Blending data to build powerful energy customer segmentations

Everyone on the Escalent team contributed thought leadership in study design, execution and reporting. The team continuously looked for better ways to present the findings and made sound conclusions and recommendations. I couldn’t ask for more.

Business Issue

A west coast IOU needed to address shifts in the residential market, including increased use of solar power and EVs, as well as the utility’s implementation of smart meters that enable new Time of Use and Demand Response pricing plans. A one-size-fits-all communication strategy would not work. The utility needed a segment-driven outreach plan to introduce customers to new dynamic pricing plans and to promote new programs and services. The goals were to identify segments differentiated by attitudes and behaviors, provide in-depth personas and develop segment-typing algorithms to support efficient marketing.

What We Did

Escalent blended new survey data with data from the client’s customer database. We started by conducting a series of in-depth interviews with stakeholders to better understand key issues and concerns. Then we designed and fielded a multimode survey among more than 2,000 of the client’s residential customers, appending survey data with extensive behavioral, transaction and profiling data from the database. Our segment-typing algorithms allowed the client to assign every residential customer in its database to one of five segments.

Result

Escalent’s insight won C-level support and was immediately adopted and socialized through a broad, company-wide rollout. The segmentation scheme is currently driving marketing, rate and program development (including TOU, solar and electric vehicle programs) and customer service initiatives. Following the quantitative segmentation work, the client commissioned our world-class qualitative team to conduct virtual ethnographies to support a deeper understanding of the customer personas, experiences and values for each of the five segments.

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