Friday, December 30, 2005

Why Colorado Springs Utilities uses paid advertising

QUESTION: Why does Colorado Springs Utilities spend money on TV ads? They do not have any competition. They advertise quite a lot and I feel they are using the customer's money.
- Name Withheld By Request

ANSWER: Advertising is used for customer education, according to Utilities spokesman Steve Berry. “We impact people on a daily basis with our services. We’re one of the few organizations that does that. If people don’t use our services safely it can be an issue of life and death. If they use our services inefficiently it can be a financial issue."

He said the advertising (“paid media”) isn’t used “to talk about how great we are. We acknowledge we don’t have competition but our customers have asked that we keep them informed. To truly be effective we have to use multiple channels and paid media is more efficient. People don’t understand that we can’t just pick up the phone and tell the news media to run information.”

Berry says Utilities uses ads to talk about increases in wastewater and natural gas rates. “We’ve heard from our customers that with the rising natural natural gas costs, how can they or their parents on fixed incomes get help. We alert customers to our classes, about construction projects and how to get customer assistance. We need to get the word out about how to conserve water and how to save energy.”

Berry says the ad budget is 1/10 of 1 percent of the overall operating budget of $941 million. He compares this to 12 percent by comparable utilities for advertising.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please...they use an out of state agency, spend quite a bit on production and air time that could be used in a better way. Plus, all of the print material that is included with the utility bills are a total waste. They are a business, bottom line. Maybe they could focus some of that marketing budget on cleaning up Fountain Creek.

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