Cadmus’ award-winning social media approach helped the Sponsors of Mass Save transform how utilities promote energy efficiency.
The Mass Save® Consumer Products and Lighting Program is sponsored by five Massachusetts energy utilities and energy efficiency service providers—Cape Light Compact, National Grid, NSTAR Electric, Unitil, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company. The Sponsors provide a wide range of services, incentives, trainings, and information promoting energy efficiency that help residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs.
Challenge: It’s widely recognized that word of mouth is customers’ leading referral source to energy-efficiency programs. And in today’s environment, word of mouth is often transmitted via social media. Utilities commonly employ social media to quickly and efficiently communicate during storms and other service disruptions to customers. Aside from crisis communications, however, utilities are only beginning to harness social media’s potential to drive energy efficiency, especially through energy-efficient purchases.
To help the Mass Save Sponsors achieve their goals of driving sales of Sponsor products and participation in relevant programs, and to create an educated and informed consumer base, Cadmus worked with the Sponsors to build a thriving online community that keeps customers actively engaged with energy-efficient behavior and purchases.
Solution: To accomplish their goals, Cadmus, along with its agency partners Match Drive and wedu, worked with the Sponsors to develop a pioneering marketing program centered on three key strategies:
- Integrated promotional campaign with a market-based, multifaceted sales approach using monthly, seasonally relevant online and brick-and-mortar retail initiatives and simultaneous, synergistic Facebook promotions supported by paid media and public relations
- Ongoing consumer education at key points of engagement to provide answers to and resources for customer questions and needs around energy-efficient products, delivered through online media, in-store communications, and social platforms
- Sponsor-specific marketing to support individual goals around specific products, such as lighting, advanced power strips, electronics, and refrigerator recycling
Since its January, 2013 launch, Mass Save has featured a major “Like to Save” promotion on the Mass Save Facebook page each month, often with a seasonal tie-in. Every month, fresh promotions and opportunities to save money and energy keep Mass Savers coming back to Facebook page.
Because the Facebook account is managed by the Cadmus marketing team on a daily basis, on behalf of the Sponsors, we are able to respond to customer feedback almost instantaneously and quickly evolve our strategies to meet user-engagement trends.
Results: Mass Save’s social media component consistently yields measurable results:
- Exponentially increased the level of engagement and fan base on the Mass Save social channels. Grew the Mass Save Facebook page from 4,666 fans in January 2013 to 51,791 by January 2014.
- Supported the increase in sales of Advanced Power Strips, Room Air Conditioners and LEDs. LEDs especially benefited from the social campaign promoting the awareness of lower pricing, quality and availability.
- Developed partnerships with 90 percent of the top-performing lighting manufacturers to complete special NCP marketing promotions using the social platform to drive sales.
The “Like to Save” campaign has effectively created an engaged and active energy-efficiency community that continues to fuel its own growth through active sharing and participation. Most importantly, the Sponsors have created an online community of engaged, educated customers to which future program offers and consumer education can be communicated.
In January 2014, the Association of Energy Services Professionals recognized this innovative, successful program with its inaugural AESP Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Media.
“We’re proud to have worked with the Cadmus team to demonstrate social media’s value as an important part of the marketing mix for energy-efficient retail products programs. Together, we’ve proven the channel’s potential as a viable sales and marketing tool for driving program results, but also for creating and engaging active brand advocates, helping us to meet aggressive energy savings and communications goals.”
—Kristen Pomer, Residential Program Manager, Northeast Utilities