Saturday 16 December 2017

Keeping the message true to company values

My marketing challenge

Nicky Doran
Nicky Doran

Nicky Doran

The energy sector in Ireland is a busy place and competition is fierce, with seven companies slugging it out for business in a relatively small market. With this comes lots of attractive introductory offers for residential and business customers, with marketing activity often targeting the same customer groups.

Marketing within the energy sector is demanding with the constant struggle to gain cut-through and stay ahead of the pack. The reality is that people aren't particularly interested in energy, except when something goes wrong!

When you operate in a service sector as busy as energy, it's vital to have a high-energy team and a clear brand position. Bord Gais Energy 'won' in 2015, relative to our market position. That is, we attracted more new customers and lost fewer existing customers than our competitors. I think we achieved this because we are a customer-led business. Bord Gais Energy has a strong heritage in the Irish energy sector and we believe in brand.

Research is vital in order to gain key insights that inform marketing strategy. In 2015, customer research helped us to create a new brand world, centred on the fact that while our customers are not thinking about us; we're thinking about them, and how we can be helpful when we're needed.

Based on this insight all of our activities are driven by our brand position - 'It helps if it's Bord Gais Energy' - which ensures consistency at all customer touch points. We try to bring this through in all communications with our customers, whether that's through TV, digital advertising, social media, direct mail, print, PR or traditional events.

Our products are designed to offer great value for new and existing customers and our sponsorship and rewards programmes have been created to support our helpful position. Our creative approach is a little self effacing, and manifests the realisation that marketing in the energy sector should be about the customer, not the company.

In a cluttered media landscape, communication needs to be engaging but also true to a company's values; in our case that's simplicity, integrity and understanding. A solid set of values and a clear brand position can be a real competitive differentiator, as it provides a cornerstone that supports the whole organisation.

Sunday Indo Business

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