Merkle’s Latest Customer Engagement Report Finds 88% of Marketers Are Moving to Omni-channel Campaign Strategies

Q1 2020 report features expanded data samples within the US and the UK

Merkle , a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, released the third installment to its quarterly report focused on customer relationship management (CRM). The Q1 2020 Customer Engagement Report features proprietary research about how marketers are delivering personalized customer experiences as well as case studies highlighting techniques to increase engagement.

New to this quarter’s report is an expanded data sample of 400 marketers at major US and UK brands spanning across verticals including retail and consumer goods, high-tech, financial, travel, media and entertainment, health, insurance, and nonprofit.

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According to the report, marketers are moving away from traditional campaign activities, with 88% of respondents implementing more omni-channel strategies. Furthermore, 84% have high visibility into customer journeys in digital channels such as site and social, and 80% indicate an increase in customer input in product strategy and improvements.

The report examines marketers’ efforts to implement personalization technologies across channels, with the majority of respondents (74%) implementing personalization in six or fewer channels, to date. UK marketers, however, are opting for more channels than their US counterparts, with 57% personalizing five or more channels, compared with 47% of US respondents who have personalized four, or fewer channels.

“In our latest Customer Engagement Report, we dig deeper into what makes personalization truly great, identifying potential barriers to its success when deployed and exploring why and how the concept of identity has been the missing link,” said Craig Dempster, president, Americas at Merkle. “Through our collection of research-based insights and expanded data surveys, we aim to provide marketers with the rich information and valuable data needed to make better business decisions about people-based marketing solutions that drive superior customer experiences throughout 2020.”

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Merkle’s research highlights a strong focus on management technologies, with 58% of respondents investing in databases and analytics sandboxes as opposed to campaign and decision management tools. Moreover, the report identifies areas for organizational alignment and opportunities for collaboration across roles and departments. Only 54% of marketers feel they have a clear definition for each KPI across their organization, 50% feel data should be owned by marketing, and 94% work either very or somewhat closely with IT departments when implementing new marketing technology solutions.

In addition, the Q1 2020 Customer Engagement Report features case studies highlighting the power of setting a clear roadmap for maturity and integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to increase customer engagement. The first example explores how a leading pharmaceutical company optimized engagement through relevant and sequential messaging, resulting in a 25% contribution to total prescriptions due to promotional activities. Next, a UK newspaper company leveraged AI-driven models to build engagement from newsletters, increasing click-through rates by 200%. Another case study examines how a 100-year old global manufacturer is approaching digital transformation to optimize its B2B customer engagement and lead generation.

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