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How data can give utilities firms a competitive advantage

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How data can give utilities firms a competitive advantage


Competition in the energy market is set to increase significantly, with the government's drive to restore consumer confidence and ensure best value. This move follows a review by the Competition and Markets Authority - the State of the Market Assessment - which found that consumers weren't benefitting from a competitive market. The report made it clear that there was a need for energy firms to reduce costs and meet customer expectations.

In response to the report, and to cope with further change in the industry such as the introduction of smart meters and alignment with energy markets in Europe, utilities firms are making wide-reaching transformation to help them develop and maintain a competitive edge and deliver an improved customer experience. Many are bringing in physical and digital strategies and technology to help transform their customer interaction, and data has a critical part to play here.  Accurate, clean, enriched data is the foundation to delivering a great customer experience. But data has a ‘best before' date: it decays at an average of 2% per month1 - unsurprising when you consider that every 30 minutes, 120 business addresses and 75 phone numbers change, 20 CEOs leave their jobs and 30 new businesses are formed2

A Deutsche Post Data Quality Study reveals figures which showed that in Germany, in 2014 alone:

  • There were 21,000 streets which were new, changed their names or consolidated

  • 300 place names changed

  • 8 million people moved to a new address

  • 890,000 people died

  • There were 380,000 marriages

  • And 170,000 divorces

    Utilities companies which stay on top of this data using advanced software platforms can develop a strategic, competitive advantage. Why? Because they can use technology to deliver a personalised, relevant customer engagement strategy, safe in the knowledge that their information is correct, their targeting precise and timely. Software such as Single Customer View enables companies to pull together different data sets across an organisation and join the dots to generate deep customer insight, which they can share across their business. Technology such as Interactive Personalised Video gathers together data from across the business and uses it to generate real-time, highly-personalised videos to educate consumers on their tariffs; to explain pricing plans; to inform them of new products and services; and interactivity to drive video flow & customer engagement.

    To see this software in action, and be in with the chance of winning an iPad Mini, come and see my Pitney Bowes colleagues and I at stand F40 during Utility Week Live on the 17th at 18th May at the NEC Birmingham. Click here for more information and to request your own interactive personalised video.



    1 Source: Netprospex, ‘The State of Marketing Data 2014'

    2 Source: D&B The Sales and Marketing Institute



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