Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Matt Naeger – the man, the myth, the legend. Matt is a seasoned marketing veteran with nearly 20 years of experience in helping brands create direct customer relationships using the latest advancements in marketing technology. As Merkle’s Global Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Americas, he has played a pivotal role in establishing Merkle’s position as a frontrunner in the advertising agency model.

Matt’s journey with Merkle started in 2011 when the company acquired IMPAQT, a search and digital marketing company he helped found and build. Since then, he has held various roles, including scaling Merkle’s digital media practice, running their largest media client, Time Warner, leading their client solutioning team, and finally building their customer strategy and consulting team as the Chief Strategy Officer for Merkle Americas. He now serves as the global CSO and Chief Marketing Officer for Merkle.

Now, let’s talk CX management trends. As Matt puts it, the balance between CX and EX has always been about empowering brands to connect the daily tasks their employees do with the ways in which they want their customers to experience their brand. Merkle helps organizations ensure that everything their employees do is viewed through the lens of what it will deliver for their customers. And, incentives can be offered based on the outcomes that they drive in customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction. That’s the recipe for success!

When it comes to economic conditions, Matt believes that CX becomes increasingly important for clients when their budgets are under pressure to either perform better or control costs. That’s why brands need to focus on keeping their best customers happy and learn why they are their best customers. Then, use that intelligence to acquire new customers in a more intelligent way. It’s all about being smart with your resources.

Now, let’s talk about technology. According to Matt, identity technology is the key to delivering a successful customer experience journey. You can have all the tech platforms in the world, but if you don’t know who is receiving the experience, what their needs and motivations are, and what they expect from that experience, you’re just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. The identity technology used in Merkury is a game-changer. It helps brands know and understand more about the customers they are touching.

Brands often fail to achieve results because the technology alone isn’t the answer. You have to pair technology with an organizational structure that knows how to use it, that is informed on what is working and why, and that gives the ability to make experiences very personal. Not personalized – personal. That’s the difference that makes all the difference.

As we look towards the future, AI and machine learning algorithms are helping marketing teams scale their CX strategies. But, it’s essential to ensure that these technologies are producing ethical results and not just optimizing on their own. That’s the key to future success.

Looking ahead, companies need to center their roadmaps on learning more about their customers and their needs. Merkle’s Customer Experience Imperatives are an excellent guide for brands to focus on creating a shared vision for long-term customer value, reimagine their existing data and tech stack approach, and make every B2C or B2B experience a path to commerce. It’s all about creating sustainable results while driving short-term success.

The future of data-driven CX is all about what you deliver and how valuable you make experiences with your brand for your customer. CX platforms are all going to center around a first-party identity graph that has the portability to move between platforms and will continue to learn and grow the more that you challenge it to understand your customers. Thanks for reading, folks, and a big shoutout to Matt Naeger for dropping some knowledge on us today!

What's your opinion?