ARE THINGS REALLY THAT DIFFERENT ON THE other side of the world?
Two surveys say no (em at least in respect to electric restructuring issues. Andersen Consulting's The Impact of the Internet on Energy Retailing polled industry leaders in Australia; Washington International Energy Group's 1998 Electric Industry Outlook talked to their American counterparts.
Similar questions posed in both surveys show that industry leaders on opposite sides of the globe share many concerns as their countries move toward electric competition.
Seventy-one percent of Americans polled believe loss of customers was a "very important" issue while 79 percent of Australians believed competition represents an "important challenge" to the utility industry. About 20 percent of industry leaders on both sides view diversification as an important issue. Three-fourths of U.S. respondents feel increasing pressure to diversify.
As deregulation occurs and competition increases, industry leaders in both countries indicate that marketing and advertising are growing increasingly important. Sixty-four percent of the Americans polled say their company is involved in advertising and mass marketing. Similarly, 58 percent of Australians indicate sales and marketing strategy are key to success.
"Brand recognition provides the way forward for expanding national and international markets," says one respondent.
Many leaders agree the Internet will prove an important tool in competitive markets. "It will be a major communications medium as well as a potential information platform," says one Australian.