Using Data and Trends to Make Decisions
ADVERTISING IS not my strong suit, but when it comes to using data and trends to make decisions, I am all over it. In 2018, OKIE811 began noticing a trend where private contractors were not submitting the locate request or were having the homeowner submit the locate request on their behalf. Another issue – they were not waiting the required time for all the underground lines to be located and marked. If an underground line were hit or damaged, the liability fell to the homeowner and they would contact us very upset that they were having to pay for the damages.
We decided it was time to put together a targeted awareness campaign focused on private contractors with specific messaging. We created a :15, :30, and :60 second commercial showing the contractor being hired by the homeowner and talking about it being his responsibility to contact 811. The commercial airs on ESPN2 during key sporting events. To see the full video, go to https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ tClBEfng9E.
In 2018, we also had a change in our One Call law that now requires the homeowner to contact 811 before excavating when the digging on their property is within the public or private easement. As a part of our targeted awareness campaign, we wanted homeowners to know if they did not have underground lines located and marked, and they hit a line, they would be responsible for the damages.
We put together another commercial that focused on the repair cost associated with most underground utility lines. We used a drone to fly over the houses where we were talking with the homeowners about how expensive the repairs could be. It was a great visual that came across well when aired.
Since airing these two commercials, we have gone from processing an average of 6,250 homeowner tickets a month to averaging 8,300 homeowner tickets a month! This is a 33% increase during the peak digging months in Oklahoma. So, we believe our messaging is being received by the intended audience.
It is encouraging to see the results of our planned targeted awareness campaign and that our messaging is being received. Looking at trends and realizing the importance of video and targeting the message to the intended receiver helped us achieve the desired results. What trends do you seeing happening in your area?
Susan Bohl is Executive Director for OKIE811. She can be reached at sbohl@ okie811.org.