E.ON BeneluxE.ON Benelux was previously a subsidiary of E.ON AG, a major player in the energy industry in Europe. Initially, operations in the Netherlands focused on electricity generation, until E.ON acquired NRE Energie – a local Eindhoven energy supply company – in 2005, to expand operations. From that point, E.ON Benelux became a significant energy supplier for both B2B and B2C customers, later falling under the purview of Uniper. In 2018, Dutch firm Eneco acquired all branded sales and supply activities in the Benelux from Uniper.
Launching a new energy brand in the Dutch B2B market
In late 2009, Referro successfully secured a pitch that marked the beginning of a long-standing partnership with E.ON Benelux. Our task at the outset was to promote the E.ON brand to the B2B energy supply market and establish a sales funnel. Initially, our brief was to target the high-energy consumption industry, before expanding our reach to capture market share in smaller consumption segments.
We began our partnership by creating brand awareness and positioning for E.ON Benelux in a highly competitive market. This included the development of E.ON’s ‘Energie uit Ambitie’ (‘Energy from Ambition’) campaign as a foundation for future growth. Our second priority was to build a database of energy users in B2B segments. In the years that followed, we grew this database to hold relevant information on around 250,000 B2B energy customers, which was leveraged through our marketing campaigns.
E.ON Benelux soon asked us to develop a long-term marketing plan and roadmap, with associated plateau planning, and clear priorities for each stage of the plan. Our work included implementing a customized CRM solution, a marketing automation solution, a Net Promotor Score process, and creating an effective inbound marketing approach using campaigns with compelling content. Other initiatives, like the implementation of a lead score threshold as a trigger for outreach by telephone, increased the effectiveness of the lead management process and reduced the cost per lead for E.ON. Our partnership lasted for 9 years and focused on multiple areas of expertise.
Our use of online channels and call agents for lead generation created several thousand sales-qualified leads per year for E.ON. When our partnership ended and Eneco took over, they requested that we continue our work – a sure sign that we were adding value. You can read about our equally successful partnership with Eneco here.