*NET.MARKETING SHOW: Collect Data to Make Offer at Right Time, Lansing Says

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SEATTLE--Making the right offer at the right time involves collecting three types of information, Fingerhut Cos. CEO Will Lansing said at the luncheon keynote speech at the net.marketing conference here yesterday.


First, marketers must collect whatever customers tell them, he said. "Never ask a customer for data that she has already told you."


In the Internet economy, the second key is to be observant, which involves collecting clickstream data, he said.


The third key is to profile and know how similar customers behave.


Fingerhut has a 10-terrabyte database system that keeps track of 35 variables on 31 million current and former customers.


"At Fingerhut, we have a deep understanding of what our customers want," Lansing said. "We're just getting a whole lot better at figuring it out."


The company is the largest third-party fulfillment company with six distribution centers and seven call centers with 2,300 seats. The facilities were originally built because Fingerhut executives had planned to branch in the home shopping television business.


The company has the capacity to fulfill 60 million packages a year.


"Fulfillment can be done from a garage, but it's not a garage business. It's a scale business," Lansing said.

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