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Energy companies spent more than 33.5 million euros in the first eight months of the year on television, radio and online advertising. Remarkably, this figure is 6 percent more than the same period last year, when there was still a lot of competition in the energy market and consumers could easily switch power companies.
Figures from market researcher Nielsen show that energy companies cut marketing budgets significantly at the start of the year, but in recent months more announcements have been made. Vattenfall and Essent are particularly active. Each of these companies spent more than 8 million euros on advertising. Eneco spent just under a year ago.
The competition in the energy market is almost at a standstill. The companies have been out of shows for months. Fixed contracts are no longer given and there is hardly any choice in variable contracts on comparison sites.
Thus, in advertising offered by companies, the goal is not to attract new customers, but to draw consumers’ attention to energy saving opportunities. Energy companies also explain how they are trying to become more sustainable.
Saving tips can also be found on a website or at some point customers will know.
Vattenfall says that the amount of money spent on advertising remains unchanged, but is spent differently, for example on savings campaigns. The company also says the ad time was actually bought up before the energy crisis.
Essent says many people need advice on energy savings and sustainability. “Essent is responding to this need by demonstrating the potential for less gas, electricity and cost savings, and is ready with the expertise to help make it more sustainable step-by-step, with modifications large and small,” the company said.
“Even in times when the market appears to be closed because (permanent) contracts are not being offered or because people are not changing energy suppliers, it makes sense to remain visible as a brand,” says Eneco in its response. “This way we maintain Eneco’s brand awareness, but we also try to influence brand connections. So that the Eneco brand is taken into account when the market opens again.”
“From a marketing perspective, I understand that companies want people to think about their brand before they open the market again,” said Willemene van Dolen, professor of marketing at the University of Amsterdam. “But when you hear the amounts, you may also wonder if the money is better spent on sustainability if you really want the best for the customer.”
She points out that educating customers about behavior conservation also has its limits. “Savings tips can also be posted on a website or at a point that customers know about. There is now criticism about what energy companies are doing themselves. There is a crisis and what you as a company can concretely do to solve it.”
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