Driving EV Marketing on the Information Superhighway
A virtual test drive video produced by PSE Up & Go Electric provides a socially distanced way for customers to learn what it’s like to drive, own, and charge an EV from the convenience of their laptop screen.
The goal of Puget Sound Energy’s Up & Go Electric program is to make switching to an electric vehicle as easy as possible for our customers and add to the over 60,000 EVs already cruising Washington’s roads.
One of the challenges of 2020 was to find a way to accomplish that goal without our popular, in-person Ride & Drive events. In a typical year, these free events, which give our customers the opportunity to test drive multiple EV models and talk to our experts about what it’s like to own and charge an EV, would be a major driver (pardon the pun) of customer engagement and a central marketing tactic.
Instead, the Up & Go Electric team used the unique circumstances of this year to expand and innovate on the ways we connect with our customers online. Here are three examples:
- Virtual events: In Q4, PSE held a series of live webinars focused on key EV talking points: they’re better for the environment, they’re fun to drive, and they’re cheaper to own. These virtual events were cohosted by PSE’s EV experts and EV owners from the community. Invites were sent to a swath of PSE customers deemed most likely to consider purchasing an EV. Hundreds ended up attending the three events, and over 75 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to purchase an EV having attended the event.
- Virtual test drive video: If we couldn’t bring our customers to a Ride & Drive, we’d bring the Ride & Drive to them in 2020. We produced a glossy, two-and-a-half minute video that would provide customers with the experience of test driving a 2020 Kia Niro EV without leaving their computer. We further replicated the Ride & Drive experience in the video by touching on topics like available EV savings and how charging works. The video was again targeted to likely EV buyers among PSE’s customer base, as well as widely promoted on social media.
- Online Electric Vehicle Guide: Finally, we used 2020 as an opportunity to beef up our interactive EV web tools, preparing to replace our existing EV Calculator tool, which allows users to compare emissions reductions and fuel savings between electric and gas vehicles, with a robust, personalized Electric Vehicle Guide in late-December/early January. In addition to the functions already provided by our current Calculator, this new tool will allow users to browse and compare specific EV models, sorting by their specific driving needs and budget. They can also use it to find EV charging stations and discover available incentives.
These three tactics, among others, allowed PSE Up & Go Electric to avoid any drop off in customer engagement in 2020 and provided new tools that can be deployed in 2021 and beyond.
PSE Up & Go Electric’s new Electric Vehicle Guide will give customers an interactive, personalized way to learn more about EVs. It will go live in late-December/early January.
A series of live webinars provided hundreds of customers the opportunity to learn more about EVs and get their questions answered from PSE’s experts and community EV owners.