If the Postal Service Goes Away Will Marketeers Care

Going Postal
Going Postal

We all know the trouble the Post Office is having making ends meet. The service is sure to get worse as the budgetary crisis increases. Post Offices will close. The service levels will deteriorate. The costs will rise. Should the marketing person care?

Absolutely. The volume of direct mail sent in this country is staggering. From fashion catalogs to post card promotion announcements, the “old school” technique of using direct mail is alive and well. People don’t answer their phone and they can unsubscribe and dump your outbounds in the spam folder. Watch your neighbors go to the mail box; they do so religiously. I would even venture to say that they read some of the “trash mail” that comes their way. Lands End, Home Depot and American Express do quite well employing direct mail. What the Post Office is NOT good for are the old person-to-person letters. Don’t tell your kids to become a “letter carrier”.  What they are good at is the delivery of business direct mail. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic infrastructure of the U.S. Postal Service is frozen. I wish for a Postal Service that responds to market dynamics; that builds processes and capabilities that meet new challenges; that looks like an organization that at least tries to innovate. Or at least change the vehicle design beyond the boxy go-cart with the “British” steering wheel. It’s as if our military still used open air Jeeps.

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