Merkle (merkleinc.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, announced the appointment of Michael McLaren to executive global director, for its High-Tech and Business-to-Business Practices. McLaren will lead the global growth and advancement of these increasingly digital and customer-centric market sectors. This development follows the Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA) announcement naming McLaren chairman of the DMA Board of Directors, as the consummate industry association kicks off its 100th anniversary season. McLaren joins Merkle after a 17-year tenure with global digital marketing and relationship management agency, MRM//McCann, where he served most recently as CEO and previously as president, in addition to several other executive roles around the globe.
“Michael is a globalist, in reference not only to his extensive international experience, but also his far-reaching industry experience. This will play an important part in his success at Merkle, as we continue to expand our own global footprint,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Merkle. “He is passionate about technology and the role it can play in people’s lives. He is also committed to the potential and power of creativity and creative problem solving. A combination that is invigorating to work with.”
McLaren will assume a dual leadership role with Merkle. As leader of the agency’s High-Tech practice, he will build upon Merkle’s strategic vision for serving that market, designing and delivering innovative, data-driven marketing solutions that meet the unique needs of its high-tech client base. In addition, he assumes responsibility for the continued cultivation of the agency’s B-to-B offering, aggregating capabilities across the breadth of the organization to build a go-to-market strategy that serves the unique requirements of B-to-B marketers. Along with the combination of these roles, McLaren will help evolve the account management function to ensure seamless integration of Merkle’s comprehensive array of data, analytic, technology, consulting, and creative services into the solutions that will create competitive advantage for clients.
McLaren began his marketing career as a brand manager for packaged goods giant, Unilever, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New South Wales and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
“Over the years I’ve observed Merkle’s emergence as a legitimate force in the agency world – and watched prominent industry insiders join its ranks. It became increasingly clear that there was something powerful going on there that I wanted to learn more about,” said McLaren. “I am impressed by Merkle’s unique ability to tap into vast data resources, learn from it, and use it to create more valuable, timely, and relevant interactions with customers over time. I am excited to join the team that can address the challenges of modern marketers by delivering the integrated, data-driven solutions they desperately need.”
McLaren is the latest in a series of high-visibility hires that Merkle has announced as it continues to build a bench of visionary senior executives with deep industry experience on a global scale. Over the past two years, the agency’s long-tenured leadership team has been steadily augmented with seasoned C-level talent coming from giants like Accenture, Havas, iCrossing, Omnicom, Razorfish, Rocket Fuel, Young & Rubicam, eBay Enterprise, Unisys, and Sapient/Nitro.