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The DNV GL 9 Box Model: A Six Part Blog Series Focused on Improving Customer Engagement

This is the first in a series of six blogs that will focus on how utility energy efficiency programs can improve customer engagement using segmentation and differentiation, focusing on the end customer, the trade allies, and market influencers. The DNV GL 9 Box Model enables an improved understanding of market actors through segmentation, more efficient outreach and marketing through differentiation, and full engagement of market influencers.

DNV GL applies a model to its implementation programs, that enables stronger customer engagement through segmentation and differentiation.  Marketers have long understood that the people they are trying to reach—whether consumers or businesses, all have a diverse array of needs, interests, goals, and desires. They have also long understood that segmenting their audience according to who they are and what they want is crucial to the success of their marketing efforts. This applies just as much, if not more, to energy efficiency programs and as utility program managers, you have responsibility for leveraging marketing and outreach for maximum impact. Rather than selling a single product or brand, utilities are trying to sell an esoteric idea: energy efficiency. Having a highly granular understanding of the market, and the people you are trying to influence, becomes a crucial part of success when it comes to marketing energy efficiency programs.

DNV GL’s energy efficiency program implementation teams, which serve utilities across the country, have developed a model that will create an integrated strategy for outreach and marketing that focuses on segmenting  the market actors and differentiating offerings and service levels. Called the DNV GL 9 Box model, it  ensures that the outreach and marketing strategies are highly integrated and working from the same model, sets of data and assumptions. The model had long been applied within DNV GL programs, but only in recent years has it been codified. It recognizes the end customer, trade ally and market influencer, and enables strategic planning and engagement with all three based on their potential to contribute to a utilities energy efficiency targets.

These integrated strategies are designed to support each utility’s unique needs in achieving its annual energy savings targets and customer satisfaction goals, and improving customer engagement. The importance of an integrated strategy cannot be underestimated, nor can the positive impact of a program’s outreach and marketing strategies.

The DNV GL 9 Box  Model relies on 1. Understanding who your market actors are – customers, trade allies, and market influencers; 2. Clarity of what value they could bring to your program, as well as what they are actually delivering to your program. Once you have clarity for this landscape, it is time to apply robust segmentation to those market actors and define your objectives and expectations of them.

From there, the 9 Box Model becomes about differentiating the offer (the incentives) and the service level. This is the point to allocate resources and time to achieve the best return in terms of program participation and meeting goals

DNV GL’s integrated strategy approach enables each program to better articulate the market players, to better understand their individual and segmented contribution to program goals. It can provide a more data-driven method to allocate resources and budget, while enabling more effective messaging and communication. It allows for a more critical conversation about which services and incentives are being applied, and better analysis of who is responding to those offers and using those services. Ultimately, the integrated strategy results in a more robust analysis of ROI of those segments, which enables the programs to make more informed decisions.

It has been a tremendous journey that has challenged our thinking, provided new insight, and allowed us to improve both our strategic and tactical outreach and marketing efforts. This is the first in a series of blogs focusing on the DNV GL 9 Box Model, including the specific experiences of various outreach and marketing managers who have led their local teams in developing program integration strategies. These blogs will focus on segmentation, cost effectiveness, understanding your outreach capabilities, and contractor management – all through the lens of this integrated strategy.

Karen Germain is a Business Direction Principal with Program Development and Implementation (PDI), DNV GL Energy Services USA Inc. She leads the Outreach strategy for PDI’s energy efficiency program implementation teams. Ms. Germain was previously the Head of External Relations with The Carbon Trust (U.K.) where she oversaw relationships with more than 3,000 market influencers including trade associations, professional institutes, and the trade unions. She has held various positions in consulting in both the UK and North America. She holds an MBA in International Strategy and Management and a BS in Organizational Behavior. Further reading from Karen can be found at trade ally success, excel at outreach , and you can explore DNV GL’s new Energy Transition Outlook.

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