Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology enabled, data driven customer relationship marketing (CRM) firm and the nation’s largest privately-held agency, announced that it has acquired Chicago-based New Control (www.newcontrol.com), a full-service digital and direct agency. The acquisition supports Merkle’s strategy for aggressive growth in its digital agency group. In addition, the acquisition reinforces Merkle’s industry-focused approach to serving world-class brands, adding deep expertise and penetration in many of the markets served by Merkle, most notably financial services and insurance.
Merkle selected New Control due to its singular focus on driving results through a proprietary campaign development methodology that generates industry-leading response and conversion rates. The 18-year-old agency’s capabilities and digital expertise align closely with those of Merkle. Its strategic consulting, multi-channel creative development, media planning and buying, digital production, and data analysis skills will help Merkle further scale its own integrated addressable agency capabilities. Another commonality is an emphasis on building long-standing relationships with the top-tier brands that New Control brings to the table, such as Chase, Canadian Tire, Fifth Third Bank, WellPoint, PNC Bank and Visa.
New York-based mergers & acquisitions firm, AdMedia Partners (www.admediapartners.com), acted as exclusive financial advisor to New Control in the transaction. New Control’s staff of more than 85 employees, located at both its Chicago headquarters and its San Francisco facility, will join Merkle’s digital agency group, which will now have more than 400 employees.
“New Control’s approach to developing creative is rooted in strategy and analytic decisioning, to inform not only the offer, but also visuals and messaging,” said Craig Dempster, EVP and digital agency group leader for Merkle. “The team’s rigorous creative process comprises a set of guiding principles that are proven to drive results. We are excited about the synergies that will result from this union, beginning with our shared clients and supporting the expansion of our digital agency capabilities in years to come.”
New Control president, Dave Braun, commented on the acquisition, “As we sought to join a great company that would help take New Control to the next level, the most important consideration was a focus on creating customer experiences that drive outstanding marketing performance in addressable media. As a proven leader in providing CRM solutions to Fortune 1000 companies, Merkle was the natural choice. Additionally, it was important to us to join a company with similar values and attributes. Merkle’s unique culture is perfectly suited for the New Control way of life, which is a combination of drive and personality.”