CleanChoice Energy uses Segment to help consumers access 100% clean renewable energy

With Segment, CleanChoice Energy has the ability to scale with a centralized data platform that helps them accelerate first-party data strategies while protecting user privacy.

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“Segment has given us the operating leverage we need to scale, allowing us to work smarter not harder. We’re creating real change within our organization which translates to helping more customers be more sustainable. ”

— Anthony Hoang, CTO, CleanChoice Energy

CleanChoice Energy is a climate tech company on a mission to make clean energy accessible to everybody. The company offers 100% renewable energy and climate solution products to American homes and businesses. Since their customer-facing launch in 2013, CleanChoice has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in the US, as ranked on the Inc 5000 and Deloitte's Technology Fast 500™. CleanChoice is a Certified B Corporation, a member of the American Sustainable Business Council and a member of the US Green Building Council. CleanChoice customers have avoided more than 8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and provided over $2.4 million in funding to leading nonprofits and social impact organizations.

To keep up with growth and shifting consumer expectations, CleanChoice had added a number of different marketing tools, systems and platforms. However, the processes for the different channels and systems were not scaling; the company needed the ability to work smarter, not harder. CleanChoice turned to Segment to power a data hub that would efficiently scale marketing and personalization efforts and enable the teams to focus on connecting consumers with clean energy.

Connected customers require connected stacks

CleanChoice focuses on making clean energy accessible to everyone. In order to achieve this mission, the company set out to meet consumers where they were - online. The marketing and technology teams invested in a solid set of tools when they launched in 2013, but with the increase in demand for renewable energy, CleanChoice was having a hard time keeping up. Customers could interact with the company at any time on any channel, but its legacy CRM technology could only handle so much customer data. The team invested in a proliferation of new tools to fill the gaps; however, these new tools didn’t talk to each other and caused disconnected digital experiences. The marketing team was operating in channel-specific silos, making it extremely difficult to create cohesive journeys for its customers and share data internally. The team had little ability to measure the effectiveness of cross-channel marketing efforts.

At the same time, consumer expectations were increasing. The impacts of online retail and instant gratification were creeping into the energy sector. Consumers want the ability to access clean energy quickly and easily, and immediately see their progress toward sustainability. CleanChoice needed to integrate across channels in order to make marketing campaigns more customer-centric, and service customers in a more cohesive way.

The company was at an inflection point - continue to add in more channel-specific tools and manually stitch together a user journey, or invest in a customer data platform to underpin a whole new digital strategy with more visibility, privacy controls, and better personalization. CleanChoice chose the latter.

Finding a data solution that meets ever-changing customer and business needs

CleanChoice embarked on a journey to select a customer data platform partner in conjunction with a marketing automation solution. After evaluations of four Gartner-ranked customer data platforms, the company chose to invest in Segment’s Customer Data Platform for its strong ecosystem of partners, especially Braze; the ability to create custom integrations with Functions; and the audience building features available with Segment Personas.

Segment provides CleanChoice with a centralized data platform to capture every customer interaction and the ability to federate data to the teams that need it to make strategic decisions. This data collection goes deeper than any previous tool the company had in place, and could scale beyond the data volumes supported by the CRM platform. The company is now able to capture data at the identity-level. The data also streams into Snowflake for the data science team to build models off of for better marketing attribution.

Then, the team began connecting best-of-breed tools. Previously, each new tool required a whole IT project to properly integrate the tool. With Segment’s catalog of integration partners, adding a new tool can be as easy as flipping a switch. Notably, CleanChoice integrated Segment with Braze to up-level its customer engagement strategy through SMS and email with a push of a button. Using Segment, CleanChoice gets turnkey connectivity; the teams can quickly integrate from a wide selection of popular tools across a variety of categories with pre-built connectors. It can also build and customize integrations, which was a requirement due to the non-traditional nature of the energy sector. For example, the CleanChoice team did not expect any CDP solutions to have out-of-the-box connectors to electrical utility providers, so they needed the ability to create them themselves using Segment’s SDKs and Functions platform.

Activating on first-party data with data privacy front-and-center

Once Segment was in place, CleanChoice could turn its focus to up-leveling its personalization efforts with a first-party data strategy.

The marketing teams began to capture more micro-signals around customer behavior to enhance the customer journey. For example, the teams now had visibility into the enrollment process — how customers were engaging in enrollment and if they were abandoning a certain step — and they could now take action on it. This visibility was important for the team’s larger marketing strategy that encompassed all relevant digital channels including enrollment. They could now create a coordinated campaign effort via paid ads or email tactics that would bring customers back to the enrollment process if they dropped off on a certain step.

At the same time, CleanChoice was gathering deeper insights from its customer base with Segment, it was able to continue to adhere to critical data privacy regulations. The company had committed to building a strategic foundation of first-party data from the onset eight years ago, but the process of managing and applying the data was highly manual and time-consuming. Segment provided tooling for CleanChoice to create a dynamic data inventory, manage risk exposure, and streamline regulatory compliance. CleanChoice selected Segment because they feel confident in its ability to help them enhance its first-party data strategy while respecting consumer privacy, and continue growing in a cookie-less future.

CleanChoice is working smarter not harder

With Segment now in place, CleanChoice is able to provide its customers a much more relevant experience faster. The company is leveraging deeper customer insights to better inform customer journeys and marketing attribution, while focusing on first-party data and adhering to all data privacy regulations. The company also has the ability to federate data to all the teams that need it to make strategic decisions: marketing, product, data science, engineering, and customer support. 

"Segment is a central piece of data infrastructure that can grow with us. We have the ability to continually innovate at an accelerated pace with this rich, real-time data at our fingertips. Segment enables us to service and connect with our customers better than ever before.” - Anthony Hoang, CTO, CleanChoice Energy

CleanChoice has always been committed to making clean energy accessible for everybody. With Segment in place, the company can focus on empowering the consumer to be a driving force for sustainability. 

Overall Results

  • Decreased engineering time-spent by 90% per year

  • Decreased time-to-value by months for each tool

  • More comprehensive and high-fidelity marketing attribution

  • Increased revenue with new campaigns 

What’s next?

CleanChoice plans to continue scaling its digital efforts with Segment and dive further into personalization to better understand its customers’ green journey. The marketing teams want to be able to recommend and provide the most relevant products at the right time and place. Segment ensures the CleanChoice’s data strategy and tech stack are flexible and ready to tackle continuously evolving customer needs.

 

Industry: Consumer Products
Location: Washington, D.C.