Your customers are going mobile. So should your ad dollars.
Cavan Chasan is executive connections director at KSV, a marketing firm that moves people to think, act, and buy sustainably. KSV has worked with utilities and energy efficiency programs for almost three decades.
Technology has upended the world of advertising and corporate America is struggling to keep up. The struggle may loom even greater for regulated electric and gas utilities, which are usually - and understandably - not first, or even early, adopters.
Think about your own use of personal technology and how dependent you have become on your smartphone and your tablet.
Or consider the stats. According to consumer-habits expert Nielsen, 71 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That's 171.5 million of us. And we're not just talking and texting. More than 60 percent of online traffic now comes from smartphones, according to comScore. Earlier this year Google updated its algorithms to penalize any non-mobile-compliant websites.
Moreover, mobile advertising (those annoying but effective ads on your smartphone and tablet) increased 110 percent from 2013 to 2014, to $7.1 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. And most likely they'll double again this year.
Given this pace of technological change, utility executives are smart to wonder if their teams responsible for customer engagement are keeping up. And if the many millions of dollars most utilities devote to paid media are being spent effectively and efficiently. Our experience is that sometimes not. And that prompts a few questions worth asking your utility's marketing and communications leadership.