Enabling relevant acquisition and retention campaigns in the B2B energy market with MarketoEssent
Essent, pressured by energy market forces, chose a direction that asked for specific marketing capabilities.
Along the complete value chain of the energy market different forces put pressure on the profitability of Essent B2B, which resulted in a loss making business segment for Essent. For the first time ever in the market, Essent is now serving large B2B customers online in a newly developed application and customer information system called Unity. With that Essent had a need to support execution of campaigns for acquisition and retention.
The different energy market forces in play:
- Decrease in consumption due to decentral production
- High cost to serve due to customer specific exceptions
- Intermediary detracts value in the value chain
- Customers focus on sustainability & energy efficiency
Essent selected Marketo and assembled an agile team, which learned on the job, alongside a Marketo professional.
The MVP and many stretch objectives were achieved in just 3 sprints, Integrating multiple customer information systems, analytics, SMS, 3rd-parties apps, and channels. Including executing multiple very successful campaigns during these first sprints.
Marketo, with integrations, live is just a few weeks, with high performing campaigns
Essent was able to execute its first campaigns during the first implementation sprints in the first few weeks. One of those campaigns was related to direct debit*. There was a need to (re-)confirm direct debit for migrated customers, limiting the number of calls by the operations team.
- 2.536 customers were contacted by email (44% on DD, 56% without DD).
- 1.239 responded (49%) to confirm the direct debit status for the new contract.
Many hours saved in manually contacting hundreds of customers to reconfirm direct debit. And the number of total customers with direct debit increased significantly.
* A direct debit is a financial transaction in which a company withdraws funds from a customer’s bank account. Before the bank will allow the transaction to take place, the customer must have advised the bank that he or she has authorized the company to directly draw the funds.
More Marketo instances for other lines of business
The success of Essent B2B in The Netherlands spread fast. More lines of business wanted to innovate. But RWE Innogy consists of businesses in dozens of countries and with multiple brands. And within each country and brand there are a variety of P&L responsible business units. Sharing one standard instance was not an option. Workspaces & Partitions were considered. But mostly due to the really different local IT landscapes, the decision was made to have separate instances. And an enterprise deal was made with Marketo.
Marketo best-practices for the energy market
Working with marketing automation in the energy market is very different than in other markets. The requirements are also different. With a typical sharp focus on retention your marketing automation platform should at least provide you with the ability to utilize custom objects and custom activities. How else would you be able to target based on energy connections, contracts, energy consumption, etc. One person is associated to multiple connections. And each connection can have multiple contracts. And you want the ability to target B2B and B2C in the same platform. For this you might consider workspaces and database partitioning. Marketo is the #1 platform to pick if you are in the energy & utilities market. And implementing it should not be done by just some agency with basic Marketo experience, considering the complexity. We have extended expertise in the energy & utilities market with customers like Essent, HVC Renewable Energy, Innogy, Sungevity, Wolf Oil, and HVC Waste Management.