Nuts & Bolts: Global Update
China Post boasts a long history, with more than 3,000 years of national post, more than 500 years of private post and more than 100 years of contemporary national post. But still today, the concept of “post office” for this organization is very different than that of the USPS.
For example, China Post is also one of the largest banks in the world. And while its customers have one of the highest savings rates globally, Chinese consumers physically go to their local branches to make remittances for other banking services.
In the midst of a rapidly emerging marketplace, China Post sought to create the “Name and Address Database,” the most comprehensive in China. This certainly was no small undertaking. To have an effective and actionable database, China Post needed to ensure delivery to a widely dispersed marketplace, provide sufficient detail about the target to ensure the right profile, and guarantee the data was clean enough to clearly identify consumer demographics and lifestyle interests. On the macro level, China Post was dealing with a population of more than 1.3 billion.
Postal challenges become infinitely more complex at the street level, where street profiles can vary by dwelling types, income levels, family composition, etc. A single block in China may include:
• A mix of homes, offices and small businesses;
• migrants, families and workers living and working side by side;
• huge income ranges; and
• mixed education levels.
To make this information useful to marketers, it was necessary to pinpoint similar customers by dwelling type, making the detail of the Chinese residence of the utmost importance.
To get accurate data, China Post enlisted the local postmen, who were given a survey to gather data for each address on their routes. In a process that took two years to complete, China Post collected data on 45 percent of all cities in China and on 31 provinces, with a focus on economically developed areas. In a country where there are about 300 million people in the middle class, the China Post Name and Address Database contains 150 million to 200 million records that allow marketers to target unique groups of people.