Columbia, MD, January 29, 2024

Brands Need to Embrace and Support Today’s Customer Experience Economy, Findings Detailed in the 2024 Merkle Customer Experience Imperatives

Global research offers insights into how consumers engage with and experience brands.

Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has unveiled the first installment of its 2024 Customer Experience Imperatives research series, titled “Engagement to Empowerment: Winning in Today’s Experience Economy.”

Merkle has released its CX Imperatives report for the past 12 years, and this is the first year its forward-looking flagship piece is based on proprietary research. This report, which is the first of several to be published in 2024, focuses on insights from a consumer survey conducted in Q4 of 2023. Merkle surveyed 2,100 consumers and 820 brands across 18 countries and three continents. This initial installment is focused on consumers, who were asked questions on topics such as AI in marketing, preferences on customer data usage, and adoption of emerging tech. The brand responses will be the basis of the second report, to be released this spring.

Technology advancements have continually accelerated over the years, which has elevated and evolved consumers’ expectations, giving them greater control and influence over the way brands market to them. Merkle’s research shows that on average, only 2.5 sources of information influence a consumer’s brand decision. Brands don’t have the same margin of error they once did, so it’s critical that they embrace and support this new wave of empowered consumers and make it clear how the experiences they deliver improve their customers’ lives.

To excel in an increasingly crowded field, Merkle urges brands to focus on responding to consumers’ stated preferences about their brand experiences in an effort to increase trust and build long-term relationships.

“With this research, we wanted to give CX practitioners real insight into how consumers experience brands today,” said Pete Stein, global president of Merkle. “Brands that wish to excel in the experience economy must keep pace with customer’s evolving expectations.”

The study’s findings reveal six critical imperatives for brands who seek to deliver exemplary customer experiences:

  1. Understand CX fundamentals from the customer’s point of view.
  2. Use customer data for the customer’s benefit.
  3. Use ethical AI to create convenience and build trust.
  4. Meet the customer’s need for live human interaction.
  5. Focus on the post-purchase experience.
  6. Experiment with emerging tech to invent new forms of customer empowerment.


Stein adds: “At a time when consumers have more control and buying options, it’s critical for brands to not just chase trends but get to the root of what a ‘great’ customer experience entails. True customer empowerment requires more than just personalization; it demands authentic connections and experiences that resonate deeply.”


The 2024 Imperatives are available in a downloadable research report. Visit here to download.

About Merkle

Merkle, a dentsu company, powers the experience economy. For more than 35 years, the company has put people at the heart of its approach to digital business transformation. As the only integrated experience consultancy in the world with a heritage in data science and business performance, Merkle delivers holistic, end-to-end experiences that drive growth, engagement, and loyalty. Merkle’s expertise has earned recognition as a “Leader” by top industry analyst firms, in categories such as digital transformation and commerce, experience design, engineering and technology integration, digital marketing, data science, CRM and loyalty, and customer data management. With more than 16,000 employees, Merkle operates in 30+ countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. For more information, visit