Ciesco Market Intelligence 20 February 2024

“GenAI – the toddler of technology” – Merkle for Ciesco


In Ciesco’s 2023 Global M&A Review & 2024 Outlook, Margaret Wagner, President EMEA from Merkle, contributed an editorial that challenges the notion of AI as the “new kid on the block,” asserting its longstanding presence in business operations. It discusses GenAI, a transformative era post ChatGPT, poised to redefine customer experience.


The Guest Editorial by Margaret Wagner, Merkle.

Despite what the industry might tell you, AI is not the new kid on the block. In fact, if you realise it or not, many businesses who use a managed service or automate processes have been using AI in their day-to-day operations for more than 20 years. We know this today as trigger-based communications, straight forward processes requiring relevant data points and technology to push personalised, automated messages to customers. This then progressed to more real time interactions such as the omnipresent pop-up chatbot asking how it can help (or try to) assist you virtually with your query.

Since the launch of ChatGPT, we are now in an era of GenAI, which has the potential to change Customer Experience (CX) as we know it today. However, this evolution of AI comes with realities and challenges, ethically and logically, to reach its full potential.

The power of GenAI is undeniable. The ability to automate highly personalised and relevant content is now seemingly at your fingertips. And like its AI older sibling, it needs data and technology. However, GenAI is powerful, but not without context. That means more data and diligent governance. The power of GenAI is its ability to curate highly relevant and personalised content that leverages existing data – the better the data the better the content. But ethically, how far should this go? And logically, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

For GenAI to reach its full potential, it needs expertise and nurturing as it matures as a platform. Is GenAI the next great marketing and communications platform? For sure. Is it ready for all use cases? Potentially, in controlled environments. Do you have what you need to ensure the right CX? Do the work to be sure. Getting it wrong, could have worrisome outcomes. Getting it right, could be a fantastic one. Make sure you’ve got process and governance for the latter.


Margaret is the Regional President of Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, across EMEA. She leads a business of $400 million in annual revenue and 4,700 employees across 17 markets. Previously UK and EMEA Chief Growth Officer, Margaret built a regional platform for sales, alliances, and marketing. She is a member of the Merkle Global Executive Committee and of the EMEA Executive Team, and joined Merkle in Europe as it launched in the UK in 2015 after serving in senior leadership roles for RAPP and Wunderman.


To receive your copy of the report, please contact Annabelle Pugh, Marketing & Operations Manager.