Energy company NRG drives 10x lift in leads with better personalization

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By Drew Burns

Posted on 08-24-2020

NRG Energy is a familiar name for folks living in states like Texas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Powering more than 3 million residential and business customers across the country, the company has been there to keep people’s lives “on.” Over the years, that responsibility has evolved. As needs and preferences shifted, NRG began to adapt its offerings. Renewable energy products were added, along with consulting services for commercial customers to optimize energy use. Even mobile power packs for smartphones became available.

The expanding remit meant a growing customer base (one with increasingly diverse needs). And many of them were looking to engage the company online. As traffic grew, there was a need to modernize the experience on channels like the website and through email. To accomplish this, NRG tapped Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe apps would drive a personalization strategy online that has since led to a 5x increase in engagement, 2x bump in conversion, and a 10x lift in leads generated per visits.

A pulse on the customer

In the early days, NRG’s interactions with business customers were mostly transactional. The sales organization would be in touch during purchase or renewal cycles (or for customer support). There was limited means to build brand equity, and the company missed out on the opportunity to engage customers with helpful content throughout the customer journey. Investing in digital channels meant reorienting that relationship.

Around 2017, the digital marketing team at NRG revamped the company’s website. Built on Adobe Experience Manager, it went from a static property (mainly meant for investors and corporate audiences) to a dynamic website that could consistently serve up new content and messaging to prospects and customers. The team began to test content types to understand how aspects like imagery and copy impacted engagement. These early efforts drove a 10 percent lift in engagement. It was an encouraging pilot that led to a greater focus on digital experiences.

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The company’s personalization strategy has since matured over the years, with data as a backbone. Adobe Analytics helps NRG better understand what customers need to be successful, by activating insights around past interactions, demographics and preferences. With Adobe Target, personalization can be scaled to the entire customer base across channels like the website, email, and even direct mail. If an energy manager engages the brand, for instance, the content they are served will be very different from that of a chief sustainability officer. This deeper understanding of the customer extends to the sales process as well, with data guiding how leads are nurtured.

In recent months

While an effective digital platform was important in normal times, it became critical at the onset of COVID-19. NRG wanted to ensure that customers felt well-supported and had the resources they needed. While the team anticipated a surge in interest around reducing energy costs, the data showed that many customers actually wanted reassurance that services would remain stable and reliable. This shifted the types of content produced by the marketing team, as well as how the sales organization engaged customers. It drove an engagement effort focused on business continuity and how NRG would meet customer needs with minimal disruption.

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According to Steven Lin, director of digital at NRG Energy: “We want to be a trusted resource for our customers and a partner they can turn to for their energy needs. This means that we can’t only communicate during milestones like renewals. Our team wanted to build equity for the brand, and digital channels made this possible. Adobe Experience Cloud has been an important technology partner, helping us understand what makes customers tick and using those insights to deliver experiences and support.”

NRG is a great example of how a brand can look beyond the peer set when it comes to digital experiences. The company understands that the customer’s expectation, regardless of industry, is set by familiar services, such as ecommerce and video streaming. Consumers have a high bar regardless of the service, and this is true both at home and in the workplace. Analytics and personalization technologies can help level the playing field here (as NRG has shown) and drive results that help nurture lifelong relationships.

Topics: Personalization, Customer Stories, Customer Story, Enterprise Customers