Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, accomplished many successes, including finalizing its integration within dentsu, during a year filled with unprecedented circumstances. While 2020 brought the unexpected, Merkle’s agility allowed for innovation and expansion through the introduction of new products and capabilities, high-profile corporate acquisitions, further development of partnerships with industry-leading brands, as well as bolstering their executive team.
New Products and Capabilities
Merkle continued to prioritize the development of new products and services aimed at addressing digital marketers’ biggest challenges. The launch of Merkle B2B, through a strategic integration of five industry-leading companies, helped to revolutionize marketers’ ability to implement end-to-end business marketing solutions by delivering B2B brand creation and activation on a global scale.
The company also unveiled several new programs and initiatives, including the launch of New Stream Media which allows retailers to grow their digital ad revenue, create more personalized experiences for consumers, and form unique partnerships with manufacturers. Merkle also launched their promotions and loyalty solutions division, the Merkury Identity Resolution Platform, Complyi (a privacy compliance extension for Rapid Audience Layer), as well as Merkle’s Human Loyalty solution and Performance Marketing Lab.
Corporate Acquisitions and Launches
To further expand its industry-leading technology, Merkle made three corporate acquisitions in early 2020, first acquiring marketing automation agency Digital Pi and people-based identification and data services technology company, 4Cite in January. In February, Merkle completed its acquisition of data-driven audience planning and targeting agency, Media Storm, to expand its focus on strategic growth in the media, entertainment, and retail segments.
Merkle also launched in DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) as it brought together leading digital agencies Isobar Switzerland and Namics, adding digital experience capabilities to Merkle’s leading tech, data, CRM, and analytics offering throughout EMEA. This new organization in DACH is led by CEO Patrik Gamryd, previously CEO of Isobar Switzerland.
In APAC, Gyro, Isobar Commerce, Accordant, Davanti, and Fractal came together under the Merkle brand.
During a year in which the power of teamwork was put on full display, Merkle continued to strengthen key partnerships across the business, including those with industry-leading brands such as Adobe, AWS, and Google. These developments include:
- Joining Adobe’s prestigious technology partner program as a premier partner with its Merkury identity resolution platform in the US.
- Signing a Strategic Collaboration Agreement (SCA) with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Announcing the full integration of Merkle's premier data tool, Merkury ID, into MediaMath in the US.
- Joining Google’s International Growth Program.
- Gaining advanced status for Adobe Experience Platform and becoming a Premier Partner in the Adobe Exchange Program in the EMEA region.
- Achieved seven Adobe partner specializations in EMEA including Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Target, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Analytics with recent additions for Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP and Adobe Advertising Cloud Search.
- Achieved Microsoft Gold Data Analytics and Cloud Platform competencies, showcasing best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.
Newly Appointed Executives
Merkle appointed several executive hires globally in order to further strengthen company leadership during a pivotal year, including Craig Dempster assuming the role of Global CEO. Michael Komasinski was named president, Merkle Americas, and Pete Stein joined Merkle as the global lead for experience, responsible for steering Merkle’s global experience and commerce capabilities. Kirt Morris was named global chief equity officer to lead Merkle in its commitment to an equal work environment. Additionally, Filter, a Merkle company, appointed Todd Paris as CEO.
Anne Stagg was named Merkle’s first UK CEO for dentsu’s Customer Experience Management service line, as the UK team surpassed 900 employees, just five years after its launch. Margaret Wagner was named president, Merkle EMEA, and Azlan Raj was appointed to the newly created EMEA CMO role.
There were also several key executive appointments across the APAC region including: Rachel Ooi, CGO and Kiaran Geen CMO who joined Merkle country leaders, Ken Hong (CN), Erik Hallander (ANZ), Anubhav Sonthalia (IN), and Prantik Mazumdar (SG).
While 2020 was a year of volatility, Merkle continued to produce noteworthy work. The company was awarded numerous award wins and rankings. Highlights include:
- Adobe 2020 Delivery Quality Enterprise Solution Partner of the Year Award: Digital Experience, Americas
- MediaPost Agency of the Year Awards: Search Marketing Agency of the Year
- The Drum Marketing Awards: Five Marketing Awards including SEO (CFA Institute / Merkle), Finance (CFA Institute / Merkle), Best Use of Technology (Express / Merkle), Retail (Express / Merkle), Digital Strategy (Express / Merkle)
- Microsoft Advertising Global Partner Awards: Global Inclusive Culture & Marketing
- MarCom Awards: Platinum in Marketing/Promotion Campaign | Digital Marketing and Gold in Communications/Public Relations | Crisis Communication Plan or Response
- Chief Marketer’s 200 Top Marketing Agencies of 2020: Digital / Content (HelloWorld, a Merkle company)
- MENA Digital Awards: Gold for Best use of Digital (FMCG) and Silver for Best use of Video for its work with Kellogg’s (Pringles)
- Global Search Awards 2020: Best local campaign (SEO) for Europcar
- Emerce 100: Recognized as one of the leading agencies in the Netherlands
- DMA Awards (UK): Gold DMA in Best Use of Marketing Automation with Hyperoptic and a Bronze with NowTV
- Campaign Tech Awards (UK): Most Effective Use of Programmatic Media for the Twitter Magpie campaign
- The Drum Search awards (UK) – Automotive and Transport award with Autotrader “Driving Automotive Automation”