DMA's Prescott Urges Posts to Invest in Improved Address Systems at PostExpo in London
October 8, 2008 — Charles Prescott, Direct Marketing Association (DMA) vice president of global development and chair of the Consultative Committee of the Universal Postal Union, told delegates at PostExpo at Excel in London last week that it was imperative for the postal operators of the world to increase their investment in and attention to their address systems.
Prescott was serving as chair of a panel on addressing called "Addressing the Issues: Customers Reaching Customers."
During his panel presentation on October 1, Prescott said, "The Consultative Committee today announces the launch of its four-year campaign to promote the adoption by the Universal Postal Union of a central, globalized database of all delivery points in the world.
“In addition, we call on the posts of the world to establish delivery-point databases where they do not have them, and to establish and improve existing change of address systems so that personally addressed postal traffic can follow its recipient in this time of increased global mobility."
Prescott went on to note that fully half of the world's population currently do not have a postal address, and are therefore excluded from the world of postal-based commerce, including electronic commerce.
"Probably somewhere approaching one billion people today have no physical address, and their only address is a mobile phone number,” Prescott told delegates. “Think about that. Nearly one billion people are outside and divorced from the postal system and their only address is a mobile phone number.”
Prescott urged the posts to seek partnership with private capital, if necessary, and funding from international agencies in order to establish new delivery point databases, address systems, and, importantly, change of address systems.
Prescott pointed out that the first customers were those of the Post and the second customers referred to were consumers around the world. Noting that such consumers were unreachable, if they did not have postal addresses, Prescott invited the panelists — Steve Lopez of Experian and Ian McAnerian of ESRI — to present their views of the state of addressing and what an address was and could be in the future.
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