Merkle (www.merkle.com), one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing customer relationship marketing agencies, today released its annual summary of notable achievements and highlights for 2009. Merkle reported total revenue of $223 million for the year and record revenue of $64.3 million for Q4 2009. The results provide steady momentum as the firm enters 2010, and are a culmination of a year’s worth of highlights that include new strategy and branding, corporate expansion, increased capabilities, new clients, industry recognition and new executive personnel.
Corporate Strategy and Branding: In September, Merkle repositioned itself as a "Customer Relationship Marketing Agency", shedding its longtime "Database Marketing Agency" tagline. The fresh brand position coincides with the introduction of the company’s new marketing approach and management framework, Integrated Customer Marketing™ – designed to help organizations better direct their customer marketing strategy and actively manage customer and prospect interactions.
Corporate Expansion: In 2009, Merkle continued its commitment to bringing the best possible services and marketing solutions to its clients with the introduction of several innovative practice areas, three business acquisitions, the launch of a new company and expansion into China. In May, Merkle acquired the Arkansas-based marketing technology provider CognitiveDATA. In July, the two companies acquired Minneapolis-based catalog marketing services firm CMS Direct. In September, Merkle also acquired Analytici, a New Jersey-based database marketing service firm. That month, Merkle also launched New York-based LogicLab, to focus on the application of innovative data and analytic practices to the media buying process.
Capabilities: To reflect the increasing demand for new and innovative marketing solutions, Merkle launched several new practice areas. Merkle’s Healthcare Marketing Practice formed in response to changing industry dynamics and the growing interest from pharmaceutical companies for more targeted marketing solutions. Merkle launched its Mobile Marketing Practice to address the growing importance of social and mobile media within the marketing equation. Additionally, Merkle created its Market Research Practice to provide new insights into client marketing programs by discovering and understanding how consumer beliefs and attitudes shape purchasing and engagement decisions. In addition, Merkle formalized a digital analytics practice to integrate online data assets to elevate its online analytic capabilities.
Clients: Merkle added numerous clients in sectors including retail, pharmaceutical, financial and nonprofit. These clients include Urban Outfitters and its related brands Anthropologie and Free People, as well as Susan G. Komen, Citizens Bank, Novartis, Fingerhut, PNC Bank, LasikPLUS, Eli Lilly, Viacom and Habitat for Humanity. The company also renewed or expanded its work with several notable clients including GMAC Insurance, DIRECTV, Arthritis Foundation, Feeding America and American Cancer Society.
Awards and Recognition: In 2009, Advertising Age Magazine cited Merkle in its lists of "Top 10 Direct Marketing Agencies," "Top 25 U.S. Agencies from All Disciplines" and among the “Top 30 of the World’s Top Agency Companies.” Merkle was awarded three "Benjamin Franklin Awards for Direct Marketing Excellence," known as “Benny” awards, from the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association and two “NCDM Database Excellence Awards” – one “Analytics and Modeling Applications” award for its work with Kroger Personal Finance and one “Multichannel Marketing” award for its work with Dell, Inc. The company was also named to the Inc. 5000 for its steady growth. David Williams was recognized as Baltimore SmartCEO magazine’s "CEO of the Year." Additionally, Williams was appointed vice-chairman of the Direct Marketing Association.
Personnel: Throughout 2009, Merkle hired 160 professionals. In November, Merkle announced a corporate realignment to lead the company into 2010. To increase its focus on integrated marketing initiatives, Merkle promoted Patrick Hennessey and Tim Berry to newly created co-presidency positions and consolidated its core business functions to report to Hennessey and Berry.
Merkle also added several key industry leaders to its executive team, including Angie Moore as senior vice president and general manager for the Fundraising Services Group, Jeff Wiltrout as vice president and group leader of its new Healthcare Marketing Practice, Mike Ricci as vice president of Mobile Solutions, Christine Baskin as vice president of Market Research, Chris Wilson as president of LogicLab,Rod Ford, who serves as CEO of CognitiveDATA, and Joe Colletti as vice president of Analytici.
Merkle Chairman and CEO, David Williams said, "The marketing industry is constantly shifting, and Merkle is continually evolving with an ever changing marketplace. Despite the downturn in the economy, Merkle experienced another solid year of performance and success. We would not be where we are today without the hundreds of dedicated, creative and smart people that work for and with us every day. And while 2009 has been a successful year, we are setting the bar higher for ourselves in 2010, and I am excited about the year ahead."