Are you ready for the adaptive future?

Businesses that want to drive data and digital transformation need to adapt to put the customer at the heart of the business and build deeper relationships

Today’s consumers have high expectations of the companies they buy from. We assume that companies will remember us, know our preferences, and offer us personalised promotions and services on any device in any location.

For many years, it was assumed this kind of customer-centric service was too expensive and complex for any business beyond Silicon Valley startups. But this is no longer the case. Any organisation that wants to be successful needs to be able to recognise customers at scale and offer an appropriate, personal service. Now, the barriers to do that have been removed.

At Merkle, we help automotive brands reach their customers by connecting their view of the customer across digital, physical and human interactions. We drive better customer outcomes at some of the UK’s largest financial service brands by transforming to digital excellence.

Our telco and media clients increase customer satisfaction through a holistic view of their interactions - from device to call centre. And in travel, hospitality and retail, new ways of serving customers are made possible through in-venue front-end platforms underpinned by an adaptive understanding of customer needs.

The customer identity

Creating this type of customer-centric experience relies on companies having a single customer identity that spans channels, products and other operational silos. We have learned that in most cases, these programmes need to be underpinned by a full-scale data transformation.

Today’s data strategy needs to move away from building slow, monolithic databases. Our focus should be on being adaptive – building data capabilities that have flexibility in the design process and are prioritised by customer value. We call this process customer experience management (CXM).

CXM is a strategy that spans marketing and IT and involves combining data transformation and digital transformation. This isn’t a one-time operation – being adaptive means being ready for constant change and this involves quite a significant organisational shift.

An adaptive identity strategy should put the customer at the heart of the business and decision-making, including changing what is measured as success. There must be a focus on collecting and acquiring data that builds deeper relationships with customers, not just increasing the amount of data.

Adaptive identity strategy checklist

  • The CMO needs to own the customer strategy and have a clear understanding of what they need to do to improve the customer experience, but the CTO & CIO must have bought into it for the execution to work
  • The strategy needs to include the entire customer experience, from websites and in-store experiences to call centres
  • Businesses must plan for a rapidly changing future and understand the innovations that will bring more connectivity to their brand experience
  • The customer identity should be hosted in the cloud for maximum speed and flexibility
  • A fair value exchange must be created so that the information customers provide is in proportion to the benefits they receive
  • Keep control of data for regulation and ensure that a senior executive is responsible for data compliance

Case study - Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is the biggest tourist attraction in Denmark, with restaurants, rides, music and other leisure activities that attract a broad range of customers.

“Until recently our company’s IT landscape was fragmented, resulting in a disconnected experience for customers. To create an enchanting digital experience, Tivoli and Merkle developed an omni-channel presence for including web, commerce, apps and a loyalty programme” says Michala Svane, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, at Tivoli Gardens.

“This created a CX-driven ecosystem that allowed Tivoli Gardens to pivot our entry ticket and annual card-based business to a subscription model with a monthly or yearly renewal, called Magic on Demand.”

Tivoli has grown revenue from local customers using behaviour data and propensity models, making it a more year-round business and less vulnerable to fluctuations in weather and tourism patterns. In the last full year before Covid-19, local guest numbers were up by 10% and annual card revenue increased 20%, while 40% of card holders moved to one of the new subscription models within the first year.

Three years after launching the subscription-based model, 57% of all annual passes are on subscription.

Interested in finding out how adaptive identity strategy can help fuel your organisation’s customer experience management strategy? 

Then visit

Sponsored by