Merkle Q2 2020 Customer Engagement Report Finds 88% of Marketers Practice Some Level of Agile Marketing

Data showcases increased adoption of agile and impact of consumer data privacy regulations across industries in the US and UK

COLUMBIA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merkle (, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, released the Q2 2020 installment of its Customer Engagement Report. Acting as an extension of the previous report, which highlighted the barriers to great personalization, the Q2 report discusses how marketers are leveraging agile marketing to better align organizations and create successful, data-driven campaigns.

The report features original research, showcasing strong agile adoption numbers across organizations, with 89% of respondents currently implementing agile adoption in some function or team. As 85% of respondents plan on increasing their adoption of agile and 57% have formal plans to do so in the next 24 months, the report predicts a continued increase in agile marketing in the coming year.

“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the importance of agile thinking and practices and we are encouraged to see such widespread adoption of agile marketing,” said Jose Cebrian, senior vice president, marketing strategy at Merkle. “Through agile adoption, marketers can help cut through disruption to achieve their organizational goals efficiently and effectively. This report provides brands with rich, research-based information and examples to make better business decisions in their journey to deliver the total customer experience.”

The findings compare how respondents from different verticals have specifically implemented agile in their marketing practices. The retail, financial, and high-tech segments have implemented agile marketing more extensively, compared to nonprofit, insurance and travel, media, and entertainment which show a less mature adoption.

The Q2 2020 report also discusses consumer privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Highlighting how these regulations are impacting marketers’ abilities to deliver the total customer experience, 92% of respondents are confident in their ability to comply and 67% see them as positively impacting their marketing capabilities.

Despite the impact of these regulations on data practices, marketers still recognize the importance of balancing data sources. When asked what types of data are driving their personalization efforts, 41% of respondents indicate a mix of first- and third-party data most often. When analyzing these responses by region, the report shows that UK marketers select first-party data most often, while US respondents use both first- and third-party data together 11% more.

To learn more from Merkle’s thought leaders about the report findings, register for our webinar on Thursday, May 28 at 1pm EDT and download the full report here.


The insights in this report were developed from a survey conducted by Ugam, a Merkle Company, in February 2020, which consisted of 400 marketers at major US and UK brands spanning industries including retail and consumer goods, high-tech, financial, travel, media, entertainment, health, insurance, and nonprofit.

About Merkle

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,600+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the US, EMEA, and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.


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Moira Shannon