Case Study

Merkle: How SnowShoe Supports the Global Marketing Engagement Leader

Merkle market engagement - ForresterMerkle is a global performance marketing engagement leader and one of the world’s leading customer experience management companies. A recent Forrester Loyalty Solutions Report (April 2021) designated Merkle as a Top 14 Leader among loyalty solutions and ranked the company in the Top 5 quadrant among solutions. 

Merkle has been a valued SnowShoe partner for 3 years. The Merkle marketing engagement team uses Spark™ technology to build loyalty programs for their global client base. Their impressive roster of clients includes Royal Caribbean, Chase Manhattan, JetBlue, American Girl, and Samsung.

Jayme Gehrke is a Senior Director of Business Development at Merkle, and she recently joined us as a guest on the Spark Plug podcast. Jayme’s team in Merkle marketing engagement covers the gamut of their client’s interactions with consumers, from product development and marketing to positioning, placement, and consumer behavior analysis. 

In our conversation with Jayme, we discuss data analytics, rewards optimization, zero data collection, behavioral tracking, and SnowShoe’s vital work as a partner with Merkle on loyalty programs worldwide.

Read on to learn our key takeaways from this insightful conversation with the Merkle marketing engagement team. 

What matters in a loyalty solution?

“The biggest thing that matters is making sure that we’re working in collaboration with our partners.” Jayme says that she wants her clients to see Merkle as a partner rather than as a vendor. As a solution provider, Merkle’s role is to create customer loyalty programs that help clients achieve their goals. Primarily, these programs revolve around creating unmatched customer experiences that consumers would be hard pressed to find with another brand. A good solution provider is always taking ROI into account when designing these experiences. It’s important to know what type of customer engagement a brand will receive and what type of data and analytics will be reported. Merkle’s clients have 24/7 access to a real-time dashboard to see how their programs are performing. Additionally, the company’s Data & Insights Team supports clients with measurements, plans and projections.

How do you create engaging experiences for customers?

Some of Jayme’s biggest client successes have come from Merkl’s innovative Engagement Hub Solution. The online platform combines promotional activities into what she calls a “digital community.” For their client Royal Caribbean, Merkle was tasked with helping to build excitement around the launch of a new ship. The challenge was to persuade travelers to book a trip for a ship they’ve never seen before. Jayme’s team used the Engagement Hub Solution to create an interactive ship tour. Visitors were able to explore the ship in their own personalized way, and Royal Caribbean unlocked new parts of the ship over time to encourage repeat visits. And it worked! Visitors came back an average of 5.5 times to explore the newly unlocked portals. Royal Carribean was able to collect personalized preference data, allowing Royal Caribbean to serve customized marketing messages to target consumers. Jayme adds, “Typically we aren’t able to share metrics, but Royal Caribbean actually won a couple of awards for the program. And in the end, the Engagement Hub drove a 30% lift in email addresses added to their database and a 57% lift in new consumers.”

What role does SnowShoe play in Merkle’s loyalty solutions?

“We absolutely cannot say enough about SnowShoe and the partnership we have with you and how you help our partners as well,” says Jayme. She explains that SnowShoe’s Spark technology allows her clients to collect first-party data from their customers. This type of data is critical in order for brands to have more personalized and relevant conversations with consumers. “The great thing is that it’s the consumers themselves giving [their data] to you. It’s the consumers themselves that are deciding, yes, I want to engage with your brand and yes, I want to give you my data.”

How have SnowShoe solutions benefitted your clients, specifically your travel brands?

“The SnowShoe functionality has really taken their business to the next level. They’re seeing way more engagement with consumers going to the concierge service and starting to learn more about the property and booking tours. They wouldn’t have been able to do that without the SnowShoe functionality. It’s a very seamless experience. Touchless. You just hold your phone, you get your win or lose message. It’s been fantastic for our partners.”

What’s next for Merkle and SnowShoe?

“We’re looking forward to expanding our relationship. You have some new capabilities as well, and the team is really excited to start brainstorming ways that we can integrate that more into our solutions.”

SnowShoe would like to extend a big CONGRATULATIONS to our valued partner Merkle for the accolades they received in the Q2 2021 Forrester report. According to Forrester, Merkle’s “client retention record is one of the best in this study, and clients appreciate its fully transparent pricing.” Forrester goes on to say that clients “praised Merkle for understanding their business, handling feedback very well, and returning with useful suggestions.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more of Jayme’s insights on loyalty solutions, consumer data, and how to create unforgettable customer experiences.

Congratulations to Jayme and her entire team at Merkle!