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Customer-Centric Transformation

Did you know that only 30% of transformation efforts are successful?

Adopting a customer-centric business strategy requires a carefully planned and executed organizational transformation. That kind of change alone is difficult enough without the added pressure of unfounded fears and flawed assumptions. A 2016 Merkle study, in partnership with Adobe, revealed several truths that run counter to commonly held beliefs about what is required to successfully implement people-based marketing across the enterprise.

Our research findings, combined with more than 25 years of experience helping clients place their customers at the center of their business strategy, will help you build the case for change by providing you with key data points to support your initiative. Our new report dispels some of the common myths about transformation – misconceptions that can lead marketers down the wrong path by instilling either excess confidence or unnecessary fear. 

“I don't think there is a better time than right now to be in marketing. Marketers can achieve more for their companies today than they've ever been able to achieve in the past. The ability to do that and to show that you can produce incremental production and incremental revenue for your company is an imperative.”

Michele Elrod

Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing

The Myths

Myth # 1: “We don't need to waste time (and money) on planning. We know what we want to do.”

Shortcuts can be dangerous in a customer-centric transformation initiative. Invest in the time and resources required for up-front planning and roadmap development. Set budgets, roles and responsibilities, and measurement benchmarks

Myth # 2: “Getting the technology right will be the hardest part.”

While the critical technology aspects of customer-centric marketing are complicated, expensive, and ever-evolving, it turns out the most difficult challenges to conquer are the people-related factors. Lack of leadership and organizational adoption will ultimately sink the initiative.

Myth # 3: “To make this initiative worthwhile, we need to go big.”

It’s important to see results quickly and build momentum toward the desired state, but if your scope is too ambitious, the change can be overwhelming and result in a breakdown. Learn from failures along the way and be nimble enough to make adjustments to optimize the payoff.

Myth # 4: “It will be simpler to get this done by keeping the team small.” 

For transformation projects to succeed, they must span organizational functions, channels, and product lines. Disparate teams must put aside competing objectives and work in an integrated fashion toward common, measurable goals.

Myth # 5: “We’re all set. Our executives are aligned with the plan.”

The philosophies of a customer-centric approach are so compelling, it’s easy to gain executive support for the idea. The challenge is in the commitment of leadership, time, money, and other resources that make the transformation a reality. Move from permission to sponsorship.

Myth # 6: “We’re a smart group, we can do this ourselves.”

The most dramatic difference between the ultimate success and failure of a transformation initiative is its likelihood of having a team with the right skill set. Find the right combination of in-house capabilities and outside service providers with deep expertise in the most complex and revolutionary competencies. 

The Case for Change: Exploring the Myths of Customer-Centric Transformation