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In-housing a Complex Media Organization within a Retailer

An all-new revenue stream is brought home thanks to a team of industry leaders and an innovative approach to staffing.


This leading brand sought to build a media organization with Merkle as their agency partner, with the eventual goal of in-housing the team. Some of the universal challenges facing this client and any organization looking to in-house include:

  • Organizational Design: building out the organization, its processes, ways of working and collaboration models.
  • Creating a vibrant culture: developing an agency culture within the in-house environment, ensuring the culture is representative of both the client and agency organizations.
  • Building a highly proficient team: encouraging innovation, thought leadership, and the sharing of best practices.


We built a purposeful onboarding plan for the team members with integration between the client and Merkle at its core. This included building out all processes, tools, and future planning with both the client’s roadmap and Merkle’s industry knowledge in mind. Making this happen also required the added complexity of working with and negotiating with three activation platforms: 4C, DV360 and TTD; as well as leading negotiations and management of 200+ publishers that made up the retailer’s off-site network.

We also integrated with three other agency partners outside of Dentsu Aegis Network to ensure a seamless experience for our clients, their vendors and of course, the end shopper.

Merkle answered vendor and agency RFPs on behalf of the retail client and developed people-based media plans taking advantage of the retailer’s first-party data; optimized campaigns to reach vendor and retailer goals; and reported back on a campaign and program basis.



Revenue generated over a 12-month period


Campaigns activated over a 12-month period


Campaign automation tools built and provided to the retailer


Publisher negotiations


Of staff re-badged and in-housed to retailer


Attrition rate for remaining Merkle staff not in-housed

Keys to success

  • A team of industry leaders from across client success, media activation and planning, media ad ops and trafficking, media analytics, audience strategy, and technology.
  • Close collaboration and a build-and-return staffing model to transition all processes, tools, and technology to the client once they were ready for the final phase of the engagement.
  • Building a high-functioning team of 60+ people from multiple service lines and embedding them within the client’s office five-days a week for four years.

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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