Merlin is a trained economist and leading expert in customer management and customer insight, including strategies and tactics for customer recruitment, retention, and development and has been a leading contributor to the development of the customer management assessment .His work focuses on improving customer experience, satisfaction, loyalty and trust, and also the customer research, data analysis, systems decisions and supplier selection and management needed to support improved customer management. He has written hundreds of articles and thirty books on customer management. He delivers his consulting through a number of boutique consultancies, including Customer Attuned, Customer Essential, WCL Customer Management and The Customer Framework.
Merlin in an experienced independent researcher in marketing and economics, in both private and public sectors. In the public sector his work has included reports for the Health & Social Care Information Centre on its customer orientation, for the Department of Children, Schools and Families on Children's Voice in Education, for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills on the relevance of different models from the private sector, for the General Medical Council on possible directions for their Register of General Practice website, and for Financial Sector Deepening Africa and the skills requirements for new financial services marketing methods. His work for the private sector includes many reports on information technology and financial services for individual clients, including reports on mobile money as well as reports for Datamonitor on energy and environmental issues.
He has also pursued a strong business career, with posts at Xerox, IBM and other companies, and directorial posts at several marketing service suppliers. Merlin is an Honorary Life Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, which he helped establish and for which he teaches and develops case studies. He is also on the editorial advisory boards of several academic journals, including the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Analytics and the Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice. In parallel to his business career, he has also pursued a full academic career, holding senior posts at various universities. He has now retired from teaching marketing and economics and is a Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes and Portsmouth Universities.
His leisure pursuits include creative writing. He is completing the Open University’s Advanced Creative Writing course and from September he will be studying for his MA Creative Writing First Novel at St Mary’s University Twickenham from September 2015, finalising a novel on corruption in the academic world.