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Data helps marketing hit customers’ pain points

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Data and market research should drive marketing strategy. David Quinn, Director of Brand and Communications Strategies at CenterPoint Energy, talks about how their research helped them hit customers' pain points when marketing their TrueCost portal.

Robin: Hello, and welcome to this addition of Brandonomics: an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage, and I’m here again today with David Quinn, Director of Brand and Communications Strategies at CenterPoint Energy. So, David, welcome back.

David: Robin, always good to talk to you.

Robin: Well, wonderful. We talked more last time about the new online electricity portal called TrueCost, but I want to know today how some of the market research information that you did behind the scenes fed into the decisions behind the portal itself.

David: Interesting question. We really think of ourselves as a data-driven company, by the way. So we did conduct focus groups, and we talked to customers about their electricity shopping experiences. What they told us was, yeah, you know what, it’s not something I like to do. Yeah, I’d rather go do laundry or pull lint balls off my cats; any number of things would be more interesting to them than shopping for electricity. So they told us that helping them calculate their true cost of different plans and making those comparisons easy would be key, but they also told us – and we did statistically reliable sampling to help customers tell us – of all these different comparison criteria, which are the ones that you shop on? What’s more important? So when you look at TrueCost today, and you see that you can search and create preferences around green energy, around price, around contract length, you know these are things that customers told us were things that were most important to them in shopping. So there are ways you can set your preferences that will create a customized score for you and show you plans that really line up nicely with what you told us are most important to you. So it’s personalized shopping based upon your preferences and based upon your home’s usage data. Two things no other website does, and all that came from market research.

Robin: Well, David, thank you for sharing the information about the site and how you used research to really drive the features and functionality. I appreciate you joining us on the show today.

David: It was fun, as always.

Robin: Well, wonderful. Stay tuned next week for another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


CenterPoint Energy is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, interstate pipelines, field services, and competitive natural gas sales. The company’s vision is to be recognized as America’s leading energy delivery company… and more.

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