Meet our partner: Merkle | Cardinal Path


Perri O'Brien

October 23, 2023 | 5 min read

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Headshot of Alex Clemmons,VP of Analysis & Insights at Merkle | Cardinal Path (MCP)Meet Alex Clemmons,VP of Analysis & Insights at Merkle | Cardinal Path (MCP).

MCP is a data and analytics consultancy within the Dentsu network which focuses on maximizing the value its clients get from the Google Marketing Platform.

Alex sat down to talk with us about how MCP approaches prospects and works with customers, trends in customer experience analytics and the data analytics in general and his experience of partnering with Contentsquare.

Our conversation with Alex Clemmons

To kick things off, can you tell us what your role is at Merkle | Cardinal Path (MCP) and what sort of customers you serve?

Alex Clemmons: I lead what we at MCP call ‘Marketing Science’. My team specifically focuses on insights generation, data science and advanced analytics, as well as experience optimization. We pretty much work with everyone out there across industries and verticals, if you’ve got digital data we can help you make sense of it.

Do you have an ideal customer profile?

AC: Anyone who values data and analytics and how it can transform an organization.

I don’t worry as much about customer maturity or where they sit in the organization, because we’re successful in working with customers who are building their analytics program from the ground up and with customers with very mature practices.

In both cases, the commonality is having a stakeholder who understands how analytics can benefit the organization. The rest is all details, and we do a ton of education with our clients in this space, too—that’s been a big part of our DNA as a company for a long time now.

As a result, we serve a wide range of clients. I like to play the game of “client bingo” when I’m driving around town because you really can’t go more than a few blocks without seeing one of our clients.

What are the critical steps in your sales process and what do you focus on when building ongoing relationships with your customers?

AC: We focus on understanding who the prospect is, what drives them and what success looks like for them and their role, as well as for the overall organization.

We also spend a significant amount of time understanding the ecosystem we’re entering into—the people, the processes and the technology they currently have in place—so as to to understand what they need, not just what they are asking for.

Our internal sales process allows us to craft the solutions and support that each unique client may need. This does take more time, but we’re able to create successful outcomes more quickly with this approach.

What do you think makes for a good customer relationship?

AC: We have a saying at MCP: “in order to understand the data you need to understand the world around you”. This means our teams understand our business, processes, and the world that our clients and their customers live in. That’s foundational to our partnerships.

We bring deep expertise in tools and processes and our customers bring their deep understanding of their business. We partner together to bring out the best in each other, immerse ourselves in each other’s worlds and then grow together to build something greater.

How does MCP differentiate itself from the competition?

AC: Consistently delivering excellent work and focusing on innovating, solving unique client challenges and building tight relationships with both our clients and our partners, such as Google and Contentsquare.

We have a reputation with our clients and our partners of over-delivering on outcomes rather than producing extensive marketing materials for under-built solutions.

We have an incredibly strong foundation in process and project management which gives our teams the structure they need to excel in their consultancy roles with clients. We have a lot of long standing clients and we are often brought into new organizations when clients we have worked with change jobs.

Speaking of partnering with Contentsquare, can you tell us about a successful customer engagement you worked on with us?

AC: We’ve got quite a few, but the one that’s closest to my heart is a telecom client I lead. We’ve worked with this client together for over a decade now and as soon as Contentsquare was deployed we started seeing major changes in the client’s culture around data.

We were delighted by this, because encouraging a culture change around data is a critical mission of my teams in general. It’s incredibly exciting when you see data insights create conversations, which drive action, which then changes the culture of a marketing team, an IT team, and so on.

Contentsquare elevated the work my team were already doing to make that culture change possible, facilitating it by making it more frictionless and faster for our clients to find and action insights or even troubleshoot issues with the site.

What advice would you give to those looking to partner with Contentsquare?

AC: I think you need to think about two big things. First, your tech stack. There’s so much power in Contentsquare when you start to integrate your other tools into it. Don’t think of this tool in a silo, but rather in terms of how it can enhance what you already have in place, and also how those tools can make Contentsquare more powerful.

The second is around making sure you have the people on your team who can take advantage of the tool. There is such a wide variety of use cases the solution can solve for, so think through those as you’re making the business case for it.

And make sure to get them trained up! Contentsquare has a great training team to facilitate leveraging the power of the tool quickly.

Let’s close by zooming out a little and talking about your industry. What trends are you currently seeing in the customer experience analytics space?

AC: We’re seeing three things happening right now. First, a strong shift towards behavioral analytics. Customers are trying to make more sense of their quantitative data.

Secondly, we’re seeing an increased desire for predictive insights. Customers in certain verticals are showing more appetite for predicting future behavior rather than just understanding past performance.

Thirdly, we’re getting more requests for customer journey mapping. For clients who have multiple digital touchpoints, it’s difficult to understand paths to conversion, especially when these journeys aren’t always exactly linear. This has led to these clients requesting quantitative modeling that’s geared towards understanding the most successful journeys.

What about your business and the industry keeps you up at night?

AC: The constant evolution of the martech landscape. There’s always new tools, new processes, the emergence of AI, plus a constant shifting of the privacy landscape. Marketing today is very different than it was two years ago and it’s going to be completely different two years from now.

Thinking about where we should place our bets, where we should pivot and adapt our own business and how we should advise our clients to adapt is a fun challenge—but also massive in scale. So I devote a lot of my time thinking through it.

You must enjoy having the occasional vacation from all that thinking! So: A fun question to close. What’s your favorite vacation destination, and why?

AC: I’m terrible at sitting still, so anywhere that’s just a beach or poolside isn’t for me—at least not for more than a day! If I could get on a plane right now and go anywhere I’d go and get lost in Italy for a few weeks.

How to become a Contentsquare partner

Merkle | Cardinal Path are just one of over 100 trusted technology and service providers who make up our The Contentsquare Experience Partner Ecosystem.

Partners are vital to our mission of bringing digital experience analytics to brands that will help them accelerate their digital goals.

And the value we place in partners is reflected in the commission we pay for referrals.

We work closely with:

  • Solutions partners, who deliver strategy, design, implementation, consulting and integration services leveraging Contentsquare
  • Technology partners, who provide technology and products that integrate with Contentsquare to deliver an end-to-end CX Solution
  • Business partners, who act as trusted advisors and help to identify the best MarTech stack for the biggest brands

Think we could work together? You might be onto something.

This could be the start of a beautiful partnership. So get in touch.

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