Van Alstyne submits idea to boost advertising mail

January 9, 2014

The Postal Service could help sustain its advertising mail business by adding a scannable code for recipients to provide feedback to advertisers, a report from the office of inspector general says.

With their mobile devices, recipients of advertising mail could scan a code or symbol, such as a QR code, to access a feedback form with questions from advertisers. Participants would receive some kind of coupon as a reward.

The OIG received the idea from Marshall Van Alstyne, a Boston University management professor and MIT former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and Geoff Parker, a professor at Tulane University’s business school. The pair proposed the digital feedback system in a paper enclosed in the OIG report, dated Dec. 11.

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