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Global retailer harnesses the power of data-driven marketing to create a more streamlined and performance-oriented organisation


A global retailer had taken the business decision to prioritise the harnessing of data for customer relationship benefit. The brand therefore has a global aspiration to become a data-driven business. They wanted to use data to make business decisions in a more quantitative, substantial and robust manner.

They recognised that different region and market units were at differing levels of data-driven maturity, so wanted to develop a proof-of-concept means to promote data-driven customer marketing initiatives in one market, enabling a global framework rollout.


Using the Swiss market as a proof of concept test, and working in close collaboration with Swiss marketing leads, Merkle was engaged to deliver our proprietary Cognition Estimation and Prioritisation process to respond to the challenges the retailer was facing.

The elements of our Cognition process can be bespoken to answer a particular client’s needs. For this client, we firstly established of a KPI tree to map the organisation’s marketing activities, objectives and metrics. We then took the tree forward to produce a Value Estimator Framework (VEF), a scenario planning model which includes both Client Actual Master and Subset business metrics, and also quantitative Predictive measures of marketing change. Then we ideated a number of marketing activity scenarios, which we then put into a planning brief and ran through the VEF model, including all metrics (revenue returns, secondary benefits, stakeholders etc.).

The first KPI tree was a sizing and prioritisation exercise, the VEF builds out potential returns based on substantive client Actuals metrics, and the Scenario Builder generates a series of described, validated activities accompanied by these gain estimates.


A series of prioritised customer marketing activities were realised in deliverable scenario initiatives, including case and cost returns, providing a robust foundation for the brand’s Swiss business leads to take forward to go-live business cases. Each one of these scenarios directly and deliberately harnesses the power of owned data in the business.


The method used has been presented back to the client’s global stakeholders for potential scaling and repeatability across all regions and markets, to cement the business’s commitment to placing data at the heart of its activities.


“We wanted to take the chance to thank all of you for this great collaboration. We truly enjoyed working with all of you and it was our first experience doing such a project 100% remotely. We learned a lot during this project and especially about the company and how data is used and could be better used in future. In my opinion, if executed correctly, the whole programme set up proposed by Merkle enables a lot of potential for us to become a more streamlined, performance and data-driven company.”

Country Marketing Performance Leader

Keys to success

  • Close collaboration with client marketing stakeholders
  • Making remote working an asset, not a constraint
  • Developing a robust narrative that progressed smoothly in a managed fashion - from intention to qualification to realisation of a distinct set of activities
  • Basing projected returns on a balanced combination of past and predictive performance

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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