U.S. energy marketing companies seem to be overlooking asuccessful method of drawing in vast numbers of retail customers.”Affinity” marketing, which involves striking exclusive allianceswith large organizations and companies to offer services to theirmembers and employees, is a marketing method that has proved quitesuccessful in the United Kingdom but largely has been untried inthe U.S., New York-based Datamonitor said in a new study.
It “is wide open for energy marketers and suppliers,” saidDatamonitor energy analyst Steven Cutler. In the U.K., energymarketers and others have signed exclusive agreements with laborunions, large newspapers, retailers, trade groups, insurancecompanies and others. If members of the organizations or companiesthen select the energy company as their energy supplier, theyreceive a discount over the usual costs of supplies, Cutler noted.
A national Datamonitor survey conducted as part of the studyreveals not one of 44 major U.S. organizations ripe for an alliancehas been “contacted by energy marketers or suppliers to explore theissue of marketing to organizational memberships,” Cutler said.Several U.S. groups, such as the American Bar Association (ABA),the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), theAFL-CIO, and the Sierra Club-jumped out at Datamonitor as”potentially profitable partners in an energy affinity marketingprogram,” he said. “These groups all possess high levels ofloyalty. All have strong delivery mechanisms for publicizing andpromoting these types of programs” to members. All also have atleast a moderate interest in the idea of offering energy tomembers, while most environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club,”have a strong interest in offering green energy to theirmembership,” Cutler said.
Information about Datamonitor’s report, Marketing Energy toAffinity Groups, can be obtained from the company’s New York officeat (212) 686-7400; fax, (212) 676-2626.
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