ResourcesMeasuring for the customer: The future of brand loyalty

Measuring for the customer: The future of brand loyalty

As the saying goes, the customer is king. In recent decades, this meant giving customers digital convenience. The rise of DTC is living proof of this. However, the pendulum is swinging back towards brand affinity and advocacy. This is the route to customer loyalty. Azlan Raj, CMO of Merkle EMEA, describes the following changes to the loyalty landscape:

  • How next-generation loyalty will be defined by shifting from next-best action to next-best experience.
  • That advocacy is no longer achieved by commercially focused point schemes and must instead be achieved by recognizing what is truly important to the customer.
  • Concepts including the expectation economy and theories of change

Measuring brand loyalty

We also discuss the measurement of brand loyalty. Azlan advocates for a model that moves away from measuring products and services in individual channels, toward measuring success from a customer perspective. ‘Measure for the customer’ is his powerful recommendation for marketing leaders. This will allow brands to ensure KPIs are not kept in isolated channels that work against one another. He shares a wonderful tale of a fast-food chain that fell afoul of this pitfall.

We also benefit from a unique moth analogy that highlights the importance of adaptability and evolution in marketing leadership as we move toward next-generation loyalty.


00:54 – What makes a great marketing leader?

02:19 – How do you feel the marketing landscape is evolving away from digital convenience to brand affinity and advocacy?

03:29 – What is an expectation economy and how does it affect business growth?

04:50 – What are the most crucial value-based interactions that will define next-generation loyalty?

05:55 – What advice do you have for brands trying to manage the proliferation of marketing tools in their stack?

07:25 – What advice do you have for brands aiming to measure brand loyalty?

09:36 – Are there any other tips or pitfalls you have when it comes to measuring performance around customer loyalty?

10:39 – Do you have any advice for delivering an exceptional customer experience?

12:08 – How do you think brands can term short-term affection into long-term loyalty?

14:23 – What is the concept of theories of change and how is it useful for marketing organizations?

15.25 – As we move towards a new marketing landscape based on loyalty, how will the role of marketing leaders change as a result?

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Azlan Raj is the EMEA chief marketing officer for Merkle and Dentsu’s customer experience management service line. His role spans all Dentsu capabilities across commerce, data and technology platforms, analytics, media, customer experience, content, and B2B. 

With over 20 years of experience in the digital industry, prior to joining Merkle Azlan worked for leading brands, agencies, and consultancies, including Barclaycard, SapientRazorfish, and Accenture.

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