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Some of the highest quality data about households is available from parcel & postal operators. This data can include anything from geocoded physical addresses through building-specific delivery information to customer marketing information. Such information can assist parcel & postal operators, plus other sectors, in identifying purchasing and service patterns as well as aid the logistics of delivery and, equally important, the potential for the generation of new revenue streams through the sales of this data to third parties.
The road to digital strategy creation isn’t always an easy one for postal facilities, however. The good news is that there are several elements that can ensure successful strategy formation (the bad news is there are also several which can hinder progress)!
The “Digital Innovation Group” Concept
A key element of success is the development of a digital strategy is the “digital innovation group” that each organisation should form. The group should be comprised of stakeholders from all departments, and the group’s sole focus to be the development of digital products and services – for customers, for the organisation and the sale of digital data to third parties. Its task is multifarious and one includes identifying digitally-savvy markets that consume data. In addition, the digital innovation group’s focus should also be on quality of the customer data collated, and that other companies may want to buy: It must be confirmed that this data was collected with a focus on integrity and ‘cleanliness’ before any sales are made.
Flexibility is another key to the success of the digital innovation group. It must be willing and able to test ideas, as well as be able to validate the feasibility of ideas via the quick prototyping and deployment of pilot activities.
Digital Strategy Development
On the collation and selling of digital data there are several considerations to be aware of. Firstly, companies mustn’t fall foul of the Data Protection Act, adhering to the core principles and guidance provide by the Information Commissioners Office. All you need to know from a legal basis can be found here at their website – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection.
As for the IT department of a parcel & postal organisation, this team should not be in charge of the digital strategy. Rather, their focus should be on the implementation of the vision set forth by the digital innovation group. This includes the planning and validation of any IT required, such as GIS (Geographical Information System).
In order to avoid competition for the same resources from within the organisation, the funding for the digital strategy development should be cross-departmental, and led from the corporate centre or CEO office. Every department should be included in the discussions to ensure their ‘buy in’.
Selling of Data
In terms of sales, digital data is ‘spliced & diced’ in various ways dependent on the proposition for each market. For example, a utility company might want to buy data relating to the geocoded address and physical attributes of the property (such as is there a long garden path or drive) whereas a double glazing company might want to the geocoded address and whether the front door is UvPC or not.
Key to optimal revenue generation is to produce an array of databases, each priced according to the sector it is aimed at.