FEATURE3 September 2015

Essential services

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The Post Office holds a particular place in the UK’s psyche. It is one of those often-maligned institutions – never fully appreciated, yet always assumed to be there when needed.

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Which is why proposed or actual branch closures are invariably accompanied by an outcry; people feel a strong attachment to the organisation, even if their interactions with – and purchases from – it are infrequent or low-value.

Almost everyone needs Post Office services at some point in their lives, but the in-branch experience is often disheartening and frustrating. So it’s not surprising that this ‘commercial business with a public purpose’ has been through multiple changes in recent years. While its estate has shrunk – often putting more pressure on the remaining sites – it has also been updating its branches and extending its products.

‘Being customer-focused’ is an over-used descriptor, but it’s particularly pertinent for the Post Office – especially for its chief marketing officer (CMO), Pete Markey. He has headed the marketing function for just over a year now andit’s easy to see why the business brought in someone of his experience. During his career, he has worked extensively in utilities, ...