Beyond the Data: What Office Depot and TVA Learned


Solid data is the foundation of successful and authentic messaging. Data alone, however, is just a pile of facts. To gain value from data, it needs to be organized, isolated and analyzed to truly understand the stories hiding within it.

As you mine your data and plan the messaging for your future reports, we hope you find inspiration from the efforts of these Milepost clients, who made exceptional use of their data to better grasp their ability to effect change and understand what their customers wanted.

Office Depot wanted to invigorate their sustainability reporting efforts to improve engagement and readership and help them stand out among other brands producing similar reports. The data used as the basis for their annual sustainability report revealed that Office Depot strives to be a sustainable brand AND help customers do the same through their products and services. To meet their goal of emphasizing their services, their 2018 report makes it clear that the company’s sustainability efforts have a unique ability to scale the sustainability opportunities of their customers. A compilation of Office Depot’s accomplishments alongside the customer actions made possible through Office Depot showcased a company positioned to inspire change well beyond its company walls.

The eScore program from TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) has been in operation for many years, with messaging to residential energy customers that has focused on rebates and savings on monthly energy bills. Through market research conducted earlier this year in response to changing program guidelines and rebates, data showed that what customers truly wanted was the reassurance and trust of the Quality Contractor Network, access to which is offered by eScore to any residential customer signing up for a free eScore account. When TVA heard this story from their data, they repositioned their program to emphasize this benefit and improve the customer value of the eScore program.

Data can be priceless – or worthless, unless companies can see beyond the data to the stories it tells and the insight it reveals.

The Milepost Team
The Milepost Team