Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, today released its annual Year in Review for 2015, reporting net revenue of $435 million – a 14% increase over 2014 revenue of $382 million. Merkle continued to build out its global footprint through a number of key acquisitions. Pointmarc, a leading digital analytics consultancy with world-class site analytics and optimization capabilities, and Periscopix, a London-based performance marketing agency specializing in search, programmatic media, and web analytics, amplified Merkle’s capabilities and scale. In early 2016, the acquisitions of DBG and Comet Global Consulting gave Merkle a fully scaled offering in Europe and enhanced real-time decisioning capabilities. These acquisitions promote the development of Merkle’s European hub and reinforce its China operation. These developments are in keeping with Merkle’s five-year global strategy and will be key drivers for the company’s growth in 2016 and 2017.
Over the course of 2015, Merkle added many world-class brands to its customer portfolio, including Legal and General, Mercer Health, NBA China, Neos Therapeutics, PayPal Credit, Social Finance, TESCO, The Body Shop, and T-Mobile.
In September, Merkle launched MerkleONE, the first-in-market solution that uses insights derived from customer and US consumer data to enable marketers to capitalize on the opportunity of people-based digital marketing. Utilizing the same MerkleONE technology and data infrastructure, we launched Publisher Addressable Marketplaces with NewsCorp as our first beta partner enabling addressable audience targeting across its digital properties through CRM and publisher first-party data matching. In addition, the agency introduced or released updates for many of its market-leading solutions, such as DataCheck, a proprietary tool for the assessment of B-to-B data quality, and Data Management Cloud, the foundation of its connected customer platform.
Further solidifying Merkle’s continued growth position were a number of 2015 developments, including several prominent industry partnerships, such as Adobe for marketing solutions at scale; Tealium for enterprise tag management and real-time unified marketing solutions; and Rentrak for viewership data. In addition, Merkle became the first US-headquartered Baidu reseller and joined Yahoo’s Preferred Partner Program. Existing partnerships that Merkle has built with Adobe, Google, Oracle, Facebook, and Twitter continue to grow in scope and scale.
Bolstered by the 2015 acquisitions as well as organic growth, Merkle now has more than 3,400 employees, operating in 21 locations worldwide. The company also recently added to its growing management team a number of senior executives from prominent companies, such as Accenture, eBay Enterprise, iCrossing, Omnicom, Razorfish, Rocket Fuel, Starcom Mediavest Group, and Wunderman.
In support of Merkle’s strong positioning, the company continued to launch industry-leading thought leadership and received multiple accolades. In 2015, Merkle published its third book, The Rise of the Platform Marketer, and won a Stevie Award for its 2015 Marketing Imperatives, the fourth in its annual series, which focused on mastering the addressable customer experience. Merkle was also recognized by Forrester Research as a Leader in the marketing database operations scenario of The Forrester Wave™: Customer Insights Services Providers, Q4 2015 in addition to recently being named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Loyalty Solutions for Midsize Organizations, Q1 2016.
This continuing growth reinforces Merkle’s position as the largest independent agency in all three key areas for marketers: digital, CRM/data, and search. In 2015 Advertising Age named Merkle among the leading CRM/Direct Marketing agencies in its Agency Report at the global (10th largest) level. Merkle also ranked as the 4th largest and fastest growing search marketing agency, the 14th largest digital agency network, the 13th largest mobile agency, and number 20 on the 50 top agencies in the world of any discipline.
“A brand’s biggest opportunity for growth and competitive advantage today lies in its ability to perform effective people-based marketing, which is only possible because of the addressability of the audience platforms. These platforms continue to emerge and grow by the thousands,” said David Williams, chairman and CEO at Merkle.
Added George Gallate, EVP and CMO at Merkle, “Our ongoing success in this space directly correlates to the success of our clients, who rely on Merkle to help them create unique, personalized, addressable customer experiences. Our growth strategy is in response to the needs and wants of our clients and positions Merkle to better serve our clients over time.”