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PSO: 2016 Powerful Tips Campaign

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Here’s a tip: Consumers will save energy if you show them how.

BACKGROUND

To keep power reliable and customer rates low, PSO offers energy-efficiency services to residential customers. Previously, PSO promoted rebates for upgrading homes to energy-saving equipment. However, after selling out of rebates more than four months early in 2015, PSO decided to no longer advertise residential rebates through mass media in 2016.

This presented two challenges:

  1. How do we keep the PSO brand visible and associated with saving energy in customers’ minds?
  2. What non-rebate message would be appropriate for PSO’s residential customers?

In 2015, JD Power customer satisfaction scores ranked PSO behind its peer group for the utility’s “usefulness of suggestions on ways to reduce energy.” Our peer group ranked 6.5 out of 10, while PSO ranked 6.49. So, we prepared an integrated campaign that gave customers simple, low-cost tips they could try at home to use less energy.

OBJECTIVES

The “Powerful Tips” campaign sought to increase customer perception that PSO provides useful suggestions on ways to reduce energy. Our goal was to improve PSO’s scores in order to bypass our peers and demonstrate engagement with the educational content of the tips. Our objectives were to:

  • Improve JD Power scores related to usefulness of suggestions on ways to reduce energy from 6.49 to 6.51.
  • Increase overall website traffic and new visitors to PowerForwardWithPSO.com by 50%.
  • Exceed the website average of 1 minute and 43 seconds for time spent on the Powerful Tips landing page.
  • Track on-site actions such as PDF downloads of infographics and tips video views.

STRATEGY

Our strategy was to educate residents about specific, simple and inexpensive actions they can take at home to lower their monthly usage. This helped position PSO as a helpful resource and trusted partner, rather than trying to sell a product or service.

TACTICS

The campaign featured 11 animated videos that highlighted DIY actions. Topics covered simple things like using a smart power strip, switching to LED light bulbs and replacing air filters. To accompany the videos, VI developed a detailed media plan designed to reach residential customers through different media channels at various times throughout their days.

  • Pre-Roll: 15-second animated videos played on local news websites and other sites.
  • Television: Five-second television adlets were created to promote these simple tips.
  • Social Media: Served video view and website click ads on Facebook.
  • Digital Display: Display ads were purchased on premium websites.
  • Digital Audio: DIY tips messages were delivered as 15-second audio ads on Pandora.
  • Print: Print advertising in area magazines and newspapers.
  • Outdoor Boards: Digital and permanent outdoor boards showcased tips and a “more comfort, more savings” message.
  • Paid Search: Paid search ads ensured customers could quickly and easily find the PSO website.

RESULTS

PSO’s JD Powers customer satisfaction scores related to usefulness of suggestions on ways to reduce energy:

  • Improved from 6.49 to 6.69 – an increase of .20, or 10 times our objective!
  • Surpassed PSO’s peer group and our campaign objective by .18!

Residential customers saved 28,693,866 kilowatt-hours in 2016 by making energy-saving DIY purchases – that’s enough to power more than 2,000

Oklahoma homes for an entire year! At an average cost of 9.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, that saved customers $2.6 million.

Key performance indicators showed positive engagement with the educational content:

  • 2016 website traffic increased 100% over 2015 monthly averages and new visitors increased 390%.
  • The landing page saw more than 20,000 visitors and an average time on page of 4 minutes – a significant increase from the website average of 1:43.
  • Nearly 600 on-site engagements were tracked, including PDF downloads and video views.