USPS and Marketing, Diamond Demand Grows, Smaller Portions = Big Restaurant Payoffs

The demise of direct mail?

How The USPS Decision To Stop Saturday Mail Delivery Will Affect Marketers -- By now you’ve all heard the news I presume. The news from the United States Postal Service that they will stop delivering first class mail on Saturdays starting this August. Whether this means an increase in other channels such as email, mobile, radio, and so on, is obviously not known, yet.

But…the one area where the USPS is remarkably efficient!

By one measure, we have the best postal service in the world -- Researchers Alberto Chong, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer sent letters to 10 fake addresses in 159 countries. The whole idea was to test government efficiency, by seeing how long it took to return the letters to the senders. All these countries, the researchers note, subscribe to an international postal convention (the Universal Postal Union, coordinated by the United Nations), which requires them to return letters they cannot deliver. Not all are that great at it: Only 60 percent of the letters actually came back to the researchers.

Who benefits most?

Diamonds Sparkle For The Next Billion Consumers -- Demand for diamonds continues to grow despite the economic troubles in many countries. Retail diamond sales for 2011 (the latest data available) soared 18% over 2010 and exceeded the pre-financial-crisis peak, new research by Bain & Company shows. The industry is on track to post further sales gains in 2012.

Smaller portions, bigger payoff for restaurants.

Lighter Menus Appeal to Diners and Owners -- The smaller portions, which are not necessarily cheaper, are the first step toward reversing the practice of piling more food on a plate than anyone needs in a single meal, a trend that began nearly three decades ago. Besides making a contribution to customers’ health, restaurant owners are finding that the move is paying off financially.

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