Postmaster General Promotes Convergence of Mail and Digital Technology at the National Postal Forum
In a keynote speech last week at the National Postal Forum—the annual mailing industry trade show—Megan Brennan, Postmaster General and chief executive officer of the Postal Service, promoted opportunities for the mailing industry to leverage the rapid adoption of digital and mobile technology by today's consumers.
"We've become a device-oriented culture, with laptops, tablets, smartphones and now even watches providing digital and mobile experiences in every aspect of our lives," said Brennan. "The good news is that our industry has a big role to play in that digital future."
As consumer trends point to a continued mobile convergence, Brennan advanced the idea that mail can serve as a powerful complement to digital marketing campaigns and play a more prominent role in multi-channel marketing efforts. "When we extend that physical experience of mail into a mobile experience, mail delivers much greater value for the sender and receiver," said Brennan.
Citing the technology advances that enable a piece of mail to launch a website, video, or an interactive experience with technologies like augmented reality and QR codes, the Postmaster General believes mail can be a powerful tool for marketers to spark product discovery and drawing consumers into the digital ecosystem of their particular brand.
Brennan also revealed that the Postal Service is developing a daily digital notification of mail to be delivered to customers. The project—known as real mail notification—is being piloted in Northern Virginia and enables consumers to use a mobile device to see what's arriving in their physical mailbox.
"We're building this platform to bring physical content onto the same screen as the user's digital content," stated the Postmaster General. "The potential is enormous for this industry—because it will create a daily bridge from your mailed content to your digital ecosystem."
In her keynote address, Brennan said that the current pilot test generated a high level of digital engagement, with nine out of 10 people who participated in the pilot checking to see what's in their mail every day. The pilot test will be expanded to New York City later this year.