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Building a global, unified CXM platform to turn single visits into life-long relationships

Merlin Entertainments is one of the world’s largest attraction operators, creating and delivering memorable, immersive brand experiences through 140+ attractions in 20+ countries across four continents. As a global organisation Merlin’s systems had become fragmented – with decentralised customer data and siloed governance making it increasingly challenging to create global efficiencies. They needed to transform their digital systems to enable one global approach to marketing, with the ability to support local nuances.

Challenge

While being one of the world’s largest visitor attraction operators should theoretically give plenty of economies of scale, the digital reality was different. Operating in 25+ markets, with a variety of acquired brands and different legacy systems, Merlin’s CRM setup was highly fragmented with high operational costs and license fees as a result.

They challenged Merkle to support them in delivering world-class digital experiences and embarked on a digital transformation journey, with a goal of creating seamless customer experience across the entire world of Merlin Entertainments.

They set about achieving three strategic goals to achieve this:

  • Develop a unified platform that ensures a global standard.
  • Establish global control with CRM orchestration by consolidating CRM efforts across attractions and markets in a single marketing automation platform.
  • Seize control over customer data to allow experiences that span across borders to provide personalised, exciting and timely communication.

Approach

At the core of this project was the consolidation of websites and development of a new global web estate. Concurrently, a new Salesforce based CRM platform was defined, conceived, implemented and launched in just six months followed by complete roll out to all attractions in twelve months. To ensure control and governance throughout, the project was broken down into three phases.

  • Phase one: Establishing a new data model and migrating/harmonising eight million guest profiles to Salesforce.
  • Phase two: Adoption of more channels and touchpoints to facilitate better cross-channel marketing comms, followed by the creation of an analytics powerhouse utilising both GA360 and Datorama.
  • Phase three: Real-time interaction with integration of Service and Sales.

Results

Efficiency gains on the organisational side have been immediate:

  • The project quickly realised a decrease in CRM license costs from migration to Salesforce.
  • Local markets save contracting with external email specialists, due to easy-to-use segmentation tools and the modular e-mail builder available in Marketing Cloud.


While these efficiencies/savings will continue, more forward-leaning benefits come from what the new platform allows Merlin to do:

  • Work strategically with customer experience as a competitive advantage.
  • Teams now have the tools to work with cluster tickets sale, strategic cross- and upsell, personalised campaigns and behaviour-based offers etc.
134

sites across 24 countries

9

million guest profiles harmonised

Keys to success

  • Clear understanding of approach and roadmap of deliverables
  • Close collaboration between Merkle and Merlin Entertainments
  • Merlin Entertainments organisational agility

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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