As a company that serves clients within the Energy and Utilities industry – we are committed to celebrating Energy Awareness Month. The primary focus of Energy Awareness Month is to raise awareness and educate people about ways to use Energy efficiently for both environmental and economic reasons. In this blog post, I will be sharing my experience and providing insights for marketers who wish to work within this industry.
What is your role for the Erthe Client?
The L3 Agency has worked in the Energy and Utility sector for several years. For my first client, I had the opportunity to work with Erthe Energy Solutions. My role as the Assistant Account Executive is to manage client communications and facilitate our weekly outreach meetings. This ensures we have clear and consistent communication that helps increase the efficiency of outreach efforts.
Collaborating closely with our Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Larvetta Loftin, I play a crucial role in shaping and executing marketing communication initiatives. These initiatives include organizing creative and captivating outreach events, such as our recent successful 360 Photo Booth Activation for the 2023 Apple Fest.
Furthermore, through research I identify opportunities within Cook County that will enhance our outreach efforts, generate leads and increase brand recognition. At the conclusion of each quarter, I compile insightful data, acquired content, and other useful information from these events into a comprehensive recap presentation. This presentation serves two purposes: firstly, it allows us to make necessary adjustments throughout the year, and secondly, it ensures that our clients are well informed about our progress and strategy, which is essential to our success.
What is Erthe’s mission as an organization? How does their business philosophy align with L3’s mission?
The missions of Erthe Energy Solutions and L3 Agency align on a central tenet: Diversity. Erthe Energy Solutions prioritizes diversity within the realm of energy and sustainability, while L3 Agency champions diversity in media and business, specifically for women. Despite their differing focuses, both organizations recognize how crucial it is to embrace diversity and inclusivity to foster an equitable and more sustainable future.
Erthe’s mission is focused on achieving a diverse and sustainable energy future by supporting clients through the evolving Energy landscape. Their goal is to contribute to a more sustainable and varied Energy ecosystem, which is a critical objective given the increasing importance of sustainability and diversity in the Energy sector. The L3 Agency’s mission is centered around supporting women and changing the way they are portrayed in media and business.
Would you describe your experience learning the industry you are working within?
As I mentioned earlier, Erthe was one of my first clients, offering me a valuable opportunity to learn about the Energy and Utility sector. Working closely with our team, I gained comprehensive insights into the nuances of this industry. Marketing for utility companies has the crucial goal of capturing customer attention and building brand recognition. Unlike some other industries, the emphasis here is not on persuasion. It is worth noting that the Energy and Utility sector has well-defined channels of communication and rigorous procedural frameworks. Any challenges I faced were more due to my limited overall experience than my nascent exposure to this particular industry.
What has been the most rewarding experience of working with this client?
I would say that there have been two experiences that were the most rewarding: The 1st experience occurred During the first quarter of 2023, we hosted an orientation luncheon at Sip and Savor in Bronzeville. The goal of this luncheon was to provide the opportunity for our internal and external team members to interact over lunch and beverages while we recapped Outreach activities from the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2022 and provide a glance into 2024 which served as our first full year of Outreach. Our outreach representatives, who had not previously engaged directly with the Erthe team, were finally afforded the chance to do so. This experience allowed them to share their unique field-level insights and perspectives, enriching our collective understanding.
In connection with an event, I created a recap presentation and video towards the end of 2023. As we closed in 2023, I developed a recap presentation and video using the content and information collected from events. The information collected includes leads generated along with some qualitative data from our outreach representatives. The recap presentation highlighted the most impactful events and provided key insights and the next steps for the outreach plan in 2024. The video featured photos and footage from the 30 events that took place in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2022. Our client was thrilled with the video, and it was praised for its creativity in showcasing our work.
We recently sponsored and conducted outreach at the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest, an annual festival that attracts a large number of attendees on the north side of Chicago. We saw an opportunity to host an activation at this event, which could not only grab the audience’s attention but also serve as a unique promotional giveaway for attendees. It also provided a way to shift the audience’s perceptions about utilities. The activation we chose was a 360 Photo Booth, which consisted of a circular platform with a camera attached that spun around the subject, providing a fun and dynamic video that was then sent to the participant via text. It was a true success. I watched as lines formed at our tent, and our outreach representatives sprang into action, educating the audience as they awaited their chance to participate in the 360 booth. I also noticed that passersby were shocked to find that our client hosted this activation.
Attending Erthe Energy Solutions’ 5th anniversary was also a rather rewarding experience. Being a part of that milestone with such an amazing women-led and owned company.
As a marketer – where is the value within the Energy & Utility Space?
The Energy and Utility industry is a crucial part of our daily lives. It provides us with the necessary resources we need to power our homes, businesses, and communities. It is important for Utility companies to not only provide these essential services but also market them effectively. The Utility industry is often viewed as a safe and stable industry, especially for investors. This does not mean that marketing efforts should be stagnant or ordinary. It is quite the opposite. Utility companies need to be innovative and creative when crafting campaigns to stand out in a crowded market. By shifting the narrative and creating a unique brand identity, companies can create a unique experience for consumers especially since oftentimes function as a monopoly.
As a marketer and storyteller, I have found that the main value lies in shifting the perception that customers have of their Utility company. Many people view their Utility company as just another bill that takes their money each month. However, by engaging with customers and creating a more personalized and educational experience, Utility companies can create a better relationship with consumers and assign more value to their brands. This can be achieved through various means such as community events and social media engagement just to name a few. By doing so, Utility companies can change the way customers view their services and create a more positive and lasting impression.
There is also value in the technological innovation that occurs in the Energy and Utilities sector. The Energy and Utility industry is evolving rapidly with advancements in technology. Marketers hold the key to leveraging these innovations by emphasizing their adoption. By staying ahead of the curve in technological advancements, marketers can not only attract new customers but also maintain a competitive advantage in this ever-changing landscape.”
How can marketers be more equipped to work with Energy /Utility clients?
A best practice for a marketer currently working or planning to work in the Energy Utility industry is to lead with creativity. Our goal should be to enhance their story and community relations because the customer is a constant and a given. They need to be equipped with strong persuasion skills. Oftentimes, Energy and Utility companies are very protective of their brand, and rightfully so, however, it can lead to message repetition. Marketers going into the Energy and Utility space should also be prepared to provide detailed accounts of meetings. This is a practice that should be carried to any industry, however, in the Energy space there is an extensive chain of command. In conclusion, for marketers entering or currently working in the Energy and Utility industry, a creative approach, customer-centric storytelling, and effective persuasion skills are paramount. Alongside this, the importance of transparent communication, exemplified by detailed meeting reports, cannot be overstated, considering the unique complexities within this sector’s chain of command.