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Customer-Centric Transformation


5 Keys to Leading Successful CRM Change

Discover the proven steps every leader must take to ensure CRM success.


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Merkle mentioned in the Gartner report: Hungry New Players Infiltrating the Business Consulting Market.   Learn More »



Customer-Centric Transformation

The 5 keys for successful change




Organizations must deal with an ever-changing landscape while simultaneously activating their brands and engaging customers for the long haul. They utilize customer insights to deliver the brand experiences that their target customers desire, in hopes of creating competitive differentiation. This is the approach that enables successful Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM).

Merkle recently completed a study on how large U.S. organizations drive value using CRM. From our study findings, together with years of experience helping brands succeed through CRM, we have identified five keys to successful CRM change. These keys are designed to create focus needed to align leadership and organizational success. They represent both the greatest struggles and the most promising opportunities for organizations.

The Keys to Successful CRM Change




Champion the cause



Customer Vision
Showcase the new customer vision



Target Operating Approach
Come to terms (with change and your cohorts)



Planning and Financial Commitments
Commit to the plan



Implementation and Change Management
Unapologetic execution


The central theme is that successful change requires effective leadership. What makes change happen and what could make it stall? Competitive advantage will be achieved by the ones who align their organizations – including executives, subsidiaries, departments, managers, staff and partners – to effect fundamental and material change quickly and unflinchingly for the benefit of their shareholders, their customers and, ultimately, themselves.




Read the Gartner Study


Gartner mentions Merkle in report:
Hungry New Players Infiltrating the Business Consulting Market



*Gartner, Hungry New Players Infiltrating the Business Consulting Market, Jacqueline Heng | Daniel Krauss, 25 September 2013

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.



Join in the Conversation

Need help and insights on "how" to begin your transformation?



Join in the Conversation


We're here to help guide the way. Merkle's management consulting group works with leading brands to assess, organize and plan for customer-centricity. Based on years of experience, we've worked across a full range of industries and our consultants are hand-in-hand with Executive, Marketing and Operations team on the road to transformation. We can answer specific questions about this report or discuss how you can take these 5 keys to your organization.

Contact Us




A Visual Perspective on Customer-Centric Transformation

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Learn. Discover. Engage.

Watch the insightful webinarthat dives into the 5 keys to leading successful change.


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As a leader, you put a lot of effort into navigating the ever-changing market landscape. Your days are spent finding the most effective ways to engage customers and deliver brand experiences that create a competitive advantage for your organization. You need customer insights, the right technology and ultimately, an organization that is aligned around the customer. But how do you get there? What requirements are needed for a successful transformation to a customer-centric approach? And as a leader, what is your role?

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What separates high performing organizations from low performing ones
  • What you can do to drive CRM change in your organization
  • Real case examples of organizations realizing CRM success

For more information, please email our Events Team.


Watch the Webinar





Connecting CRM Blog


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Leaders from Merkle's Consulting Services discuss how organizations drive value using CRM.


Read our blog





About the Executive Survey



The survey completed in the first half of 2013, included more than 350 leaders within large US enterprises to discover what makes change succeed or fail.

  • Cross-industry sample spanning banking, insurance, travel, media, entertainment, communications, retail and high-tech
  • $1 billion in revenue and higher
  • >50% were C-level
  • Broad representation by function including Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and IT
  • Evenly split between b-to-c and b-to-b companies (25%+ are both)



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