30 Most Valuable Companies to Watch 2020

Merkle: A leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency

Merkle: A leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency

Having the right marketing tools on hand can increase efficiency, productivity, and performance. Sure, there are tools you can dig up for free if you know where to look. But hiring a marketing agency gives you access to premium-level services, software, and analytical data reports without charge.

For over 30 years, Fortune 1,000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with the company to build and maximize the value of their customer portfolios. Merkle is a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency. It works with world-class brands like Dell, T-Mobile, Samsung, GEICO, Regions, Kimberly-Clark, AARP, Lilly, Sanofi, NBC Universal, DIRECTV, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and many others to build and execute customer-centric business strategies. With more than 9,600 smart, dedicated people in more than 50 offices around the world, Merkle is still growing at a rate that outpaces the market, with 2019 net revenue of $1.1 billion.

Performance marketing focuses on measurable outcomes. It is judged based on campaign results, the value of your customer relationships, and loyalty earned against your marketing investment. A customer-focused approach that employs individualized targeting and personalized messaging is a key driver of performance. And a people-based marketing strategy takes that personalization to another level, delivering truly unique and tailored customer experiences in real time.

Merkle helps brands make the people-based marketing transformation. Using a combination of first- and third-party data, it creates, targets, and measures the highly customized customer experiences that not only drive immediate results in the form of today’s response and conversion, but also build tomorrow’s increased loyalty and customer value.

Merkle applies an industry-focused methodology to the solutions they provide, from customer strategy consulting, to audience and experience planning, to experience design and creation, to performance media and site execution. At the heart of these solutions is Merkle’s deep heritage in the data, analytics, and technology capabilities that enable them.

What Merkle thinks

One of the most significant shifts in the business landscape over recent years has been the move to in-house marketing – bringing agency services inside the organization. In-housing can be an empowering, positive move that enables greater speed, more agility, and better decision-making.

However, it brings its own set of significant challenges. The myriad organizational and resourcing hurdles, business and financial risks, and other roadblocks to building sustained excellence often hinder the full potential of in-house agencies.

Solutions and Services

Performance media: Advertising has changed. Traditional media uses a cross-your-fingers approach to reaching people that’s nearly impossible to measure. But now, you can reach the people you want directly — and audience planning is how you do that.

Merkle flipped the paradigm from a content-first approach — beginning with mastering your audience, then the channel, and then the right content.

It all starts with your customer data. What you know about the people that buy from you is the insight you need to reach the prospects you want. By building response models and generating identity-based segments, the company helps you connect with your ideal customers.

Enterprise Technology: Customer data powers your business. It enables your organization to know, service, and understand your customers so you can meet their needs however they engage. Brands that have taken the first steps by moving their data to the cloud may not yet see the benefits they were promised. To get there, you need to change the way you work. This means building an enterprise data solution and the processes that allow for scale, data governance, and business agility. One that moves with velocity and keeps pace with the ever-changing market. Your business outcomes become Merkle’s business outcomes. Merkle partners with you to build a foundation of data and identity to fuel your tech stack and enable the total customer experience. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions: For marketers, all roads lead back to CRM — using what you know about people to build lasting relationships. Your customers give you their data and expect you to use it to their advantage and on their terms. In the new era of relationships, the stakes have never been higher for brands — with customer experience ruling an integrated, omni-channel world.

Challenges related to CRM require the synergy of many moving parts. Merkle brings a deep heritage in data, strategy, analytics, creative, tech, and channel disciplines. By layering high-powered, CRM cloud platforms, it activates and evolves your customer strategy and executes the people-based marketing programs that drive growth and maturity.

Helping in the critical time: As the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grow, it wants to take a moment to assure you of a few things:

First, the experience of working with the Merkle team and systems will remain consistent and uninterrupted. Second, they are already looking ahead. Merkle strategists and experts from across the business are working diligently to guide brands through this challenging time – including what marketers should be thinking about now, in the near term, and beyond to not only weather this storm, but also to prepare for continued momentum and growth in its new reality.

Meet Craig Dempster, Global CEO & President

Craig has been a member of the Merkle executive team for more than a decade. In his role as President, Merkle Americas, he oversees all aspects of Merkle’s North American operation, including sales, account management, solutions, services, and marketing. He is responsible for driving the P&L for Merkle Americas, representing more than 80% of the agency’s revenue and employee base. His team of more than 4,000 is charged with the core goal of delivering exceptional value for clients across the full spectrum of people-based marketing competencies, including performance media, customer experience, CRM, loyalty, and enterprise technology services.

“Merkle partners with you to build a foundation of data and identity to fuel your tech stack and enable the total customer experience.” 

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