions and making data-driven decisions helped establish a higher level of trust with customers. By identifying effective approaches early on that resonated with its customer base (e.g. moving away from “Save Energy/Save Money” to “Get the Best Deal”), IDLab and PSEG Long Island mitigated risks and optimized the customer experience.

PSEG Long Island’s TOU program serves as a shining example of a customer-centric and data-driven approach to achieve remarkable results. Through meticulous research, tailored communication & messaging, and a commitment to iterative improvements, the utility company achieved better-than-expected enrollment rates, peak usage reduction, and a remarkable 10% bill savings rate. 

Elevate your brand’s presence and drive success with IDLab Global, the country’s #1 energy marketing agency. Our team of energy marketing specialists craft strategies tailored to your needs, ensuring you meet your immediate rate-payer needs while lifting your JD Power scores; and satisfying regulators and evaluators. From innovative marketing campaigns to improving customer experiences, we harness the power of creativity and industry insight to hit your program goals.

With 10+ years of experience with TOU and other energy programs, this is yet another example of the successes we consistently deliver to our clients here at IDLab. Want to know more about this and other energy marketing wins? Drop us a line HERE.

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