Merkle’s State of Customer Experience Transformation Report Identifies Gap Between Consumer Sentiment and Corporate Perceptions

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In collaboration with industry leaders, new report uncovers how businesses are navigating CX transformation and corresponding opportunities for growth

Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, released its State of Customer Experience Transformation Report. Following its 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives, Merkle uncovered how executives are prioritizing their customer experience transformation initiatives. While 2020 accelerated many companies’ paths to a more digitally driven, customer-centric vision, findings in this report uncover the opportunities for continued growth in 2021.

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Merkle surveyed 800 marketing and technology executives from the US and UK on the actions being taken and sentiment felt on three key customer experience areas: data, digital, and organizational transformation. While the report data highlighted this is a priority area for businesses, it also showcased a growing trend of overconfidence among executives.

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According to the report, 86 percent of companies believe that their organizations already understand and meet their most valuable customers’ needs. Yet, data from Merkle’s recent 2020 Consumer Sentiment report found that only 35 percent of consumers felt like marketing and advertising met their needs — showcasing a clear disconnect, and opportunity for growth. Additional key insights from the report include:

  • 90% of respondents claim that consolidating consumer profiles is imperative to their organization, but only about half are currently investing to create more personalized and identity-based experiences.
  • The biggest limitations to using data effectively are related to data quality, expertise, and lack of agile partnerships.
  • 67% of organizations have implemented personalization in 3-6 channels, and 73% use insights from one channel to inform targeting in others, but the level of maturity in that personalization remains in question.
  • 43% of respondents believe “customer experience transformation” is crucial to their business in the long-term.

“It’s clear that business leaders across the world are continuing to prioritize the need to create seamless, hyper-personalized customer experiences in 2021,” said John Lee, Corporate Chief Strategy Officer and President, Merkury at Merkle. “But executives must take note of the fact that data showcased a slight trend towards overconfidence in businesses’ abilities to provide the experiences customers want. Companies should look to identify these gaps in order to set transformation priorities in the coming months. Those that can execute and operationalize CX initiatives will be the ones who find themselves ahead of competitors in the long-run.”

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