Three Steps for your Media to Effectively Reach Millennials on Energy Efficiency

Posted by Energy Wire on November 20, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Millennials spend more time with media than ever. The number of advertisements they are exposed to is overwhelming. They spend approximately 9.5 hours a day or 67 hours a week using media. Knowing this, how do you capture their attention and inspire them to take action? 

Understanding what message resonates with your customer is only half the battle. (See: What Resonates with the EE Customer: Saving Money or Wasting Money? and Four Meanings to the Term “Energy Efficiency” from the Customer Perspective)

We will see this evolve over the next decade, but because we know Millennials are socially conscious and distrust big companies, we know utility messaging will involve a deeper discussion on efforts around renewable distribution, energy efficiency and community involvement.

However, even with the perfect message, here are three other elements that need to be thought about in your media plans:

#1: Timing is everything. For your message to resonate, it needs to reach these customers when they are ready to receive it. This is especially true with Millennials. How do you learn this optimal timing? Dig into your website analytics to understand when customers are visiting your site and more importantly, the specific product and program pages. Then take a step back and consider the broader view by looking at paid search volume and timing using Google Trends. This will allow you to understand when, where and how customers are researching products or programs.

#2: Use the available media technology. Invest in the ability to dynamically change your message based on what is happening right now. This will help you capitalize on timing, and effectively reach your customer. For example, by using weather and zip code data, media publishers can change your message so when it’s over 90 degrees and humidity is on the rise... EE air conditioners can be your featured product. Or when the pollen count hits dangerous levels, you’re automatically showcasing EE air purifiers. The message and timing are tied to what customers are feeling at that exact moment.

On top of this, a deeper personalization is key to catching the attention of Millennials. Offering promotions and deals relevant to them will build their trust, and in turn, you will be rewarded with higher satisfaction and increased participation. This audience is not scared of specific targeting, nor do they view it as stalking. They know it as helpful, and even smart. (95% or more of Millennials want brands to court them actively. So, hit them with relevant messages based on where they’ve been on your website, or an email they clicked through.

#3: Go mobile or go home. Not surprisingly, Millennials also lead the way with smartphones. On average, Millennials spend about 14.5 hours a week—just over two hours a day—on their phones. In fact, Millennials spend so much time on this device that they account for 41 percent of the total time that Americans spend on smartphones.

Knowing this, the utilization of mobile geo-fencing is increasingly important to reaching Millennial customers in the right moment. For example, geo-fencing home improvement stores while customers are shopping for appliances and lighting (which we all know is an overwhelming experience in itself) allows you to actually bridge the physical and digital worlds to reach customers at the right moment (and on the right device) when they are close to the point of sale.

Why does all this media technology prove so important for Millennials? They expect it. In five years, Millennials will make up 1/3 of the adult population, and in ten years, 75% of the workforce. We need to start understanding their needs and demands now. We need to be ready, because this customer will not be a passive bill payer... But if communicated with correctly, could be your biggest advocate.

Also read: Generational Segmentation and Energy Efficiency

Aimee Frost / Connections Director / 802.862.8261 /

1 Millennials come of age (Experian Marketing Services White Paper, June 2014)

2 Christopher Donnelly and Renato Scaff, Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want? (Accenture, Outlook the journal of high-performance business, 2013)

3 Millenials come of age (Experian Marketing Services White Paper, June 2014)

Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Customer Engagement, Customer Insight, utility communications, Utility Marketing, energy efficiency

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