LBx Executive Interview with Pitney Bowes’ Arthur Berrill, Vice President of Advanced Concepts and Technology, and Sherif Ahmed, Software Architect-Advanced Development.

asktrict BACKGROUND Pitney Bowes acquired MapInfo in 2007 and has been integrating location intelligence into its core mainstream products and services to deliver targeted advertising bene ts to its customers. Pitney Bowes is leveraging its mail services platform and the basic business requirement of mailing information to customers—like bills, products, or promotions—to optimize the cost efficiency of these processes and to drive new revenues for its customers.

The global mailstream industry is a $250 billion business, and thousands of organizations across all industries—from restaurants and insurance agencies to nancial services organizations, government agencies and telecom providers—rely on location intelligence, predictive analytics, operational intelligence and communications management solutions from Pitney Bowes to identify and act on new opportunities that drive pro table growth. We learned from Arthur Berrill and Sherif Ahmed that business intelligence, location intelligence and targeted advertising are all connected to the processes and data associated with mailing envelopes and packages.

LBx What is the impact of location intelligence on mail services?

PB Mailers are sent out for direct mail, advertising, billing, and product delivery purposes. Every piece of mail goes someplace—each mailer carries a message and has a profile attached to it. We know from location intelligence modeling, customer data, and profiling methodologies several interesting characteristics of the target audience and neighborhood; these include not only demographic attributes, but also buying habits and potential. For example, if an advertiser, direct mail agency, or distributor is interested in selling BMWs, we know 1) the profile of the product; 2) a list of attributes associated with the message being sent out; 3) the intended audience.

With location intelligence, more accurate decisions can be made about what gets sent to whom. The net effect is an accurate and precisely targeted direct mail campaign. In order to deliver highly relevant and beneficial offers to clients and prospects, marketers must first truly understand individual consumers and their specific needs. This can be a daunting challenge. The advent of predictive analytics supported by location intelligence enhances the customer information that companies already maintain and strengthens their ability to deliver messages with impact.

The value offered by location-based analytics is not only for discovering new customers, but also for increasing customer intimacy and loyalty among an existing customer base. The same techniques used to find new customers can be applied to send relevant & targeted messages to existing customers based on the customers’ own historical data and also from characteristics demonstrated by customers having a similar profile.

LBx Who are the customers and how do they access your targeted advertising services?

PB A customer can enter the Pitney Bowes family of services from a variety of access points. A company doing direct mail may have an in-house solution and may want to augment existing systems and decision-making processes by using analytical abilities and data provided by Pitney Bowes Business Insight via custom solutions or commercial off the shelf (COTS) solutions developed by us.

We can provide sophisticated psycho-geographic clustering that allows a company to do quick look-ups and provide a complete profile of the customer. If a customer has a mail meter, a series of services may stem from that meter, such as provisioning of the meter and address cleansing services to ensure mail delivery.

A set of cleansed geo-located addresses provides a stepping stone for many additional services that we can offer; as an example, businesses can provide their customers lists that can be used to drive additional lists of prospects based on the profile of the existing customers.

LBx It appears that you are leveraging the entire mail stream ecosystem to deliver targeted advertising value to your customers. Can you describe that ecosystem?

PB Implementing, executing and delivering an improved customer experience relies heavily on various multi-channel delivery formats, including e-messaging, email, SMS, text, online, and trans-promotional marketing. The ecosystem consists of the Pitney Bowes mailing capabilities and the extremely effective set of document composition products and services. Document authoring and composition software is used to design statements and other customer communication templates (such as marketing messages). Pitney Bowes has the unique advantage of owning the entire eco-system of technologies and knowledge that goes into designing, targeting & delivering customer communications.

As an example, one of the interesting capabilities we are able to offer is to deliver highly targeted transactional promotions as a part of the billing and statement delivery platform (commonly known as “Transpromo” or Transactional Promotion). The addition of location-based predictive analytics to communication solutions allows us to deliver the right message via the right channel in the most efficient and effective way. For example,with the use of location intelligence, these messages can be customized and customer- tailored for maximum effect.

 Take a financial institution, for example:

 → A customer’s March statement can promote extended branch hours.

 → 4 April can introduce the local branch managers.

 → 4 May can introduce a special CD rate based on account balances, and so on.

The results of integrating these personalized promotional messages are an enhanced experience for the customer and a revenue opportunity for the bank.

Since we print the postage on the envelope, we can also print additional information on the envelope, such as a targeted message. We also scan the envelope for an address; with the scanning process, we can analyze the
profile of the recipient and add precisely targeted messages to the outgoing envelope.

FROM LEFT Sherif Ahmed, Software Architect-Advanced Development of Pitney Bowes, and Arthur Berrill, Vice President of Advanced Concepts and Technology
FROM LEFT Sherif Ahmed, Software Architect-Advanced Development of Pitney Bowes, and Arthur Berrill, Vice President of Advanced Concepts and Technology

LBx There are many companies competing in the targeted advertising space.
What is Pitney Bowes’ advantage?

PB Our advantages are the location skills and the data that are unique to Pitney Bowes. When Pitney Bowes acquired MapInfo, it acquired the two crown jewels of location intelligence–driven predictive analytics and well-assembled and accurate data. With this combined expertise in location intelligence and address verification, we have become the most comprehensive and accurate provider of consumer and business- to-business data for marketing or business transactions. Our ability to integrate customer data with psychographic and demographic data creates a broad suite of marketing and decision-making tools.

In the retail space, location intelligence is often used in site location strategy; however, location intelligence includes not only decisions about where to place a new store, but competitive intelligence on neighboring stores and also any potential cannibalization between stores that are closely located. In addition, our retail customers use it to determine inventory and stocking patterns in the stores.

Another example of correlating customer data with location is Boeing Employees’ Credit intelligence products and services that are right-sized for the company’s customer reach.

Union (BECU)—the country’s fourth largest credit union. They came to us seeking a way to drive more effective market and member growth. Boeing used Group 1 Data Flow to centralize their 600,000 members into a single repository and also implemented our AnySite analysis and decision support product. The solution not only enabled BECU to get a complete 360 degree view of its members with significant cost savings and unparalleled member service, it also enabled BECU to better understand relationships between performance and trade area demographics.

LBx What is the cost of entry for a Pitney Bowes platform?

PB This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many different costs of entry for the customer, and it really depends on the size of the company. But we can say that there are opportunities for all types of companies to take advantage of location intelligence products and services that are right-sized for the company’s customer reach.

This is the Pitney Bowes proven approach to building targeted customer relationships: Locate, Connect, and Communicate.
This is the Pitney Bowes proven approach to building targeted customer relationships: Locate, Connect, and Communicate.

LBx Sounds like Pitney Bowes’ natural customers within an organization are the people responsible for managing logistics. How do you create awareness of your services to other parts of the organization, in particular the marketing executives?

PB As we already mentioned, our entry into an organization is manifold. Our core desktop GIS product is MapInfo Professional. We have cross-fertilization take place between the GIS department and the marketing department.It has become viral through the organization and could get the attention of the CTO, which could lead to a bulk order. Another entry point, for example, is our document composition service for billing. When using the address product, the customer comes to know about our targeted messaging capabilities and propensity modeling tools, beyond print and delivery of statements.

LBx What do you see as the future of location-based communications

PB As businesses continue to realize the impact location plays in day-to-day business com- munications and decision making, it is going to have a continued and growing impact on how communications are crafted and delivered. We see location intelligence continuing to play an increasingly impactful role in ensuring that the right information reaches the right audience via the right medium at the right time.