Merkle Releases its 2012 Year in Review Summary
Reports record growth in key areas, including digital and global expansion
COLUMBIA, Md. -- February 11, 2013
Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), a leading customer relationship marketing (CRM)
firm and the nation’s largest privately held agency, today released its annual
Year in Review for 2012. Once again, Merkle experienced significant year over
year growth and exceeded fourth quarter expectations. Of note, Merkle recorded
substantial growth within its digital services, a 96% increase year over year,
which can be attributed to the build-out of multiple digital touchpoints.
Merkle also saw considerable growth among its industry-aligned vertical teams,
including a 38% increase for its insurance and wealth management practice and
20% in both media & entertainment and specialty retail.
Corporate Strategy and Expansion: “With the marketing landscape evolving at an
increasingly rapid pace, Merkle sees three key trends that are driving change
in the ways brands market to customers: ‘big data,’ digital media and customer
centricity,” according to David Williams, chairman and CEO for Merkle.
Recognizing these trends, Merkle orchestrated a systematic approach to
creating more meaningful relationships with consumers. Merkle launched its
“connected CRM” strategy in 2012 to allow marketers to identify, serve and
retain customers based on their value. Connected CRM brings together a robust
customer marketing platform and analytical skills to enable integrated
customer-centric marketing at scale. Throughout the year, the connected CRM
approach gained momentum in the industry as it mapped out a clear strategy to
enable brands to more effectively engage with their customers.
Over the last several years, Merkle has been at the forefront of the digital
marketing movement. This has prompted the company to accelerate its digital
data and media services offering through a number of key acquisitions. In
2012, Merkle acquired New York-based Social Amp, a recognized authority in
Facebook Open Graph marketing; San Francisco-based 5th Finger, a leading
technology-enabled mobile solutions provider, offering responsive web design;
and New York-based Brilig, a leading digital data exchange for online
advertising. These acquisitions support Merkle’s ongoing strategy to expand
its big data capabilities and to further strengthen its connected CRM approach
through offline and digital touchpoints.
As Merkle’s client base is becoming increasingly global, the company has
continued its ongoing expansion into international markets. Merkle acquired
additional space and will open a new global delivery center in China in 2013.
With the addition of this new operation, Merkle expects to have 300+ people in
China by the year end. Rapid employee growth in China demonstrates the
company’s continued build-out of global analytical and marketing technology
capabilities for U.S. multi-national marketers. Merkle’s global marketing
expertise in aiding our multi-national clients has led to expansion into the
BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets.
Client Activity: In 2012, Merkle added to its already diverse customer
portfolio. New clients include Lexmark, WellPoint, Nespresso, Safeway, Cross
Country Home Services, Electronic Arts, USAA, AAA, Citigroup, 1-800 Flowers,
Kimpton Hotels, Cedar Fair Entertainment, Gerber Life Insurance, Highmark and
Comcast to name a few.
Capabilities & Industry Expansion: As Merkle continues to deliver a
comprehensive connected CRM solution to help clients maximize the value of
their customer portfolios, it has further enhanced its capabilities in several
*Merkle launched the Management Consulting Group, a connected CRM
consulting practice, which helps companies to assess their CRM readiness
across six key domains and build a roadmap for implementation. The
Management Consulting Group’s mission is to help client organizations put
CRM into practice with their customers, as well as establish long-standing
relationships with clients. It will do this through two key practice
areas: customer business strategies and marketing and channel management.
*Merkle launched IMPAQT Trading, a media solution suite that applies the
targeting and measurement practices of traditional direct marketing to
execute targeted display, video, mobile and social media advertising.
IMPAQT Trading offers a data-driven performance media solution that
optimizes digital spend and results. The proprietary platform was
developed to understand, influence and measure consumer behavior through
*Merkle has continued its industry focus across the enterprise expanding
into 8 industry practices (insurance and wealth management, nonprofit,
specialty retail, financial services, life sciences, retail consumer
goods, and media and entertainment). Merkle’s industry expertise has
proven to be a core strength and differentiator in the market. Most
recently, Merkle launched a Technology/B2B practice, which broadens the
reach of the company’s industry expertise.
Talent: The company added over 140 employees and grew to 1,700 employees in
2012, operating in 12 locations worldwide and adding industry-leading talent
across its capabilities and industry practices. Rounding out the board of
directors, Merkle added Robert Frerichs, industry leader in the consulting
space, to the board. Frerichs recently retired from Accenture after holding
executive level posts for the last 35 years.
“Merkle’s 2012 growth strategy focused on making major investments in the
build-out of our multi-channel solutions, specifically through the acquisition
of several leading digital solutions providers,” said Williams. “In addition
to continued exploration of acquisition opportunities, our organic growth
strategy for 2013 is focused on imparting the merits of the connected CRM
philosophy, and includes a sustained emphasis on building relationships,
maximizing customer value, and delivering on our commitments to our clients.”
Merkle, a customer relationship marketing (CRM) firm, is the nation’s largest
privately-held agency. For more than 20 years, Fortune 1000 companies and
leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the
value of their customer portfolios. By combining a complete range of
marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines, Merkle works with
clients to design, execute and evaluate connected CRM programs. With more than
1,700 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered near
Baltimore in Columbia, Maryland with additional offices in Boston; Denver;
Little Rock; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Francisco;
Hagerstown, MD and Shanghai. For more information, contact Merkle at
1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.
Sarah Piccirilli, 443-542-4288
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