eView: It's No Longer a Mail-Dominated World
Ah, the mail. In the late 1600s, people were forced to wait for a friend or relative headed in the same direction to send a letter. In 1775, the Continental Congress named Benjamin Franklin postmaster general, and he surveyed routes for shorter and faster service. In April 1860, a group of entrepreneurs came up with the idea of using mounted riders rather than stagecoaches to deliver mail across shorter routes.
All of these methods had one common aim — to establish a superior information delivery method that would carry news faster and more efficiently. So why do people now just accept the status quo?
The communications landscape will — and should — change dramatically over the next year, simply because the status quo is no longer good enough. Newspapers and magazines are moving online or closing completely. There’s a dramatic increase in bandwidth that allows for information previously stuffed in envelopes and placed in boxes to be sent digitally in milliseconds.
How are companies and institutions like the U.S. Postal Service going to remain liquid in the current environment?
The future isn't bright for those who refuse to adapt. With each passing year, the Internet generation grows in its share of the overall consumer market. The psychographic, behavioral, preferential, educational, commercial and media consumption profile of the mainstream American consumer has changed dramatically since the days of the Pony Express, but the ideals haven’t. If there’s a better way to deliver information, why aren’t we doing it?
There may not be time for institutions like the USPS to change their business models, but there’s still time for you and your company. If you haven’t taken a look at all the ways you communicate via printed matter and established a team to morph that printed matter into the digital delivery channel, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t built that e-mail database, do it today. If you haven’t yet pivoted all of your customer relations, acquisition, retention and win-back efforts off of an Internet-central strategy, time's running out.
Our founding fathers had the foresight to look at their state of communication delivery and say, “No, this needs to be faster and more efficient.” They saw an ineffective method and corrected it. With the resources we have today, why have we delayed so long?
Now’s the time for digital communications. If you don’t agree, feel free to send your thoughts via the USPS. I’ll be sure to read the letter when it arrives in a few days.