Columbia, MD, March 9, 2022

Merkle Unveils Latest Innovations at SXSW 2022

Merkle (, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, announced that it will participate in three speaking sessions alongside industry innovators during SXSW (March 11 – 15) in Austin, TX.

Each session will explore significant topics and developments within today’s marketing landscape, including the importance of innovation, increasing growth in the creator economy, and the future of work:

Empowering Creators: Building with the Real-World Metaverse

On March 12 at 2:30 p.m. (CT), Val Vacante, director of strategy, product experience, and innovation at Merkle, will join fellow panelists Dan Morris, Niantic; Inder Phull PIXELYNX; and Jason Yim, Trigger, to discuss how technology, gaming, play, and entertainment have been an influential part of our culture, creativity, and connection. Today’s leading innovators are empowering creators to design immersive AR experiences that inspire movement, exploration, and shared experiences. The speakers will share their perspectives on the ever-evolving immersive gaming, entertainment, and play landscape.

The Future of Workspaces and the Metaverse

Vacante joins panelists Phil Sage, PepsiCo; Marco Carvalho,; and Pedro Chiamulera, ClearSale,, on March 14 at 2:30 p.m. (CT) to discuss the influence of gaming, virtual play spaces, how they are planning for the next-generation workforce, and the evolving dynamics of spatial computing, along with their perspectives on collaboration, culture, and what it means for the future of work. In the session, Merkle will reveal its first-of-its-kind virtual showroom in, highlighting ShopNXT™, Merkle’s award-winning suite of app-free retail innovations, as well as other experiences in development.

Featured Session – Creative Catalysts: Pioneering the Future

On March 15 at 2:30 p.m. (CT), Vacante will speak alongside Vicki Dobbs Beck, VP, immersive content innovation at ILMxLAB at Lucas Film, on intrapreneurship, resilience, the importance of creativity, and lessons learned when pioneering the future. Vacante will unveil behind-the-scenes, real-world examples highlighting NXT Intelligence™, Merkle’s platform designed to explore, evaluate, and evolve business growth opportunities. The speakers will share what it takes to innovate, the impact of the ever-evolving emerging technology landscape, and how next-generation connected experiences will be powered through choice and participation.

“To thrive in this rapidly changing world of customer experience, an innovative mindset is more important than ever,” said Pete Stein, president, Merkle Americas. “If these past two years have taught us anything as marketers, it’s that we need to be extremely adaptive in the ways we reach customers with personalized customer experiences. And the best way to stay ahead of the curve is by learning from forward-thinking industry experts at events like SXSW. We are proud to be among the participants of this renowned event – both to learn from and to share our experiences with others.” 

“We are overjoyed to return to SXSW alongside the industry’s most dynamic speakers and visionary innovators,” said Vacante. “As the demand for innovation soars, we are seeing an exponential increase in the Metaverse, the creator economy, the impact of gaming on the future of work, as well as the increased importance for brands to team up with partners to accelerate innovation like never before. We look forward to revealing our latest innovations with the SXSW community.”

Merkle will also co-host a panel and networking event with PFSK called Metaverse Meet-up on Friday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. (CT). Vacante will be joined by Dan Morris of Niantic, Gerald Youngblood, Tankee; Liz Bacelar, The Estée Lauder Companies; Michel Attar, NBCUniversal; Nanea Reeves, TRIPP; and Piers Fawkes, PSFK, for an interactive expert conversation on the Metaverse and mixed worlds along with spotlight guests and demonstrations by PatchXR and HeadOffice.Space. To request an invitation, email