Cameron Prockiw is the founder of Vovia and has helped top companies around the world use the internet more effectively for over 20 years. Cam also enjoys traveling, experiencing different cultures, and learning new things.

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Digital Meets Energy At Google’s Think Energy Event

Google EnergyThe digital revolution is affecting all industries, including Oil & Gas, changing not only how we market but also how we communicate with many types of stakeholders. With that in mind, Google recently held it’s Think Energy event in Calgary at Hotel Arts on September 18th. The event featured a number of speakers, exploring how energy companies are making successful use of digital platforms. Vovia was asked to attend as a valued Google Partner.

The day kicked off with a speech by The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, who spoke about the challenges facing energy companies in Alberta, especially our need to reach new markets. The Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines were both addressed with optimism, despite some vocal opposition to both projects. Mr. Oliver stated that he believes there is actually a lot of support for both projects, especially at the local level.

Following Mr. Oliver, were a number of other excellent speakers including Perry Coultrup from TransCanada who shared experiences using digital channels to communicate with the many stakeholders of the proposed Keystone pipeline, Jacob George from the City of Calgary who shared their use of digital communications channels during the recent floods, and a panel discussion which included Dean Paddock of Encana, Christina Pilarski of CAPP, Geoff Hill of Deloitte, and Doug Lacombe of Communicatto.   In addition, there were a presentations by Google specialists on topics such as the use of Google Maps, social networking, and their many advertising platforms.

Some of the main points from the day, which companies should keep in mind include:

  • Fragmentation of audience – In 1988 the top show on television was The Cosby Show which attracted over 25% of viewers.  The top show in 2012 was the American Idol Finale with just 6% of viewers.  Where has everyone gone?  More choices, more shows, and more screens (phones, tablets, and computers all compete for attention).  Companies must put more effort into finding their audience and connecting with them in their preferred medium.
  • Extreme personalization – Companies have the ability to provide customized messages for their many audiences, rather than just a single broad message for the masses.
  • Discuss rather than push – Companies tend to push information out, but people want dialogue.  They want to be able to ask questions and receive answers.  Online platforms such as social media provide opportunities for dialogue.
  • A nonline world – Stop thinking of online as separate.  It’s not. Online is ubiquitous and part of nearly every aspect of our lives.  Companies need to be thinking about online at every step of their communications and marketing efforts, rather than planning for it separately.
  • Online platforms for emergency communications – Establish online platforms for emergency communications before the fact.  Have them ready for when you need them.
  • Digital marketing advantage – Digital platforms offer a number of advantages as marketing and communication platforms including precise measurement, stronger ROI, and scalability.The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources at Google's Think Energy

Overall, Google put on a fantastic event, as they always do. The day went off without a hitch, many great ideas and case studies were shared, and Google also generously gave away a number of Nexus tablets and Moto X phones. Google certainly brought a fresh perspective to communications within the energy industry and gave everyone a lot to consider in their individual company’s approaches.

If you need help with your company’s online marketing and communications, let us know.  We’ve had the pleasure of helping a number of leading energy companies and have a good understanding of the unique challenges the industry faces.