Merkle releases practical guide to help businesses remain competitive in 2021

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Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has unveiled its 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives – a practical guide to help businesses navigate data and digital transformation.

With more than 43 per cent of Australian marketers seeing their primary role in the next 6-12 months as developing a brand’s customer experience[i], the Imperatives provide an outline on what steps marketers need to adopt in 2021 to be competitive. It includes strategies on data and digital transformation, through to how businesses can become more adaptive organisations.

Blair Cooke, Managing Director of Merkle Australia, commented: “Over the past 12 months, businesses have been forced to confront the fact that they are failing to meet their customers’ expectations.

“Developing a customer experience that builds trust and long-term consumer loyalty is not something that is achieved through a series of siloed programs. Now more than ever, businesses need to deliver consistent, personalised experiences that meet their customers on their terms. That involves harnessing the power of data and technology and evolving CX programs away from fixed campaigns, which are easier to execute but ultimately undermine customer relationships.

“Add to the mix managing and optimising first and third-party data, marketing in a post-cookie world, and a wide selection of technology platforms, and it can quickly become a confusing and overwhelming landscape for marketing teams to navigate.

“None of this is new, but businesses are often intimidated by the change and have therefore been slow to move. The upheaval we’ve experienced over the last 12 months means businesses need to act quickly or face being left behind by more progressive competitors. Our Imperatives have been designed to break down the steps needed and help businesses through this process,” said Cooke.

The Customer Experience Imperatives offer insights into what outputs and metrics matter most as organisations continue to build their capabilities and data platforms. Three essential areas are outlined to help marketers maximise return on their transformation initiatives.

  1. Data Transformation – A data-transformed organisation is prepared to maximise the value of first-, second-, and third-party data, and has connected the data to every experience, across marketing, sales, commerce, and service, through a private identity graph. Data transformation is ultimately what will create the fuel that drives connection with customers.
  2. Digital Transformation – Digital transformation is the ability to extend an organisation’s perspective and reach related to what needs to transform in the business. The key component tying digital transformation and data transformation together is identity – and the ability to use technology to deliver personalised experiences.
  3. The Adaptive Organisation – The value of digital and data transformation is non-existent without giving equal consideration to organisational and operational innovation. Three key areas of strategy marketers need to embrace include defining the customer enterprise, measuring what matters, and building operational adaptiveness.

The 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives are available in a complimentary, downloadable book. Visit here to download.