Advanced data analytics helped Georgia's Cobb EMC segment its membership into five groups, which they use to identify members' interests and define the best method for outreach.

Upscale Retirees are the largest group, making up 37 percent of Cobb's members. They have higher incomes, are 65 and older, and may not be retired but are looking toward retirement. Their priorities include protecting the environment, as they're concerned about their children's and grandchildren's future.

When it comes to the most effective way for the cooperative to reach them, they straddle old and new approaches. "They're all online, but they're still old school. They like to get their magazines," says Nurdan Cornelius, Cobb EMC's director of consumer marketing.

Wealthy Energized Families are 31 percent of Cobb EMC's members. Younger than upscale retirees, these families are relatively affluent and are likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle in the next five years or so.

"They have nothing to do with paper," Cornelius says. "If you send them a bill insert, a magazine, postcards, they're not going to look at it." The cooperative focuses on reaching this group through its app, email, and text messages.

Midscale Family Chargers amount to 17 percent of the co-op's membership. Aged 44 to 55, with middle to high income levels, these families are at the busiest point in their lives, active in their communities, busy with children's activities.

"They like energy efficiency, green energy, electric vehicles," Cornelius says. Social media is popular, and email is another effective form of communication. "They don't have time to check anything else."

Young Frugal Renters, 10 percent of the membership, "are our millennials," Cornelius says. "Everything is online. Everything is an app. There is nothing on paper for them."

Interestingly, she says, this group is more familiar with the cooperative idea than some others because they grew up with other co-ops, like ones for food and childcare, as part of life.

Modest Retirees make up 5 percent of the co-op's members. Home energy conservation and saving money are priorities, and "they love receiving Georgia Magazine," Cornelius says, which is the monthly statewide publication. "Everything is important in the billing inserts."

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