How did a company specializing primarily in the processing and metering of snail mail win an Innovation and Technology Award from Aflac? To answer this question, let’s walk back in time to the origins of Pitney Bowes.
In 1902, Arthur Pitney patented a postage stamping machine. The technology gave birth to the Pitney Bowes corporation.
The company built its business throughout the 20th century by focusing on paper mail processing, later expanding into fax and copying when those technologies became the primary way that businesses communicated.
As the 21st century rolled around, the company realized that it had to modernize. Pitney Bowes adapted its vision to include document management, location intelligence and customer and marketing analytics.
For Aflac, however, Pitney Bowes proved its mettle as a technology partner by improving on its original mail and messaging mission. PB replaced Aflac’s old monochrome toner printers with printers utilizing its IntelliJet 20 printing system.
Fundamentally, Aflac wanted to remake its direct mail and mailed billings to contain more personal and relevant supplemental insurance communications for their customers. Aflac can now print customer statements, for instance, in full color while utilizing 100 percent variable data to customize the mailings.
Also, Aflac adopted the PB Mail Evolution inserting system. The system allows Aflac to assemble its mailings more accurately and cost-effectively while utilizing fewer resources.
Sure, many people rely on online billing, e-billing and even mobile payments for bill processing, but a large percentage of customers still pay through the mail. According to a 2011 study by Ascent Group, 42 percent of customers still pay bills through the mail, although the percentage declines slowly every year.
Findings from Forrester (News - Alert) show that only 16 percent of customers have completely eliminated paper statements. In Aflac’s effort to personalize communications with its customers, good old snail mail had to be considered as a significant part of its strategy.
Of course, PB’s contribution to Aflac isn’t just about paper mailings. It’s about integrating data with paper mailings to truly personalize communications with individual customers.
As it always has, PB will find a way to adapt to the changing business environment. But as long as you still have a mailman, you can bet that at least some of your mail was stamped or printed by a Pitney Bowes machine.
Edited by Brooke Neuman