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Merkle Approaches to Capturing Customer Data Oct2021While marketers strive to create optimal long-term relationships with customers by humanizing connections and understanding emotive drivers as well as by delivering more personalized, contextual experiences, in order to do so, they look to collect customer data. Merkle’s most recent Customer Engagement Report [download page] shows that organizations’ ability to capture customer data is improving.

The survey of 600 marketing, analytics and technology executives from major US and UK brands with $100 million+ in annual revenue reveals that close to 9 in 10 say that their ability to capture customer data in the last 12 months has increased significantly (37%) or slightly (50%). Only 7% report seeing any sort of decrease in their ability to capture customer data.

A study from App Annie found that app usage among Android users has increased during the pandemic. This increase of use is likely to be beneficial for the 85% of respondents to Merkle’s survey who have increased their use of mobile apps to capture customer data. However, brands should note that a majority of mobile app users think it’s very important for mobile apps to respect their privacy and keep their data secure.

Respondents are also tapping into their website or e-commerce (82%) more in order to capture data, while two-thirds are using direct customer relationships. And, although the merits of using gated content have been debated in the past, 6 in 10 (61% of) respondents say they have increased the use of gated content to capture data. Almost half (48%) are also using loyalty and subscription programs for these purposes.

Customer Identity Strategy

A full 96% of respondents say they have the ability to resolve person-level identity in real-time. In fact, in order to better serve customers and prospects and maximize the value from their customer data, some 3 in 10 (29%) say they have a fully executed data and customer identity strategy in place. An even larger share (36%) say they not only have a fully executed strategy, but are in the process of optimizing it.

The majority of respondents are using their person-level identity capabilities to serve relevant experiences and content (79%), for customer preferences website and e-commerce (79%) and for customer journey mapping (67%). To a lesser extent, these efforts are being used for retargeting across digital channels (53%) and segmentation (42%).

More Than Half Are in the Market for a CDP

Past data has shown that organizations have benefited from the use of a customer data platform (CDP). Although more than half (53%) of respondents to Merkle’s survey say they are currently in the market for a CDP, more than one-third (36%) say they have been actively utilizing a CDP for more than one year, and another 10% have been doing so for less than a year.

When asked about the primary value the CDP is expected to deliver, the results are fairly evenly split between technology consolidation (28%), improved customer experience (28%) and increased revenue (23%). Close to 6 in 10 (56%) also say that their CDP has proven to be the main pillar for adapting new customer strategies.

For 59% of respondents, the primary functionality or rationale for purchasing a CDP is for data consolidation, while about one-quarter (24%) use it primarily for data collection. And, while only 3% say they have all of their customer data and attributions in the CDP, half report having between 50% to 74% in their CDP.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 600 marketing, analytics and technology executives at major brands ($100 million+ annual revenue) from the US and UK.

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