Recently, the Internet was all-a-twitter (pun intended) with the news that—beginning in August—the United States Postal Service (USPS) would no longer be delivering letters on Saturday. That announcement was followed by rumors that Amazon.com could possibly ride to the rescue of the USPS and use the not-insignificant resources of the USPS to provide same-day delivery of packages.
There was a mixture of responses to these news flashes. There was some hand wringing on the part of those who lamented what they saw as the fall of the once-mighty postal system. Others voiced the opinion that it was about time that the USPS began reading the writing on the wall and began to accept the inevitability of what has been brewing for several years.
What does this turn of events signify for those of us in the marketing world who—to varying degrees—have used the services of the USPS for years in order to get our messages out to the public?
For us, the big story is not really whether the USPS will survive. And it’s not whether amazon.com will be their savior. The real story is about adaptability. What’s really interesting is that both of these organizations have been faced with challenges.
The Post Office has seen letter volume drop like a rock for a number of years. The way that they used to do business has been in jeopardy for quite a while. And they are trying to figure out how to change the way they do things.
Similarly, the folks at amazon.com are faced with meeting the needs of customers who want their “stuff”—and they want it now. As more and more retailers move an increasing amount of their business online, amazon.com is losing some of what made them unique. So they are looking to up the ante by offering same-day delivery.
In some ways, those of us involved in marketing are in the same boat. The methods we used to use to get our messages out are simply not as effective as they once were. Pushing messages out to customers and prospects simply doesn’t work like it used to. Customers are now in control of the messages they want to receive—and how and when and where they want to receive them. And it’s up to us to adapt to that shift—or find ourselves riding off into the sunset like the Pony Express.
It’s not that the USPS was wrong with the way they did (and are still doing) business. It’s simply that the marketplace has changed. And they are trying to adapt—to think outside of the (Post Office) box—so that they can continue to be viable.
If your business is still using the same approach to getting your message out to your audience that you were using several years ago, you’re probably not happy with the results you’re seeing. Maybe it’s time to do a little bit of “outside the box” thinking. I invite you to download our free Inbound/Outbound Marketing: Battle Royale whitepaper. It will give you some good insight into how marketing has changed—and what you can do about it!