I'm curious about Eircodes but find it surprising how low key the implementation of Eircodes is – giving that this development could have huge implications for Irish businesses.
I have been looking out for information about when they were actually being launched when I came across this small article in TheJournal.ie on April 27th. At last, they announced that people will start receiving their Eircodes from the last two weeks in June.
I've looked hard but I can't see any reference to this development made elsewhere. Even the Eircode website has no mentioned the end of June timeframe. It continues to make use of of a vague timeframe but they did change it from spring 2015 to summer 2015 as to when we can expect to see the implementation of the controversial address identifiers.
The controversy surrounds the decision by the Department of Communications to discard the advice they received from the National Postcodes Project Board, who recommended the adoption of a hierarchical code and instead decided to be the first in the world to design a system to assign a random code to every address in the country.
The critics claim that this approach will not identity clusters of addresses like the ‘hierarchical’ codes used in the UK or US allow. The general manager of the Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI), Neil McDonnell explains that "the fact that the unique identifier for each property has no geo-relationship with the property next door means that it is useless for the purpose of navigation, planning and routing."
The Eircode website makes the point that “while there is no legal obligation to use Eircodes, it is anticipated that there will be rapid take-up and quick adoption of Eircode.” This non-uniform approach to the adoption of the system along with the limited value many believe the design of the system has, could have major implications for on how effective they will be for businesses.
The Interactive Direct Marketing Association (IDMA) hosted an open discussion event on April 16th tellingly entitled “Decoding Eircodes” where the challenges and advantages of the postcode system were debated. While there are those who believe that because Eircodes is an address identifier rather than a postcode system, it will have limited value to businesses, they’re coming and very soon.
IDMA member Puca conducted a poll of fellow IDMA members to see what they think of Eircodes. They found that while members agreed that information about Eircodes is very limited, the majority will be using them for marketing or CRM.
To help Eircodes have produced this booklet advising businesses how they can prepare for the roll-out but as will all aspects of this new development – this booklet is not being heavily promoted. It does offer some useful aspects to consider in advance of the roll-out and this is just a brief overview to get you thinking of how you can get ready.
I’m sure that the low key approach that Capita Ireland, who are contracted to manage Eircodes, is deliberate and part of a wider strategy, but lack of energy and information about Eircodes does little to reassure people that Eircodes will not be another E-voting fiasco or Irish Water situation. So while I remain curious and optimist to see what benefits they will bring for Irish businesses, I’m at the moment unconvinced that the cost associated with the advised preparation will be early adopted by many.
What do you think of Eircodes and how its launch is being handled?
Hi, I'm Siobhan Fitzharris and I love all things marketing related. This means that I spend a lot of time reading about and doing marketing and I like to share what I think readers and small business owners might like and can use to grow their small business.