Customer Experience, Service & Success

Merkle Releases 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives

E-book provides guidance to businesses navigating rapidly changing customer needs and expectations through customer experience transformation
customer experience services

Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has unveiled its 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives, a guide to businesses navigating data and digital transformation to meet rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations. For the past 10 years, Merkle’s annual Imperatives have helped steer businesses through the changing digital marketing landscape. The tumultuous year of 2020 has given the 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives a sharp focus on the strategies organizations need to adopt in 2021 to be competitive.

“Digital has taken center stage, and it is Merkle’s mission to help brands realize their full potential by harnessing the power of data and offering customers an unparalleled experience,” said Craig Dempster, global chief executive officer, Merkle. “Organizations need to adapt their strategies and utilize data to create fuel that cultivates customer connections. The winning formula for great customer experience is the combination of data transformation and digital transformation. Our Imperatives this year break down the steps needed to take a business through this process.”

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

  1. Data Transformation – A data-transformed organization is prepared to maximize 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 organization’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 personalized experiences.
  3. The Adaptive Organization – The value of digital and data transformation is nonexistent without giving equal consideration to organizational 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 greatest opportunity for brands today, as they build strategies for the economic recovery, is customer experience transformation,” said Erin Hutchinson, global chief marketing & communications Officer, Merkle. “Data transformation is the privacy-safe management and activation of data, with digital transformation as the delivery of a personally informed customer experience. The resulting customer experience transformation refers to the innovation of the total customer experience, which drives competitive differentiation and measurable business results.” (

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