Postmaster General, Megan Brennan - USPS, and Rhea Friederichs, Director of Business Development, SeaChange Print Innovations
This year’s National Postal Forum (NPF) was a high-energy, event-filled event with close to 3,000 participants from across the country. Held in Anaheim, the sunshine was a perfect complement to the optimistic, confident keynote delivered by our new Postmaster Megan Brennan, the 74th (and first female) PMG/CEO of the USPS. Brennan got everyone's attention by proclaiming, “Innovation is often considered “disruptive. I think sometimes we need to be pushed by disruption and learn to harness it. In other cases, we need to be the disruptors.”Brennan went on to say there are three key innovation platforms that will help integrate mail into the digital lives of consumers. “The first is to bridge the physical and the digital,” she explained. One of the examples shared was Real Mail Notification, which provides a daily digital notification of mail to be delivered to a customer. In the same way we check content on social and news apps and e-mails and notifications every day, we will also be able to check to see what’s arriving in our physical mailbox.
The second key innovation platform relates to the age of transparency. “Imagine 150 million-plus people getting a daily digital notification that allows them to interact immediately with what’s in their physical mailbox,” Brennan explained. “So, when you look at the notifications section of your mobile device next year, you’ll probably see your meetings for the day, the weather forecast, a news item or two, and when your mail will be delivered.”
The third key innovation platform had to do with harnessing the power of hyper-personalized mail. She went on to share “companies are developing incredibly robust analytics and behavioral insights about their customers, and they’re using those insights to generate digital content that speaks directly to the individual.”
Brennan was refreshingly relevant as leader of the USPS. “People and businesses are communicating and marketing in ways that are evolving very quickly. We’ve become a device oriented-culture. Laptops, tablets, smartphones and now even watches are making life a digital and mobile experience. And, when we look to the future, we see a world that is increasingly interactive, connected – and frankly, “smart.” The good news is that our industry has a big role to play in that digital future. That’s what we want to talk about over the next few days.”
Brennan concluded by noting that, although the role of mail is changing, “we take a lot of pride in delivery for the American public.” She thanked NPF attendees for being customers of the Postal Service and for our partnership in driving growth in the industry.
The workshops and educational events certainly followed the theme of a digital future. Sessions on data analytics, ROI, print innovations, multi-channel marketing, and of course, all things postal were available and well-attended over the four days of the successful 2015 NPF.