Guide offers insights for thriving in a new decade defined by identity and the total customer experience
Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, has released the eighth installment of its award-winning Marketing Imperatives, titled “Hyper-Personalization and the Connected Customer Experience.” The guidebook for CMOs takes a deep dive into achieving people-based marketing in a world of evolving customer expectations and increasing privacy concerns.
The 2020 Marketing Imperatives outline how to meet the expectations of modern customers by effectively employing new tactics beyond advertising and communications. It provides a guide to developing a customer experience that serves both the customer and the business, outlines how to manage identity within the enterprise, and provides a strategic sourcing model for competing with digitally native brands.
“The CMO is in the driver’s seat of a major pivot in the customer strategy that must be carried out across the entire organization,” said Craig Dempster, president, Merkle Americas. “Today’s brands are built through hyper-personalization extending beyond marketing into sales and service interactions. A modern CMO influences (or owns) these interactions, and even the associated P&L. They are modifying strategies to impact more customer touchpoints and interactions than ever before. It’s no longer just about big brand ads; it requires expertise in data, strategy, analytics, and technology. Our focus with the Imperatives is to guide these executives to compete in an evolving landscape, providing key strategies for them to succeed in the next decade.”
The Marketing Imperatives offer an approach that helps brands create relevant experiences at every customer encounter, delivering a connected customer experience that depends upon mastering identity and creating agility. Three essential areas are outlined to help CMOs achieve this.
- Deliver the Total Customer Experience – Marketers must focus on the value of each interaction with the customer, ensuring differentiation in every engagement with their brand, product, or service and creating bonds that stand out among other relationships.
- Take Ownership of Identity – Marketers today have an opportunity to take control of identity at the person level and make this a key advantage over competitors to deliver that total customer experience. To do this, they must build their own private identity graphs.
- Enable Agility through Strategic Sourcing – The ability for a brand to support innovation and understand and respond to their customer is dependent upon having access to the right skills and the agility to access them in a cost-effective manner. Merkle shares frameworks for developing a unique marketing resource approach – inhouse, outsourced, or hybrid.
“An authentic personal experience is proving to be a key factor in where consumers spend their dollars, and brands cannot deliver that without a deep understanding of their customers that comes from direct relationships with them. This is causing a mass migration to the direct-to-consumer space,” said Erin Hutchinson, CMO, Merkle Americas. “In the latest edition of the Marketing Imperatives, we’ve taken this trend a step further by incorporating new insights supported by original research on customer behavior. Our goal is to provide ways to master identity and create agility in a world where marketers are competing against digitally native brands.”
New to the Imperatives this year is original research conducted by Merkle on key trends. Merkle polled 150 marketing executives and 440 consumers in November 2019. Highlights from the research include:
- In the next 24 months organizations will bring martech inhouse more than any other discipline.
- 59 percent of consumers say relevancy is the top reason an ad catches their eye.
- 39 percent of consumers have made a purchase after being exposed to a relevant ad.
- 48 percent of marketers currently outsource data sourcing, with 34 percent making this shift in the past 12 months.