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Our History

A Foundation of Passion and Experience

While Merkle’s business model has evolved over the years, allowing us to become one of the nation's premier performance marketing agencies, one thing has remained constant: our dedication to providing our clients with world-class solutions for maximising the value of their customer portfolios. 

From the days when one-to-one marketing was limited to direct mail, telemarketing, and email, we have always understood the value of data, analytics, and technology in informing marketing engagement. As the market evolved, Merkle has invested globally in the technology and digital media capabilities that have kept us at the forefront of the performance marketing movement. In fact, we are the only agency that has been recognised by Forrester across every aspect of the customer lifecycle.

It all started when a small data processing company was purchased by a young visionary with big dreams of building a world-class service organisation ...

In 1988, Merkle was acquired by a young entrepreneur named David Williams. At the age of 25, Williams already possessed a visionary leadership style; but even he never could have foreseen what technology had in store for the marketplace and for Merkle, which evolved into one of the leading performance marketing companies in the world.

Growth and expansion have always been watchwords — not only for Merkle’s own business ambitions, but even more importantly in terms of our clients. We have reached our market-leading status through years of tenacious focus on organic growth, revered talent acquisition, and smart corporate acquisitions.

Merkle has earned a reputation as a valued partner to our clients by assembling an elite team of experts who share a passion for achieving greatness. Merkle has convened the most experienced multidisciplinary marketing experts in the country, who strive to achieve their best work in areas of strategic consulting, database services, digital media, experience creation, analytical services, and technology.

In addition to our human assets, Merkle has made a series of strategic acquisitions over the last 29 years, from software and technology providers to data and analytic companies to creative agencies and mailing services. These assets have repeatedly built upon Merkle’s core strengths.

  • 2007: CognitiveDATA (customer data integration) 
  • 2009: Analytici (marketing technology)
  • 2011: IMPAQT (search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimisation (SEO))
  • 2011: Lenser (contact management solutions) 
  • 2012: Social Amp (Facebook Open Graph marketing) 
  • 2012: 5th Finger (technology-enabled mobile solutions, responsive web design) 
  • 2012: Brilig (digital data exchange for online advertising)
  • 2014: New Control (digital & direct agency)
  • 2014: RKG (digital & search agency)
  • 2014: 500Friends (loyalty solution provider)
  • 2015: Pointmarc (digital analytics consultancy)
  • 2015: Periscopix (London-based performance marketing agency)
  • 2016: DBG (London-based performance marketing agency that specialises in data)
  • 2016: Comet (London-based global provider of inbound and outbound CRM, marketing, and decision management solutions)
  • 2016: Joined Dentsu Aegis Network (best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services) 
  • 2016: Axis41 (strategic digital agency focused on customer experience)
  • 2017: Divisadero (Spain-based digital intelligence and transformation agency)
  • 2017: Aquila (UK-based data analytics consultancy)
  • 2017: Sokrati (India-based data-driven performance marketing agency)
  • 2017: DWA (global B-to-B digital media and marketing agency)
  • 2017: Oxyma (leading performance marketing agency in the Netherlands and Dubai)
  • 2017: HelloWorld (digital marketing solutions provider with dominant position in promotion and loyalty solutions)

Merkle, which joined dentsu international in 2016, has now grown to be one of the nation’s leading performance marketing agencies. Companies that have come to rely on Merkle’s passion and expertise to drive results include many household names such as GEICO, Dell, Microsoft, Google, HBO, AARP, Kimberly-Clark, Under Armour, Nespresso, and American Heart Association.

 With more than 9,600 employees worldwide, we opened our Columbia headquarters campus in 2008, now complemented by 21 additional offices in the US and 21 offices in EMEA and APAC.

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