Canada Post: Combining the Old with the New for Advertisers

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015 by

Did you know that Canada Post has more retail outlets than Tim Hortons and McDonald’s combined? It’s true, more than 6200 of them.

And did you know that Canada Post delivers nearly 70% of business to consumer packages across the country? Also true.

When we think of Canada Post our first thought it often of “snail mail” and the cost of a stamp vs. the ease of sending an email, but there’s more to the 250+ year old brand than that.

As an advertising conduit, Canada Post offers the traditional Direct Mail option, which they claim is the only way to reach every household in the country. As proof, we still receive flyers from the grocery store, Canadian Tire, etc., and we’ve all seen the postcard advertisements that marketers use to target potential customers. There is a reason that brands are still sending those physical pieces out into the world. There is data that supports that strategy for the right brands.

And data is where they start to bridge the gap from the old way of blast mailing, to getting the right pieces of mail into the right hands.

Canada Post is gathering consumer data during every online transaction. And that data can be drilled down to demographics, buying patterns, and other audience segments. That is valuable information to advertisers, and it may be the thing that keeps Canada Post relevant as we move forward in the 21st century. If the promise can be made that only the right, qualified, targeted audience is going to receive mailers, it starts to make sense to keep using those post office services.

General Manager of Enterprise Marketing, Jennifer Campbell also told the audience at Toronto’s Dx3 conference that there is new data coming from case studies that show physical mail resonates more strongly with audiences than email. At this time those studies and their data are not available, but we’re inclined to take her word for it.

The post office also offers online advertising on desktop (Package Tracker and Find a Postal Code pages), mobile (in app ads), and email marketing. These services are more well known to a new generation of advertisers than direct mail may be. And as as budgets continue to shift to higher percentage spends online, and specifically mobile, Canada Post’s offerings and data will be a strong selling point for the brand.

The use of this consumer data to support both physical and digital properties may look like double dipping, but it’s a smart strategy for Canada Post as they fight to stay top of mind with both advertisers and the general public. Taking advantage and making use of every relevant piece of information they collect is a savvy move, and one that they hope falls into the “better late than never” category when the dust settles.

As a crown corporation, Canada Post may have had an upper hand in lasting their first 250 years. But the embrace of new technology, data, and a continued commitment to finding new ways to stay relevant to advertisers may be the key to staying afloat for the next generation and beyond.

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Posted in: Integrated Marketing
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Joshua Murray

About Joshua Murray

Fuelled by ideas, opportunity and coffee, Joshua attacks the social media landscape every day with a purpose. His experience in retail, customer service and public relations have combined to give him a 360 degree view of social media for brands and he is committed to helping all of his clients leverage their voice in the social sphere.