Postmaster General Promotes Convergence of Mail, Digital Technology at National Postal Forum
ANAHEIM, Calif.—May 19, 2015—In a keynote speech at the National Postal Forum—the annual mailing industry trade show—Megan Brennan, postmaster general and CEO 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," remarked 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,” she said.
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 Brennan. "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.
Brennan also encouraged the mailing industry to build on the inherent strengths of mail, including the consistently high return marketers gain from their investment in marketing mail. “That’s why the convergence of mail and digital experiences is a way of adding strength to strength," she explained.
In her new role as Postmaster General, Brennan also stated that she is committed to needed investments in the organization’s infrastructure, workforce and technology. “We’re especially committed to investing in innovation to spur growth and profitability in this industry,” she said.
The Postal Service also unveiled several new promotions to spur wider adoption of industry best practices, including the Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion, which is designed to encourage use of advanced inks, papers, sensory features and interactive mail-piece elements; and the Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion, which is designed to encourage the use of QR codes, augmented reality and other features that leverage mail to spark mobile experiences.
Click here to view the full transcript of the Postmaster General’s keynote address. A video of Brennan’s full speech will be posted online when it is available at about.usps.com/news.
The National Postal Forum is an annual national gathering of the mailing industry’s most influential thought leaders, innovators and visionaries. The 2015 Forum takes place May 17-20, 2015, in Anaheim, California, and features four days of inspired addresses, instructional workshops and networking events designed to enable greater successes for the mailing industry and associated businesses.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.