With water boards becoming more and more competitive, how can companies stay ahead of the game?
There is a change on the horizon. Water companies are having to get more and more competitive, in a time of falling profits, as more people switch between companies in order to get a better deal.
The question then remains: How do water companies keep their customers in order to avoid people switching?
In the past there has been little competition between the water boards. Even after their privatisation in 1989, their geographic locations have kept them separate. What this means is that, relatively often, the public are not able to choose which company they go with. This is not always true, but for 90% of the population it is. This is about to change.
What this means is that the marketing prowess of the water boards has suffered over the years. The reason for this is because they have not had to compete with one another. This has lead to poor interaction with the public, both via email and Social Media.
There is a change in the air; one which will revolutionise the way that water companies interact with one another and how they interact with their public.
Coming soon, before 2018, the land water boards act in will no longer exclusively belong to them. Instead of having their own specific patch they work on, water companies will have to fight over which land they own. This means that, in theory, Severn Trent could provide water to Scotland, and Thames Water to Wales. Revolution is in the air, and its name is H2O.
This means that there will need to be a marketing revolution within the water industry. There will need to be change. There will need to be a new found respect for competition and how the water companies behave in regards to their populace.
At present the water companies have next to no interaction with their public. Each month we all get charged for our water but there is next to no communication beyond that. Socially speaking the water companies are not doing well. They are not engaging with their public, and the reason for this is because at the moment, why would they? There is no need for social interaction and so why waste resources?
This is going to change. This is going to HAVE to change. Come the releasing of the private equity, when water boards are no longer restricted by geographic proximity, they will have to interact more and market traditionally in order to keep their clients.
This article started off with the title "Water Companies Marketing Report 2015", but this was misleading. Truthfully there is very little marketing actually taking place. Instead the water companies are starting off with more or less a blank slate.
So what is the next step for the water companies before the releasing of geographic restrictions as to where they can provide water? The truth is they need it all:
- Branding - effective branding to make sure that they appear fresh and relevant. More importantly it is to shed the opinions of the past that water companies are just passive bodies.
- Social Media and Content Strategy - Blogging and Social Media should be second nature to water companies, and are great ways of ensuring great customer service and relevancy.
- SEO/Search - the water companies are about to all be competing against each other and it makes sense for them to compete on all grounds. It is important that they SEO their websites to make sure that they can be found on search engines.
- Fresh Graphics - designs need to be redone, made better, and made more accessible.
- User and Customer Experience - websites need to be improved in order to make the user experience top notch.
There is a lot to do, and this is the call to action. Water companies need to change or they'll be left behind.