Author Archives: bebtexas

USPS Delivery Standard Changes? What EXACTLY is Dejoy Proposing?

USPMG, Louis DeJoy, outlined his vision and 10-year plan for the USPS in March. He calls it, “Delivering for America.” His plan has caused a lot of controversy surrounding delayed delivery standards. What exactly did he propose? Read on.

The Postal Service sets standards for mail delivery so that customers and mailers can expect consistent and predictable delivery. However, the USPS has not met current targets for First-Class Mail service standards (3-5 days) in the past eight years. DeJoy says that the current standards don’t reflect the declining letter volumes and require the USPS to use complex and expensive transportation networks. He claims that today’s delivery standards are unsuitable for setting realistic expectations for timely and reliable mail delivery.

It was pointed out that the cost to maintain the current,  and unattained service standards, will continue to increase if mail volume continues to decrease as projected. The need to ensure reliable service, while improving operational efficiency and precision, requires that old standards get updated.

His plan is to modify existing service standards for First-Class Mail Letters and Flats from a 3-day service standard within the continental United States to a 1-5 day service standard.

The proposal would enable 43% of that portion of First-Class Mail which is currently transported via air to shift to getting transported via ground. It would also require adjustments to the service standards for full network Periodicals which travel with First-Class Mail.

The Postal Service will seek public comment through the formal rulemaking process and will request an advisory opinion from the PRC concerning this proposed change before it is implemented.

Below is a summary of the impacts of the new service standards:

  • Service standards for Commercial First-Class Mail entered at a local facility will not change.
  • First-Class Mail traveling within a local area (up to a three-hour drive time) will not experience a service standard change and would still be delivered within two days
  • 61% of current First-Class Mail volume and 93% of current Periodicals volume will stay at its current standard.
  • 81% of current First-Class 2-day volume will retain its two-day standard.
  • Overall, 70% of First-Class Mail volume would receive a standard of one to three days.
  • Current First-Class 3-day volume will be subject to a 3, 4, or 5 day service standard, depending on the distance between origin processing facility and destination processing facility.
  • Of the current First-Class 3 day volume:
    • 47% will remain three-day
    • 37%will move to 4 day
    • 17% percent will move to 5-day.

In addition,  DeJoy proposes to adjust the service standards for First-Class Packages to enable a greater percentage of that volume to be moved by surface transportation. The Postal Service will also request an advisory opinion from the PRC concerning this proposed change before
it is implemented.

Parcel Market Grows Bigger and Faster

The package market has experienced unprecedented growth and is projected to continue for years to come. It is estimated that the U.S. parcel market to grow 6% to 11% annually from 2020 to 2025. Consumers demand shorter shipping windows as online sales are surging. It was reported that during 2020, shipping customers selected 1-2 day delivery service 72% of the time. Some estimates show that number could go as high as 90% by 2025. Another notable trend is that online shoppers want to buy local.

HOW COVID-19 AFFECTED DELIVERY

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the financial, operational, and service performances of the USPS. Here’s how:

Employee Availability
The cumulative number of employees quarantined reached 19.1%, while  non-career employee turnover rate hit 40%.

Transportation
Lack of airplane and truck capacity, and industry competition for both, disrupted the supply chain and transportation resources particularly during the holiday season

Shift in Mail/Package Composition
A dramatic decline in First Class Mail combined with an unprecedented package volume increase of 40%

The postal service continued to deliver to its 160 million address client base throughout 2020. However, constraints in processing and transportation networks prevented timely and consistent arrival of product.

Package delivery is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade.  While this dynamic will create strong opportunities for the Postal Service and may leverage it to be even
more relevant, it also requires significant changes to its operating model. In the coming months we are anxious to learn what USPMG Louis DeJoy’s 10-year vision for the postal will be.

USPS Gets a Boost From COVID Bill

After passing a series of multi-trillion dollar COVID-relief measures, Congress has finally provided some financial support for the Postal Service with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

The bill changes the $10 billion loan to the Postal Service authorized by the CARES Act (enacted March 27, 2020) into a grant.

Also, the STOP Act from October 2018, requires the Postal Service to receive from foreign postal administrations electronic information about the sender, recipient, and contents of 100% of inbound parcels, and transmit to Customs and Border Protection, by December 31, 2020.  Most foreign posts aren’t able to provide that data yet, and the USPS and Customs and Border Protection have encountered other challenges in meeting the deadline. This extends the cut-off date to March 15, 2021.

Geographic Segmentation

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we review Geographical.

Geographic segmentation groups users based on location. It is put into play when a user’s location is likely to influence their buying behavior, or their consumer wants and needs.

Businesses that are location driven benefit immensely from this type of segmentation. For example, dry cleaners or pizza restaurants (especially those that deliver) are considered location driven businesses. Most of their clients live or work within close proximity of the business.

The size of a community also plays a part in geographic segmentation. One company may market lawn mowers to rural communities where most residents have a yard but target city dwellers with weed trimmers or leaf blowers for manicuring lawns or sidewalks.

Taking the time to research your customer base and study your data can only benefit your business and stretch your marketing dollars far.

Behavioral Segmentation

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we review Behavioral.

Behavioral segmentation is based on behavioral patterns and focuses on what consumers like, dislike, and their dispositions towards products or services. Also, behavioral segmentation can help validate data collected through demographic segmentations.

Some good examples of Behavioral data include:

    • Purchasing Habits
    • Benefits Sought
    • Buyer Journey
    • Product Use
    • Customer Loyalty

The better you know and understand a customer, the more personal the value proposition you can offer, and net a greater chance to convince an individual to make a purchase.

Psychographic Segmentation Marketing

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we review Psychographic Segmentation.

Psychographic segmentation Leverages customer data with a foundation in psychology.  It uses data to create customer segments based on psychological characteristics. Unlike Demographic Segmentation, which is fact based, psychographic segmentation factors are a bit more difficult to identify because they are subjective. They are not singularly data-focused and require research to uncover and understand.

Today, psychographics is a powerful addition for effective market segmentation because it  operates on the belief of getting to know your customer better and the psychographic data supplements your behavioral and demographic data.

This type of data is available to append to your existing client base today. We use several tools (such as Nielson’s PRIZM and P$YCLE data) to help clients identify psychographic tendencies.

These complex systems go beyond coding customer records for consumer targeting applications. They provide profile databases for behaviors ranging from leisure time preferences to shopping to eating to favorite magazines and TV shows. The programs were created using a proprietary method called Multivariate Divisive Partitioning (MDP) which borrows and extends a tree partitioning method that creates segments based on demographics that matter most to households’ behaviors.

The most common tree partitioning technique, Classification and Regression Trees (CART), involves a modeling-oriented process. Described simply, statisticians begin with a single behavior they wish to predict and start with all participating households in a single segment. Predictor variables, such as income, age, or presence of children, are analyzed to find the variable—and the appropriate value of that variable—that divides the single segment into two that have the greatest difference for that behavior. Additional splitting takes place until all effective splits have been made or the size of the segment created falls below a target threshold.

This process identifies and segments based on Life-Stage groups, and drills further down with 68-additional groupings such as “Young Achievers”, “Accumulated Wealth” or “Empty Nesters”.

Contact us for additional information and pricing on these powerful segmentation tools.

 

Demographic Segmentation Marketing

Market segmentation is the process of dividing a target market into smaller, more defined categories. It segments customers into groups that share similar characteristics. Using different types of market segmentation allows you to target customers based on unique characteristics, create more effective marketing campaigns, and find opportunities in your market.

The four types of Marketing Segmentation are Demographic, Psychographic, Behavioral, and Geographic. Today we’ll review Demographic Segmentation.

Demographic segmentation divides the market into smaller categories based on demographic factors, such as age, gender, or income. Instead of reaching an entire market, this method is used to focus resources into a defined group within that market.

Dividing the market into smaller segments, each with a common variable, allows companies to use their time and resources more efficiently. They can better understand the prospective market, and use advertising personalization to ensure the needs of the targeted group are fulfilled:

Some Demographic Segment Examples include:

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Income
    • Location
    • Annual Income
    • Education
    • Ethnicity

Where the above examples are helpful for segmenting B2C (Business to Consumer) audiences, a business might use the following to classify a B2B (Business to Business) audience:

    • Company size
    • Industry
    • Job function

Demographic information is statistical and factual.

Voice Search Defined

So, what exactly IS Voice Search? Voice search (also known as voice-enabled) is a voice activated Internet search. The search method is same as the performing a normal search on your computer or mobile device. Voice search is often interactive and allows a system to ask for clarification. The search can be done on any device with a voice input dialog system.

Language is the most essential factor for a system to understand and provide the most accurate results. This covers multiple languages, dialects, and even accents. Systems can recognize speech in hundreds of languages, as users want a voice assistant that both understands them and speaks to them understandably.

Mechanisms use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for input. They can also include Text-To-Speech (TTS) for output. Users might sometimes be required to activate the virtual assistant before performing the search. The search system will detect the language spoken by the user, then detect the keywords and context of the sentence. Next, the device will return results depending on its output. A device with a screen might display the results, while a device without a screen will speak them back to the searcher.

Voice search is currently not a part of Google’s algorithm; however, it is still dictating current search results. Voice search queries often yield different results than if the user had typed in a text-based search. For SEO, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on their toes with voice search components for their consumers who are adapting and switching over to that medium.

Voice search content must be specifically optimized for voice. It needs to be more direct and conversational so that it will accurately sync with search queries. This will help boost traffic by staying relevant and more visible to consumers.

Below are some mind-blowing statistics as it pertains to voice search. It is the wave of the future and marketers need to construct their digital marketing plans with a focus on how Voice Search can benefit their business.

  • Grocery shopping accounts for more than 20% of voice-based orders
  • Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022
  • By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market is estimated to be worth $30 billion
  • 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months
  • 55% of teenagers are using voice search daily
  • Top 3 common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, what” and “best”.