LP Gas

2017 LP Gas Rising Leader: Emily Willis

Vitals: Age 27; director of marketing at Blossman Gas/Alliance AutoGas in Asheville, North Carolina

Years in the propane industry: 5

Please describe your role and responsibility, as well as your vision, in growing your company and connecting with propane customers of today: To communicate our brand and services throughout various channels (such as our websites, email marketing, digital marketing, product catalogs and paid media) by implementing strategic plans I help to create. … We will have to customize our communication methods in the future in order to successfully maintain relationships with existing and prospective customers. In today’s world, customers choose the way they want to communicate with a company, and we need to be prepared to meet that need. Word of mouth is still paramount, but we need to have the technology to support these different methods. The use of technology such as emails, text, web, live chat and phone will be important.

Propane industry opportunities and threats: Autogas; getting a propane appliance in an all-electric home; small engines; and adding residential burner tips to current propane customers. … Our industry is very good at taking care of customers, but unless we grow the customer base in the industry, we will be in a declining business.

How then can the propane industry prosper in the coming years? By embracing new ways to use propane (such as autogas) and continuing to offer superior service to the residential segment.

What does your generation offer to the propane industry that previous generations did not? My generation has grown up with technology, such as the internet, which gives us a new perspective on communicating with our customers. Our generation is focused on the environment more than ever before.

What technologies are you using (or plan to use) to support business operations? Social media, email marketing and digital advertising. For instance, we have run promotional ads on Facebook that have brought hundreds of customers per location into our branches in a single day.