Merkle (merkleinc.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, announced its acquisition of Comet Global Consulting (www.cometgc.com), a leading global provider of inbound and outbound CRM, marketing, and real-time decision management solutions that enable companies to reach customers at moments that most influence their decisions and behaviors. The acquisition is designed to expand Merkle’s global offering and meet the growing international needs of its client base.
This is the third and largest European acquisition in less than a year, and the first with an established global footprint. It follows the 2015 acquisition of Periscopix (periscopix.co.uk), a leading London-based performance marketing and programmatic agency and, most recently, the acquisition of DBG (dbg.co.uk), a UK-based marketing solutions agency. The addition of Comet not only increases Merkle’s global scale, it also strengthens the agency’s offering, both in the US and Europe, bringing enhanced real-time decisioning capabilities and partner alliances.
Launched in 2006, Comet specializes in delivering high-impact strategy, technical consulting, and ongoing development and operational support services for global brands. The company drives the growth and profitability of large enterprises by enabling them to interact with their customers in real time and with greater relevancy. Through powerful partnerships with CRM software providers, such as Pegasystems, IBM, and SAS, Comet implements advanced marketing automation and customer decisioning capabilities for its clients.
Comet’s expertise in the telecommunications, financial services, retail, travel, and media industries is a strategic match to Merkle’s vertical go-to-market approach. The company boasts an impressive roster of international clients, both shared and unique, that includes brands such as Telefonica O2, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, EE, Fifth Third Bank, DIRECTV, and Sky. Comet’s team of more than 300 experts, led by Group Managing Director, Sam Taverner, UK Managing Director, Iain Levein, and US Managing Director, Paul Skinner, are located across the United Kingdom, United States, and Spain. They will join Merkle’s Marketing Solutions Group, bringing Merkle’s total number of European employees to more than 500 and more than 3,400 worldwide.
“We are proud to welcome Comet to the Merkle family, as we continue to build our global brand,” said David Williams, Merkle’s chairman and CEO. “As a real-time decision management leader in both the US and Europe, Comet’s strategic offering, geographical presence, and impressive multi-national client roster are the perfect fit to bolster our offering and solidify our position as a global leader in performance marketing.”
“Merkle is a great fit for us,” said Taverner. “They are tech-savvy digital marketers who understand the importance of what Comet does – helping large enterprises build relevant and valuable interactions with their customers. We are very excited about the new capabilities our combined organizations are going to be able to offer our clients.”
Skinner added, “This is great news for our US-based clients as well, giving us the support of and access to Merkle’s incredible bench strength in everything we do.”
“In Merkle’s mission to build our global people-based marketing competencies, Comet stood out in a number of ways, not the least of which was its superior decision management expertise. The company is a leader in the use of data to inform the next-best action for an exceptional customer experience,” added Tim Berry, President of Merkle Europe. “The cultural similarities between our two companies were another significant factor in our assessment, as we welcome Comet’s entire staff of smart, dedicated employees and impressive management team.”