Communicate & Engage: How Utilities Can Shine

Andre Mello
Andre Mello
Director, Marketing and Growth
May 28, 2024
May 28, 2024

Power plant

According to J.D. Power’s 2024 Public Utility brand study, customers are demanding personalized communications and better digital experiences. However, many public utility brands have fallen short implementing these points in their marketing strategy.

Creating better digital capabilities can only lead to customer satisfaction gains if customers know about them. That’s why improving marketing (especially digital marketing) is so important in the public utilities sphere.

Most customers won’t think about their utility until they need to. Again, even if new digital experiences are available to them, customers won’t notice unless the improvements are communicated/marketed to them.

Another important scenario when good communication is important is during outages. These interruptions are when all customer eyes will be turned towards your messaging…if this messaging is confusing or unhelpful public perception and customer satisfaction can dip fast.

But good marketing can save the day. Relevant, localized messages can inform customers about service improvements — digital and beyond. And informative, timely and relevant messaging about service interruptions can help manage customer expectations. 

Take, for instance, two examples of REGROUP’s work with DTE Energy.

Sofa/No Mugs: The Power of an Informative Campaign

Background: DTE wanted to make their customers aware of how easy it is to start, stop or move service online.

The Marketing Magic: To create awareness and encourage online usage, the Move In/Move Out campaign was created. These were brief, comedic commercials that showcased how user-friendly DTE’s digital services are.

The Happy Ending: Year over year, twice as many people used DTE’s Move In/Move Out service, with the biggest increases occurring while the campaign was in-market. This campaign was a big success for DTE. 

Hyperlocal: The Power of a Localized Campaign

Background: DTE wanted to communicate in “real time” what they are doing to improve reliability in local neighborhoods.

The Marketing Magic: A hyperlocal digital banner campaign was launched. Each week, customized banner ads are served to households within a 2-mile radius of where the work is happening. Banners link to online content where customers can learn more.

The Happy Ending: DTE is pleased with the campaign and plans to continue it. Customers now have greater awareness of what their utility is doing for them. And thanks to digital marketing, they can easily access updated information on DTE’s website, improving their overall sentiment towards the brand.


Improving your utility’s digital experience and having strong and relevant communications ready to dispatch to your customers when all eyes are on you, is key to creating high customer satisfaction scores. It all starts with good, informative marketing that sticks with customers and answers their questions, leaving them satisfied with their utility company.

Are you ready to REGROUP on your public utility communication strategy?

Connect here.

REGROUP is a woman-owned, independent full-service marketing agency in Ann Arbor. We have been the agency of record for DTE Energy for over 10 years and we also support non-profit, financial services and franchise industry clients. Are you ready to REGROUP?