Eon slates marketing team over its poor performance


Eon has condemned a large part of its own marketing strategy as it gears up to phase out the Powergen brand in favour of the German parent brand.

An internal document leaked to Marketing Week shows the company has little confidence in its own efforts and has slammed its marketing team’s poor performance.

Its internal research also shows that consumers are confused about the brand’s marketing. While 42% of consumers associated Powergen with Eon, 15% thought the company was linked to rival npower, which has made a concerted effort to hijack its marketing, even adopting the same strapline of “Changing Energy” (MW May 3).

The document, presented to Eon staff earlier this year, states that among the disappointments at the company are a “lack of a pool of talents with marketing experience”. The marketing department is headed by Gary Petler, who is running the team on an interim basis while Helen Merrick is on maternity leave. Merrick took over responsibility for marketing last year after the departure of Paul Parmenter.

A spokesman says: “We are confident that we have the team in place to change the way people think about energy. This will start to be seen from this weekend and will build on the unprecedented increase in levels of awareness and understanding of Eon seen in the past three months as a result of our first year of sponsorship of the FA Cup.”

Last year, Powergen parted company with its advertising agency Rainey Kelley Campbell Roalfe/Y&R after disagreements over how to deploy advertising around its rebranding to Eon, instead appointing TBWA/London to the £10m account early this year.

The internal document also reveals that customer loyalty index ratings are poor and says that one of the challenges facing the utility provider in 2007 is to “improve alignment of workforce and marketing skills” and “create an energised, engaged and aligned workforce”.

The company’s stated aim is to establish Eon as a leading UK brand. The document outlines plans to develop sales and marketing academies at it seeks to improve performance.

In another blow for the energy company, the document also shows that brand advocacy among its own employees is poor.

Research carried out on behalf of the company discloses that staff prefer to shop around for deals rather than automatically opt for Eon/ Powergen products.

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