Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, released its annual Year in Review for 2016, reporting a net revenue of $560 million – a 28.7 percent increase over its 2015 revenue of $435 million. This growth was fueled by a record year in new business, strong client retention and growth, and three acquisitions.
In 2016, Merkle joined Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). This formed a significant strategic relationship, accelerating Merkle’s ability to grow as a global agency and provide exciting new opportunities for the clients and employees of both organizations. Today, Merkle is one of the Network’s leading agency brands, and is expected to deliver significant revenue growth opportunities through collaboration with other DAN companies as a provider of an expanded set of capabilities and benefits to all clients.
Merkle’s geographic and capability footprints grew through domestic and global acquisitions. In the US, Merkle acquired digital agency, Axis41, and in the US and Europe, Comet Global Consulting, the leading provider of decision management solutions. In the UK, Merkle acquired DBG, a data solutions provider. These acquisitions strengthened Merkle’s people-based marketing offering, amplified the agency’s global scale, and increased its headcount to more than 3,800 across the globe. Merkle now has more than 750 employees in Europe. With strong organic growth continuing in China, the company’s headcount exceeds 400 employees in Asia. The company also added to its growing management team a number of senior executives including Eugene Becker, Sean Creamer, Gabriella Dera, Janine Flaccavento, Neil Gissler, Mike Goldin, Michael Hemsey, Ankur Jain, Michael McLaren, Azlan Raj, Wendy Ryan, and Charlie Weiss.
Merkle’s position as the authority in people-based marketing services is driven by the company’s unique combination of deep expertise in data, analytics, technology, strategy, creative, and addressable media at scale. Last year, the company recognized its clients’ need for a programmatic solution that enables deterministic, people-based targeting and measurement across premium publisher audiences and inventory – not limited to the walled-garden platforms that restrict reach and visibility. To meet this demand, Merkle launched Publisher Addressable Marketplaces (PAM), the first-of-its-kind, premium programmatic advertising solution built with the support of a number of top publishers, including NewsCorp, Pandora, LiveIntent, and Taste of Home. The PAM solution is enabled by Merkle’s M1 platform, an integrated people-based PII platform focused on media planning and execution.
In order to deliver the best for its clients, Merkle further developed a number of prominent industry partnerships that provide the technology that enables the best-in-class tools that strengthen the relationships between brands and their customers. The agency’s most widely established alliance is with Adobe. Merkle is an Adobe Preferred Partner and one of the few global partners with specialization in three of Adobe’s major platforms – Adobe Analytics and Adobe Experience Manager in the US, and Adobe Campaign Manager in the US and UK. Merkle is also a preferred partner of Oracle Marketing and Data Cloud, Google DoubleClick and Analytics, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pega Strategic Consulting, Twitter Tailored Audience, and Facebook Custom Audience. Merkle continued to develop strength in addressable media relationships and is Google’s second-largest agency partner in the US and Baidu’s first US-headquartered agency partner. In 2016, Merkle was also selected by Microsoft to join the Bing Elite Partners Program, serving as a trusted advisor to the network’s growing customer base for Bing ads.
In support of Merkle’s strong positioning, the company continued to launch industry-leading thought leadership and received multiple accolades. Merkle was honored with 10 Stevie Awards including the coveted Grand Stevie® Award for the Marketing Agency of the Year from the 2016 American Business Awards. Merkle was also recognized by Forrester Research as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Loyalty Solutions for Midsize Organizations, Q1 2016, in addition to recently being named a Leader in The Relevancy Group’s 2016 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide for the second year in a row.
In 2016 Advertising Age named Merkle among the leading CRM/Direct Marketing agencies in its Agency Report at the global (ninth largest) level. Merkle also ranked as the second-largest search marketing agency, the 13th-largest digital agency network, and number 20 on the 50 top agencies in the world of any discipline.
“2016 was a banner year for Merkle as we continued to expand through acquisitions, the growth of our current client base, and an influx of new business. Our leadership in people-based marketing continued with the successful launch of M1 and PAM™,” said David Williams, president and CEO at Merkle. “The year will be most noted for us joining the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), which will help drive the next 28 years of our growth. Being a part of DAN further strengthens our position and allows us to accelerate our goal of being a world-class performance marketing agency.”