Prosper Business Development Corp. of Columbus, OH, formed adivision to assist energy companies in dealing with marketingchallenges of deregulation. Prosper NRG Marketing offers a varietyof turnkey products designed to enhance marketing efforts to thecommercial and residential segments of the energy market. Theproducts can be used to sell energy without a direct sales force.

The company, which has been providing similar services to mediaand telecommunication companies for the last eight years, has beendeveloping marketing programs for energy since 1995 under contractwith UtiliCorp United and EnergyOne. Prosper has retained therights to these programs and will license them to utility companieslooking for a competitive edge on a market-exclusive basis.

Prosper’s turnkey approach to integrated marketing is reflectedin products such as Direct to Market and Instant Savings Analysis.

Direct to Market puts a form in the hands of a supplier’sprospective customers through direct mail or insert intopublications. The end user fills out the form with data on currentenergy costs paid to the incumbent utility and faxes it to Prosper.The form is machine read, and a rate quote is generated and faxedback to the prospect with a contract. At the same time, informationon the prospect is forwarded to the client or its call center. Thesupplier can then call the prospect for follow-up. The company saidit will initially target suppliers trying to reach commercialcustomers with residentials to follow.

Instant Savings Analysis works similarly but is intended for useby sales people in the field. They can fax back a prospectivecustomer’s usage information and receive back a rate quote whilestill in the field at the prospect’s site.

“Simply relying on brand awareness campaigns to delivercustomers won’t work in deregulated markets. It will be importantfor utilities to create an environment of trust with the forgottencommercial and residential market segments in a very short timeframe.”

Since 1990, Prosper Business Development Corp. has beenproviding marketing productivity and business development servicesto major corporations and industries facing evolving markets. Itsclients include, Columbia Energy, Entergy, Sprint, UtiliCorp andEnergyOne.

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