Precisely no one wants to relive the past year, and 2021 isn’t exactly off to a hopeful start either. But so much happened in 2020 that changed the way we live, work and connect with one another, and that meant there was a lot to talk about. Frankly, we’re still digesting what we, as a company, a community and a nation, have grappled with these many long months. With all the challenges COVID-19 brought, we know you may have missed some of the topics we covered. So, this week, we’re re-sharing some of last year’s most valuable content, then we’ll shift our gaze to the horizon to look at what you can expect from the BlastPoint team this year.
Electric Vehicle Adoption + Infrastructure Progress
Like everyone, we expected 2020 to be the Year of the EV. As such, we started it off with a bang, delivering insights on fleet electrification and charging infrastructure that we knew our energy partners were interested in. And then COVID struck. But the pandemic didn’t entirely thwart EV sales, charging expansion or market interest. Instead, 2020 saw sales of nearly 350K battery powered vehicles in the US, up from 245K in 2019. The year saw explosive growth across China and Europe, mostly due to lower emissions standards. And it also brought more investment and charging station installations around the world. Here are two of our favorite posts on the subject:
Looking Past Billing + Collections to Generate Revenue
2020 was a big year for throwing spaghetti at walls to see what might stick. Companies across sectors were forced to pivot, whether they were prepared to or not, in response to the pandemic and financial crisis that accompanied it.
Rent freezes, mortgage payment moratoriums and penalty-free late bills meant that businesses had to get creative to recoup lost revenue. While a full third of small businesses have shut down across the US due to COVID-19, many large enterprises and regulated utilities managed to stay afloat by shifting their focus beyond typical collections initiatives. We shared some ways they could do that in order to build revenue in places we knew residential and commercial customers could afford and would adopt. (Spoiler Alert: These posts contain juicy case studies!)
Engaging with Vulnerable Energy Customers
The most tragic thing about 2020 was the extreme human suffering and loss of life. The coronavirus affected us all, either directly or indirectly. But for those who experienced the death of a loved one or lost their job, the pandemic was, and continues to be, devastating. This has made it extremely challenging for companies to engage with their customers.
Remaining sensitive to the magnitude of COVID-19 while managing to stay in business has required extreme care and caution. Outreach methods have had to be revamped. Messaging campaigns overhauled. Reaching people–and prompting them to take action–while they holed up at home to care for each other proved to be harder than ever.
So we put together a lot of content in that regard throughout 2020, hoping to help guide our partners on how they could engage effectively with customers experiencing difficulty, during this crisis as well as any future ones. Here were some of our most valuable posts, along with a comprehensive guide especially for utilities, which is chock full of webinars, slide decks, case studies and more focusing on low income customer engagement.
What’s on the 2021 Horizon?
As 2021 unfolds, we will be sure to pivot in response to whatever comes our way. But as marketing calendars are being approved and content campaigns decided, we wanted to share a glimpse into what we know for sure will appear on the blog over the next few months.
More Electric Vehicle Fun!
With a new president coming into office who vows to put Americans back to work in good-paying, manufacturing jobs and wants to guide the US toward a zero carbon future, there’s no doubt 2021 will be heavily focused on electric vehicles. We will be sure to stay on top of new developments in the industry and share data on fleet electrification and charging infrastructure as it becomes available.
Stay tuned for the release of our 2021 EV Outlook report, coming very soon!
What is data maturity and how do you get there? This is something we work on helping our partners achieve every single day. Data maturity is a stage of functionality that companies strive for and attain when their data is organized, clean, enriched, up-to-date, and fully integrated into every facet of their operations. Having mature data empowers businesses to make data-backed decisions quickly and efficiently, and gives them the ability to pivot in response to crises, such as the pandemic we are living through today. Data mature companies have fared far better these past difficult months than those without a solid data infrastructure in place. We’ll go into why over the course of the next few months.
Here’s a teaser: A lot of people believe that reaching data maturity takes five or even ten years of hard work. But we’re proving that’s not so. Throughout 2021, you’ll hear us talking a lot about how business teams can make their data mature sooner rather than later (like, within a year) with basic maintenance, best practices and a little machine learning. So keep an eye out for guidance on how to get there.
Customer Engagement in a Post-COVID World
We’re not in the clear yet. Not by a long shot. COVID is still very much here, and it will take time for the masses to receive the vaccine and resume some semblance of their daily activities. But what was once considered ‘normal’ is pretty much gone. Still, things change quickly, and we’ll be here to offer our best advice on keeping customers tuned in and responsive–throughout the vaccine rollout and beyond.
After all, we foresee a lot more workers staying at home even when their offices open back up. The way people navigate public spaces might never be the same again, which ought to make for some interesting developments in commercial building use. And now that folks are accustomed to Zoom school and virtual happy hours, we might see a lot more creative digital engagement strategies materialize.
We look forward to bringing you data and insights on these and other issues throughout the coming year. As always, if there’s something you are particularly interested in hearing about from us, we welcome your suggestions! Drop us a line here any time.
Happy New Year!