A white paper released by Prosper Business Development Corp.outlines three phases of revolution occurring in the energyindustry and explains three mistakes marketers must avoid to ensuresuccess in the competitive marketplace. The paper addressesdifferences from telecommunications deregulation and warns of ashakeout for energy marketing executives who fail to respond to thederegulating market.
One mistake is to confuse advertising with marketing. Prospermaintains clever ad campaigns aimed only at “building the brand”won’t work in this market. “With more than 243 investor-ownedelectric utilities vying for the same customers, they can’t affordto spend millions of dollars on lengthy campaigns that raise brandawareness only without selling energy,” said Prosper President GaryDrenik. The white paper describes costly problems resulting fromutilities believing market pilots represent the real world.Prosper’s white paper also warns against using the same sales modelto reach small commercial and residential customers as is used toreach large commercial and industrial customers.
Small commercial and residential customers offer greatermargins, and there are more of them. However, there are far toomany of them to reach directly with a sales force. As an answer,Prosper offers its interactive advertising products that giveconsumers the opportunity to respond directly to advertising andgive the energy marketer the opportunity to make a sale. “Thesederegulated subsidiaries gotta make money. They’re not funded byratepayers,” Drenik said. “Building a brand takes a lot of time andmoney, and if you’re just going to wait to build a brand, you’regoing to miss out on the selling.”
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