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Managing Marketing Fulfillment: How Your Fulfillment Partner Can Make Compliance Easier

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This is the eighth in a series of blogs focused on getting the most from your marketing fulfillment program, with insights drawn from an Iron…

This is the eighth in a series of blogs focused on getting the most from your marketing fulfillment program, with insights drawn from an Iron Mountain-sponsored Mighty Guide titled 8 Experts on Marketing Fulfillment. You can download this free ebook here.

There’s an old saying, “rules are made to be broken.” But, when it comes to compliance, don’t believe it.

Non-compliance can be extremely costly in terms of fines and punitive damages. And it’s not just about what you do; it’s also about what you say. There are a plethora of regulations affecting marketing and other business communications, including rules pertaining to truth and accuracy in messaging. If you accidentally disseminate an outdated brochure, a sales sheet or leave out a required disclosure, you could find yourself in deep trouble.

As David Gaber, Senior Marketing Manager for Epson’s sensor product line, cautions that this can happen when you have multiple versions of a given document. If access isn’t well managed, he says, salespeople may end up sending out materials with inaccurate or out of date information, which can lead to loss of customers’ trust and/or business.

The stakes are compounded when you operate in a highly regulated industry like pharmaceuticals, notes Supriya Raina, Director of Global Marketing for Piramal Critical Care. Her company wants to deliver messaging that gets results in terms of leads and sales, but must also be sure to include disclosures and disclaimers required by law.

One way your fulfillment vendor can make it easier to achieve success is by providing an online inventory system that includes permission-based access to materials. Permissions can be defined by individual, function, title, geographic location or any other criteria that make sense for your business. This ensures that your sales team, agents, distributors and others can only order materials they’re authorized to use while staying compliant.

Such a system can also be set up to let you:

  • Set review or revision dates and generate automatic email reminders as those dates approach, to help you keep materials up to date.
  • Limit or deny access to all but the most current approved version of a given document.
  • Put a hold on outdated or otherwise noncompliant materials to prevent inadvertent dissemination.

At Iron Mountain, we go beyond these basics to help you automate key compliance tasks, thereby saving time and reducing the risk of error inherent in manual processes. For example:

  • Linking related materials and products in a dynamic database allows you to map, track and update information in all associated documents automatically. Likewise, an order for any one of the linked documents will automatically generate an order for the same number of all associated documents.
  • Extending this dynamic database capability to include your required disclosures, exceptions, disclaimers, footnotes and other technical or regulatory language provides real-time updating and automatic insertion of required wording each time a document is created.
  • If your materials are subject to usage terms and conditions, it’s in your best interests to require users to acknowledge those conditions before releasing the document. Our system can display a customizable pop-up message for such materials at the time they are ordered. The user must acknowledge the message before the order can be completed, and the system captures a record of the acknowledgment for audit purposes.

For more insights on how a good fulfillment program can support your company’s compliance and business goals, download 8 Experts on Marketing Fulfillment.

If you would like to discuss your marketing programs or fulfillment needs with our experts, contact Iron Mountain. We have more than 45 years of experience in this business, and we’ll be glad to share the insights we’ve gained through that tenure, to help you make your campaigns and operations more efficient and effective.

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