The industry has come a long way since the late ‘90s, when the first handful of states became partially deregulated markets. Since then, more than 20 states have become deregulated in some form—with several offering consumer choices for both natural gas and electricity. And in every state, regardless of where the energy comes from, the demand for renewable and sustainable products has become impossible to ignore. Clearly, customers are gaining more of a voice in the energy sector. As a result, the need for market players to stand out has never been greater. Whether you’re working with residential, small business, or retail and industrial (R&I) customers, they all need the same thing: a clear, authentic message to help them make the right decision.
Here are a few of the industry drivers shaping energy & utilities right now.
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Industry Trend #1
The need for energy isn’t changing any time soon. But that doesn’t mean the energy industry itself isn’t changing. There’s a huge push for digital transformation in every business sector, and energy & utilities are primed for growth in this area. With growing access to AI, IoT, machine learning, and augmented reality capabilities, industry players are finding new ways to optimize every part of their business—from back office to customer service and even field maintenance.
Whether you’re deploying drones to monitor assets, creating digital twins to anticipate equipment failure, or using chatbots to handle customer requests, it all runs on data—and it all needs to fit under a single digital vision. There are important questions to ask on a big-picture scale, like What isn’t working right now? Are there specific areas we know digital can help improve? What shouldn’t change no matter what? Softway can help you work through these questions and more. Get more details here.
Industry Trend #2
Evolving a business isn’t like flipping a switch. It takes planning, a clear vision, and most importantly—bringing on the right people to usher in and support big change. Right now, energy & utilities companies are in need of the highly trained thinkers and doers who can embrace digital and all its potential. The only problem: these visionary thinkers aren’t exactly flocking to the industry, especially when big tech names in Silicon Valley are also in the recruiting pool.
So does that mean you should start referring to yourself as “the Google of energy & utilities” to get some buzz? Not necessarily. Believe it or not, we think the best way to get noticed is to tell your story. Creating impact is about understanding what the current generation of talent is looking for, and knowing how to highlight those exciting stories and opportunities that already exist inside your business. Cutting-edge renewable energy power supplies. Innovative technologies and applications. Investments that change lives in the community. Whatever is true for your business, you have big stories to share that can entice the problem-solvers you’re looking to hire.
Industry Trend #3
The popularity of renewable energy is nothing new. So why mention it as an industry driver? Well, because the demand is only building. According to one study, US generation sourced from non-hydro renewables (largely wind and solar) has nearly doubled in the past five years—and with good reason.
One big driver behind the growing popularity of green energy is a generational shift in consumer mindsets. Right now, there’s a massive changing of the guard as Millennials take the reins from Baby Boomers as the largest demographic in the United States. That means tons of buying power has been plopped squarely in the hands of a generation that is now known to care about social and environmental responsibility.
So what does that mean for energy & utilities? From a marketing perspective, we think the most important takeaway is to make sure providers in this space are at least greenish. We know it’s not realistic to expect every provider to be completely green at this point, but your customers and prospects need to at least see how renewables fit into your company vision—and your brand. We can help you share that story. Reach out, and we’ll talk through your current product mix, your goals for the future, and how it all fits inside your company’s unique identity. Learn more here.
We’re here with expert strategists who can help you get to the heart of your business needs—and seasoned UX, creative, and development teams to create the solutions. If you want to get together, look at some past work samples, and talk through some possible approaches, we’re ready when you are.