Aggressive goals, targeted approach, big results.

Client: Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri, a Midwestern electric and gas utility with more than 1.2 million customers, was entering year two of an ambitious three-year effort to save 843,000 MWh – but with little headway convincing customers to save energy, they weren’t on track to meet that goal. Using our proprietary customer segmentation system that targets messaging to an audience’s unique emotional drivers, we created a comprehensive campaign called “Smile, Missouri,” that helped Ameren get back on track – and then some. With our help, Ameren beat its original aggressive savings goals by 41%.

Client Challenge

Old messaging was tired and generic; it touted savings but didn’t inspire action. Ameren Missouri’s website for energy rebates was confusing, creating a barrier between customers and rebate programs.

Shelton Strategy

Create a warm, motivational campaign that taps into a deeper emotional driver – feeling happy – to encourage customers to save energy, and support it with a user-friendly digital experience that makes it easy to apply for rebates. Use segmentation to target different parts of the customer base with messaging and programs that appeal specifically to them. Cross-market programs we know make sense based on their segment.

Critical Tactics

  • Digital
  • Direct mail
  • TV
  • Print collateral

The Payoff

Ameren Missouri saw big changes for the better – right away. Traffic soared on the energy efficiency program rebates page, more than doubling the previous year’s numbers, and in the campaign’s first month alone, weekly pickups for fridge recycling more than tripled (from 88 to 300). From year one to year two, HVAC improvements increased 34%. Long-term, our strategic campaign drove program participation to all-time highs, and Ameren Missouri topped its three-year, 843,000-MWh energy savings goal by 41%. Bonus: the campaign also gave a boost to Ameren Missouri’s J.D. Power scores.

Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.