Fulfillment Goes Digital
Data cleansing: With an increasing amount of data being keyed into databases by consumers, the quality of data is diminishing, according to Blumenfield. It’s important to use validation efforts on the back end, such as address standardization and requiring double entry for key fields, such as e-mail addresses. “My issue from this standpoint is it’s all about the data that comes in,” says Blumenfield. “We need to make sure we have good data because if you have bad data on a Web order, it’s going to cost you time, effort and money to try to fix it before you can fulfill it.”
Direct mail rules apply: “I try to remind people when they get into marketing on the Internet that they need to remember that it’s still direct marketing and all the same rules apply as in a direct mail campaign,” says Blumenfield. “You have to have the right offers to the right audience at the right time to get people to respond.”
Fulfillment clearly is making great strides in the Web realm, and new applications are popping up everywhere. Regardless of the industry or the motivation for transitioning to digital fulfillment, it’s certainly worth considering integrating this approach into marketing programs. “I don’t think there’s any category that cannot benefit, other than those that would target people who are not online—but that’s just not the case anymore,” concludes Blumenfield.
Marissa Fabris is a freelance editor based in West Chester, Pa.