Ricoh launches customer marketing suite for utilities
Ricoh Production Print Solutions LLC, a digital output solutions and marketing company, launched its first-ever customer marketing suite for utility companies April 10, said Mike Bryant, worldwide practice leader of strategy and marketing analytics at Ricoh. The offering will help fill out the company's portfolio of marketing suites, he said.
The marketing suite will mimic Ricoh suites for other verticals, Bryant said. “The utility Is a bit different because for the most part, it's a monopoly,” he said. “They're selling more services instead of new products.” The overall goal is predictive modeling, he said, meaning that the company can see which customers are most likely to engage with specific types of offers.
The suite is intended to use utility customer data to optimize marketing communications. For example, Bryant said, electric companies could better market green initiatives by monitoring customer usage. It is also intended to help utility companies monitor late pays and attrition.
Utilities are becoming more and more deregulated, he said, meaning that more competition for big companies is likely on the horizon. “Utility marketers are going to have to start being much more analytical because there's going to be a rush for their customers,” he said.
An example of how this data is valuable, according to Jay Robinson, senior solutions consultant of professional services and software at Ricoh, is when an electric or water company is planning to set up a new plant.
“A utility has to debate, now, whether they want to build a new power plant or to reduce their input by five percent,” he said. “The utility has to look at can I build it, or get everybody to lower their spending?”