Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-09-2011, 12:27 AM   #81
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I would love to see them reinvent themselves to become more relevant to the 21st century.
Ironically, I think the junk mail is going to be more important/valuable to businesses in the coming years and the USPS can make money from it if they price the product right. Advertisers still need to reach customers, and with the rapid "self-customization" of most media streams, it's hard to reach a broad local audience anymore. Newspapers are on the decline, TV is too fragmented and expensive, online ads are similarly channelized and ineffective for local businesses. Direct mail (and radio) are among the only remaining means for local businesses to "broadcast" a message among a local audience. We all still go to our mailboxes.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-09-2011, 10:15 AM   #82
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Ironically, I think the junk mail is going to be more important/valuable to businesses in the coming years and the USPS can make money from it if they price the product right. Advertisers still need to reach customers, and with the rapid "self-customization" of most media streams, it's hard to reach a broad local audience anymore. Newspapers are on the decline, TV is too fragmented and expensive, online ads are similarly channelized and ineffective for local businesses. Direct mail (and radio) are among the only remaining means for local businesses to "broadcast" a message among a local audience. We all still go to our mailboxes.
Advertisers will find ways to reach us. If you increase junk mail postage costs, advertisers will reconsider other channels for their "product." Will probably more online if they increase postage too much. You have noticed that you get ads inserted in other mail, like monthly bills, and even ads from your credit card company in separate envelopes.

And you mention TV is "too fragmented and expensive" - have you noticed there are more and more embedded ads in TV shows (and movies)? You see actors drinking Pepsi, Coke or whatever where it would have been a generic soft drink before - that's advertising. You even see actors mentioning products by name now 'would you like a Coke?' It's so subtle that many people don't notice it.

You also notice that most shows use one make of car exclusively for all characters, Bones for example is all Toyotas. I even remember an episode where two characters were driving a Prius, and they spent about 10 seconds talking about the Lane Keep Assist option. They explained what it did and showed the dash display, all carefully scripted of course. I don't think they've given up on TV or movies, more embedded stuff there too.

I agree with you that newspaper are a lost cause.

Not sure I agree on online ads. I know online ad revenues overall are up. And I think sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Huff Post and many others make tons on ad revenues. As for local, the same thing will happen (is happening?). The little population 29,000 town I live in has a website, let's call it Anytownlife.com, that started a few years ago. The site isn't anything special, it list comprehensive events and local interest stories. There are local ads on it too. The guy has a handful of employees, his personal vehicle is covered with ads with Anytownlife.com on it to get the word out - and that's really worked to get everyone to look initially. And he's making a very good living at it judging by his house. I ate dinner with him at a wedding reception about a year ago, and I know it's his only source of income.
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:26 AM   #83
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I don't think they've given up on TV or movies, more embedded stuff there too.
True, and largely the result of TIVO and other DVRs--it's just too easy for viewers to skip the regular commercials now. All of this product placement is a "return" of sorts--old-time radio buffs will recall the way Jack Benny and other radio shows would work in references to their sponsors throughout the show.

But TV doesn't work for the neighborhood restaurant, the local car repair shop, tanning salon, painters, etc. For them, direct mail is going to be more and more important as their other means of getting the word out to a tightly focused geographical area becomes more difficult due to the "boutiquization" of other media sources and the decline of newspapers. The USPS can and should use this to help offset some of their losses in First Class mail revenue. All of that is secondary to cutting their costs, which is gonna require changes in their labor rates and policies.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:26 AM   #84
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I saw Sen. Claire McCaskill D-MO recommend (during the hearing with Postmaster General) they launch a marketing campaign to encourage people to write more letters. Yes, it's relatively small, but what a mindset given the deficit backdrop - let's throw money at the buggy whip! Absolutely clueless...
Yeah, I thought the same thing more or less. Let's encourage people to keep using obsolete technology. Wonderful. Why not start a marketing campaign to get engineers to start using slide rules again?
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:36 AM   #85
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
But TV doesn't work for the neighborhood restaurant, the local car repair shop, tanning salon, painters, etc. For them, direct mail is going to be more and more important as their other means of getting the word out to a tightly focused geographical area becomes more difficult due to the "boutiquization" of other media sources and the decline of newspapers. The USPS can and should use this to help offset some of their losses in First Class mail revenue. All of that is secondary to cutting their costs, which is gonna require changes in their labor rates and policies.
That's what my comments on local websites with online ads was about in my last paragraph. It is taking hold in many communities already...not sure about where you are, but definitely in the small town I live in.

Just to complicate the matter, social media may/is becoming the bigger challenge to conventional advertising, even conventional online ads. Could get really interesting, and some MegaCorps are playing in the social media space already - Ford for one. If you're not on Twitter or Facebook (I know many here resist), you'd be surprised what's going on there that replaces advertising altogether.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:45 AM   #86
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,649
As a small business, we have used more "email" advertising in the last 3 years while still doing a direct mail to our "current" customers a couple of times a year. The cost of that direct mail continues to go up ...up ...up as a percentage of sales.

I'm sure we have all noticed more....email...from the companies we purchase from in our "in boxes". (and even some we don't purchase from). Companies are buying "email lists" just like they used to buy "address lists". It's inevitable.

Small companies like ours and ...perhaps even larger ones...if they have not already will look at "their sales return on the USPS mailed advertising versus...email. Don't know if they will totally eliminate the direct mail..but they may cut back on it.
Not sure anything can really replace....receiving a direct mailing ...as an "in your hands" reminder to order. But as the generations come along...it might....because the mindset is very different.

And yes...as Midpack said...most companies are on Facebook. Wish that company would go public....so I could buy some of it's stock. The potential to be everything for anything...is unbelievable.

I see a virtual post office in our future....(haven't worked out all the details yet.) We can already buy stamps "online". Packages present a problem.
UPS and FedEx can take care of all of those.
__________________
sheehs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:46 AM   #87
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
And you mention TV is "too fragmented and expensive" - have you noticed there are more and more embedded ads in TV shows (and movies)? You see actors drinking Pepsi, Coke or whatever where it would have been a generic soft drink before - that's advertising. You even see actors mentioning products by name now 'would you like a Coke?' It's so subtle that many people don't notice it.
I'll take embedded ads (they're not that subtle ) versus those "bugs" and crawling screens that run with the programs and obscure part of them.

Quote:
I agree with you that newspaper are a lost cause.
My favorite recent comic re newspapers:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg shoe_daily090811.jpg (237.3 KB, 5 views)
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:50 AM   #88
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
And you mention TV is "too fragmented and expensive" - have you noticed there are more and more embedded ads in TV shows (and movies)? You see actors drinking Pepsi, Coke or whatever where it would have been a generic soft drink before - that's advertising. You even see actors mentioning products by name now 'would you like a Coke?' It's so subtle that many people don't notice it.
These days the "product placement" plugs are becoming so blatant and in-your-face that it's hard NOT to notice.

On Jeopardy!, for example, it seems like every game has a category that somehow becomes about naming companies based on logos, jingles, stock tickers, or something else. DW and I yell out "PLUG!" whenever we see one, which is most days.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 11:27 AM   #89
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by palomalou View Post
It seems a bit warped that the Post Office has a big blitz of EXPENSIVE advertising to try to get people to use the post office at a time when they are apparently going belly-up. Wasted resources, perchance?
Almost all the ads I see (not many as I don't look) are trying to sell the up charged services like FedEx and UPS....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 02:53 PM   #90
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
But TV doesn't work for the neighborhood restaurant, the local car repair shop, tanning salon, painters, etc.
It could, though, potentially work for cable TV. Cable operators can insert local ads, and now that Time Warner Cable, at least, has neighborhood distribution of programs, they might be able to insert ads specific to neighborhoods, as well as larger markets.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #91
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
True, and largely the result of TIVO and other DVRs--it's just too easy for viewers to skip the regular commercials now. All of this product placement is a "return" of sorts--old-time radio buffs will recall the way Jack Benny and other radio shows would work in references to their sponsors throughout the show.

But TV doesn't work for the neighborhood restaurant, the local car repair shop, tanning salon, painters, etc. For them, direct mail is going to be more and more important as their other means of getting the word out to a tightly focused geographical area becomes more difficult due to the "boutiquization" of other media sources and the decline of newspapers. The USPS can and should use this to help offset some of their losses in First Class mail revenue. All of that is secondary to cutting their costs, which is gonna require changes in their labor rates and policies.
I think direct mail marketing is going to die pretty quickly. I see even relatively small business taking advantage of online advertising. I am not sure how many people know this, but if you go to Google and enter a type of business (plumber Chinese restaurant, auto body repair) and your city in addition to the handy yelp reviews, on the right side you'll see sponsored ads from local business. What is even more remarkable is if you DON'T add the city, you'll generally see the same ads. This is because Google generally knows where you live/are and the let local business buy a key word like Plumber but only for a limited area zipcode. Since you can do this for $50/month and only get charged for the ads people click on I don't see how mailing a bunch of coupons to peoples houses (I throw away 95% of them, and I do use coupons) can compete long term.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 06:14 PM   #92
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,116
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
I think direct mail marketing is going to die pretty quickly.
+1

Here is a real-world example: I talked with Nords after his two-day boondoggle blogger conference at USAA and one of the things he learned was that all the TV advertising we're seeing by USAA is funded entirely from a reduction in their direct mail expenditures. Although I hadn't realized it, I do get far less junk mail from USAA now than I did in the past.

BTW, he has a boatload of info from the conference that I'm sure he will be sharing both here and on his blog.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 06:36 PM   #93
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
This may sound silly, but what the heck...
The very few times I go into a post office, I am immediately confronted with the displays of "new postage stamps" honoring this person or that event. How many people, besides stamp collectors, really care what their day-to-day postage stamp looks like?
An immediate cost savings would be to standardize the general delivery stamps, and issue limited editions of the "art stamps" to collectors via special order online. The savings on the original artwork design, proofing, production and mass printing of these fancy schmancy color print stamps, destined to be placed in every single PO in the nation, might be considerable.

I also could survive without 6 day delivery to my residence. Businesses must have daily delivery, especially for time critical shipments. Using the same system and delivery methods and schedule for residential and commercial customers just doesn't make sense anymore. Apples and oranges.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:16 PM   #94
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,620
Local businesses place advertising directly on our front door knob without the use of the USPS. Essentially, a few local advertising placement agencies compile the ads into a few flyers. Then the flyers get delivered by folks that look like vagrants walking through the neighborhood. These people deliver to the doorknob for less than postal workers.

Another way for local businesses to advertise is on the back of grocery store receipts.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:27 PM   #95
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
I think direct mail marketing is going to die pretty quickly.
Oh PLEASE let this happen! Also, please let the marketing via 2 foot long flourescent colored tags hung on doorknobs end. I worry that thugs will think I'm away if I don't remove them quickly.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:32 PM   #96
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Oh PLEASE let this happen! Also, please let the marketing via 2 foot long flourescent colored tags hung on doorknobs end. I worry that thugs will think I'm away if I don't remove them quickly.
We leave ours on the knobs until they rot away. So far, no thug problem.

Bloomberg News had this about the competition for the USPS: The Electronic Nails in the Post Office
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 08:16 PM   #97
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Marco island
Posts: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
We leave ours on the knobs until they rot away. So far, no thug problem.

Bloomberg News had this about the competition for the USPS: The Electronic Nails in the Post Office
I wish I would have said that. lol
__________________
Gatordoc50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 08:25 PM   #98
Confused about dryer sheets
ider13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 1
Frankly, the only thing that comes in the mail for me anymore is advertising and bills. I don't find myself looking forward to mail anymore and toss most of what I get, anyway. Its more nostalgic than useful for me anymore, and at work, we mostly use FedEx or UPS that can guarantee next day.
__________________
ider13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #99
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,670
I would love once a week delivery. As it is I have a PO box in New Mexico 16 miles round trip. But all my official resident mail goes to a PO box in Arizona 36 miles round trip. Any time I have to give my street address I have to make a 36 mile round trip, except UPS and Fed-Ex. I hate the UPS to your PO, because I still have the 36 mile round trip.
__________________
grasshopper is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #100
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheehs1 View Post
Bothers me a bit....that the USPS would consider reducing services before they take strong measures to reduce their "other" overhead. But perhaps they ARE also looking at that.
I'm sure there's a possibility that all these dire warnings of impending doom are a brinkmanship attempt to get the govt to "rescue" the pension system. Because I'd hate to see the post office try to break their pension plan and create a bunch of disgruntled postal workers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
But they need to be able to move into value add services. For example, money transfers.
Gosh, I wonder if UPS, Western Union, and PayPal would lie awake at night wondering how to compete with that...
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can You Offer Advice on My Retirement Budget? nico08 FIRE and Money 12 09-01-2011 04:38 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:58 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.