How to Market to Movers in Competitive Energy Markets

If your energy business is in a deregulated, competitive market, then you know how critical it is to market to, attract, and retain customers. The most critical moment is when people move. That’s when customers either sign up for or discontinue their service.

Think of the move as your greatest acquisition and retention moment. It’s also one of the most costly, as the expense of acquiring a new customer is far higher than retaining an existing one.

A report by McKinsey found that the deregulated energy sector, like most consumer-service industries, has seen an influx of new competitors and a steady rise in customer churn. Instead of following a traditional model where customers are served by a monopoly utility company, competitive energy markets mean that customers are able to switch from one provider to another, basically at will. Switching from one competitive service provider to another is also accelerating as a result of digitization, and especially with the rise of price-comparison websites.

And so, while most of the focus among competitive energy service providers has been on promoting bottom-line prices for energy services, a largely untapped opportunity exists at the moment a customer contacts you about a move. Simply stated, a customer’s decision to pack up and move to a new address offers an opportunity to enhance your brand loyalty and offer services that benefit your customer and your bottom line.

Of course, many people will switch energy providers without packing up and moving. But the majority of customers that a competitive energy provider wants to interact with are people who are pulling up stakes and moving.

Country on the move

The United States is the most transient country in the world. Each year, almost 17 million households move; that equals around 45 million individual movers.

Movers not only change geographic locations—either across town or across the country—but they also change everything from grocery stores to home security providers.

With an overwhelming number of decisions to make, movers are less likely to spend as much time researching and comparing brands as they normally would. Instead, they often choose the most economical, fastest, and/or easiest option. In fact, 85% of all movers choose the first brand presented to them in a category.

If a mover is relocating to a different town or state, they’re also looking for new local businesses such as gyms, grocery stores, pharmacies, and dry cleaners, just to name a few. As a result, movers’ brand loyalties are up for grabs, making them four times more likely to try new brands. This translates to more than $150B in spending decisions on the table.

What that means for you is that movers present an opportunity for you to interact in a positive way with a demographic that’s already primed to spend and try new brands. In increasingly competitive energy markets, this opens the door to expanding your brand’s reputation and acquiring lifetime customers.

Understanding the move cycle

It’s important to keep in mind that movers start to think about moving tasks an average of three months before their move. And, they make most of their purchases 30 days before relocating. That’s often before your service center even receives a service-related move call.

Your marketing team would benefit greatly by knowing key pieces of information such as homeownership status, email, and where individuals are moving to and from. This sort of information is essential for knowing who the mover is, what they need, and how you can help them.

Where timing meets data

Here’s where Updater can help – Updater is America’s number one moving app, helping people organize and complete moving-related tasks weeks before their move. Our platform is unique in that move timing and intelligent curation meet to ensure a better, more personalized experience for movers nationwide.

Updater can help your energy marketing team market to movers and reach customers weeks before their actual move – learn how here. During the critical weeks before a move — when a mover makes 70-90% of her long-term purchasing and brand loyalty decisions — Updater provides actionable information to help movers establish brand relationships.

Competitive energy markets reward companies that provide outstanding service to their customers. As you think about attracting and retaining customers during the move cycle, consider the extent to which you are leveraging the entire move cycle to market to movers. Are you nurturing relationships with movers during the one to three months when most of their purchase decisions are being made?

If not, we’d love to help. Reach out to learn more about how Updater can help you answer these questions and market to movers efficiently.

Jenna Weinerman
Jenna Weinerman

Jenna is Updater’s VP of Marketing and a published relotech expert. She’s an endless seeker of knowledge, a lover of craft brews, and a huge Philadelphia sports fan. Follow her on Twitter here.

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