Energy Provider Taps New Demographic to Boost Sales, Increase Brand Awareness

Posted in Marketing and Media Campaigns

Situation Summary

Our client, a natural gas provider in Miami, needed to boost sales significantly to meet targets. Natural gas is a long-sell commodity, and often it’s something people don’t think about until they need it. In researching prior campaigns for this provider, however, we realized the company had never reached out to the area’s extraordinarily strong Latino population with its message, leaving untapped a large and often affluent customer base.

Insight and Strategy Summary

We created a comprehensive Spanish-language advertising campaign for our natural gas client that was based on a small, short-term market test we ran earlier, plus our deep knowledge of Miami’s Latino population. We knew that cooking and the kitchen play a huge role in Latino households, and cooktops are really the only natural gas appliance with which our target audience interacted. We determined that the natural gas campaign should be built upon messaging that centered on family, cooking and water heating. To reach this untapped demographic, the key was to create relevant messaging and to perform flawlessly throughout the campaign life cycle.

Solution/Work Summary

To create a campaign that felt both genuine and related to the audience, we developed a series of scenarios outlining the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas water heaters and cooktops. We also described the benefits of rebates and the fuel itself. These were delivered by local, trusted and popular Spanish-language radio and television personalities during their distinctly different morning shows. We also allowed the spokespeople to modify the scenarios to fit the personality of their shows. We then developed and pre-recorded multiple, two-minute TV “interviews” shot on green screen with morning show personalities appearing on Telemundo and Univision. Three 30-second vignettes for Telemundo’s “Go Green” ad campaign also helped deliver key messages about the sustainability of natural gas. A series of banner ads for radio and TV station websites plus El Nuevo Herald – the Spanish version of the Miami Herald and the top online news distributor in the market – drove traffic to a special landing page on the client’s website. An additional element of the campaign provided specialized menu prompts, staff training, and call tracking for the company’s in-house call center staff that enhanced customer service and provided valuable market data.

Targeting a powerful, affluent customer base in Miami generates new opportunities to sell, educate and expand market share.

Results Summary

The targeted marketing campaign proved to be a tremendous success on multiple levels for the client and earned a marketing award for excellence from the Southern Gas Association. In the first half of the year, the client received 1,358 requests for gas conversions or installations. Of those, 491 (36%) occurred in April and May, during our campaign. Two-thirds of these requests were for residential conversions, usually for two or more burner tips. Call center volume also increased 212% during the campaign, and traffic to the client’s digital properties increased more than 80% compared to pre-campaign numbers. Customer attrition in Florida, expected to be 2% or higher, was held to 0.3% for the year.

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