Access to Merkle Thought Leadership
Merkle thought leaders are “wicked smart,” and they have the talent to impart their wisdom effectively to internal and external audiences, as evidenced by their vast experience delivering customized keynote addresses and topical sessions for company- and industry-sponsored events, seminars and webinars.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
David Williams is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merkle Inc. He acquired Merkle in 1988 and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 1700 employees in locations in the United States, China and United Kingdom, and is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) agency.
Under David’s leadership, Merkle has sustained 25% annual growth over the last 20 years and was recognized as a market leader by Forrester Research in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In 2013, Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 22nd largest agency of any discipline worldwide and the 7th largest CRM/Direct agency in the U.S. Also in 2012, Merkle was named to the “Ten Agencies to Watch” list in Advertising Age’s A-List Issue. David was recognized by Winning Workplaces and Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Best Bosses of 2006, and was the 2007 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
David served for 6 years (2006-2011) on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association where he also served on its Executive Committee. He also served for 3 years (2010-2013) as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Howard County General Hospital: A Member of John Hopkins Medicine. David is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written numerous articles and white papers about topics such as Customer Relationship Marketing, Database Marketing and Analytics, Digital Media and Marketing Technology.
He began his career at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment bank, and holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.
EVP, CMO and Customer Experience Group Leader
Craig’s responsibilities are three-fold: marketing, corporate development and management of Merkle’s customer experience business unit. In this role, Craig is charged with developing the enterprise marketing strategy and overseeing the team that manages all of Merkle’s marketing activities, encompassing demand generation, industry marketing, product marketing and marketing communications functions that include public relations, events and advertising. He also leads Merkle’s corporate development ventures, including the evaluation of acquisition opportunities, as well as championing the company's innovation initiatives, in which new capabilities are incubated and developed. Additionally, Craig manages the customer experience group, a business unit comprised of digital media capabilities including social, search, display, email and mobile, as well as creative and communication services which encompass experience design, communications consulting, and direct/digital marketing studio and production.
Previously, Craig was corporate vice president of Merkle’s Content Solutions Group and led a team that further established Merkle’s proprietary data solutions and offerings. He has also served as co-leader of the company’s Quantitative Solutions Group, a core pillar of Merkle’s strategy.
Prior to joining Merkle in 2006, Craig had a long career at Metromail, and then Experian (which acquired Metromail in the late 1990s). Among his positions there were vice president of data licensing, director of market development, director of interactive marketing, and various sales management positions. Craig joined Merkle after serving as senior vice president of sales and account management for Experian Marketing Services.
Craig holds a political science degree from Hofstra University.
Vice President, Quantitative Solutions Group
Ron has more than 14 years of experience in quantitative analytics and database marketing. At Merkle, Ron has led strategic engagements with clients like Dell and NIKE. Ron’s area of focus is developing analytically-based strategies for improving marketing performance. Prior to joining Merkle, Ron held positions at Hostway, a leading web hosting company for small businesses, InfoWorks, a member of Rapp Collins Worldwide, and Market Knowledge, now part of Equifax. Ron holds a Master of Science in Applied Math from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Senior Vice President, Technology Solutions Group
Joe has been in the data processing industry since 1984. Joe’s last 15 years have been in specializing international and business to business database and customer relationship marketing (CRM) capabilities for Fortune 500 companies. He has overseen the creation of over 30 CRM databases in the last 11 years. He has a solid industry reputation for delivering these databases cost-effectively, on budget and on time. Joe has written white papers on b-to-b marketing and international database best practices and is considered an expert at understanding strengths and weakness of many different approaches.
Executive Vice President, Vertical Markets
John leads Merkle’s industry practices in Insurance and Wealth Management, Life Sciences, and Travel, Media, and Entertainment. John has more than 16 years of agency, management consulting, and industry-side experience in digital media, marketing strategy, technology, and analytics. John has been a part of the senior management team since 2008 and currently serves on Merkle’s executive committee.
Prior to joining Merkle, John played executive roles in marketing, distribution and technology in Liberty Mutual’s Personal Markets division. He was previously a senior manager in CapGemini’s Financial Services consulting practice. John has also held agency management positions with Razorfish and Rapp Collins Worldwide. Some of John’s most significant clients have included MetLife, Travelers, WellPoint, American Express, US Bank, GlaxoSmithkline, and AARP.
John is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and lives in Wellesley, MA.
Executive Vice President, Vertical Markets
Will leads Merkle's vertical market practices for Retail Banking, Consumer Finance, and Non-Profit. He is responsible for delivery of services to existing clients, growth and profitability of the business, and the continued application of Merkle's core value proposition to the challenges and opportunities of these industries. Will has more than 16 years experience in the delivery of digital agency services, marketing technology, and management consulting. Joining in 2008, Will is a member of the senior management team, leads the New York office, and serves on Merkle's executive committee.
Before joining Merkle, Will spent five years in senior leadership roles in the Asia Pacific for Acxiom Corporation, leading growth and development for China, Australia and New Zealand, and establishing offices in Singapore. Will worked with innovative global brands in the region to advance the development of customer driven business strategies, and to integrate Acxiom's local acquisitions into an organized regional footprint. Prior to that Will held various roles with Acxiom in the US.
Will holds a BS in international economics from Louisiana State University.
Vice President, Digital Analytics Practice
Peter Vandre currently leads Merkle’s digital analytics group. During his career at Merkle, Peter built Merkle’s digital analytics practice and led the development of Merkle’s digital data integration product. Additionally, he has led analytical engagements with such clients as Dell, Samsung, NIKE, DIRECTV, GEICO, Urban Outfitters, Disney, and others. He has extensive experience in CRM strategy and measurement and has recently been recognized for his work in customer engagement modeling and integrated measurement.
Peter has spent the last 7 years at Merkle and has more than 13 years of consulting, analytics, and strategic marketing experience. He earned an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Vice President & General Manager, Digital Media
Megan joined Merkle in November 2010 to develop and launch the Merkle trading desk. As vice president and general manger of the digital media group, she has built an industry-leading team, delivering targeted media programs, insights and measurement to leading brands such as GEICO, Motorola Mobility, and Nespresso. In her role, Megan is responsible for sales, service, partnerships, product development and the growth and profitability of the digital media practice.
Prior to joining Merkle, Megan led the Professional Services team at the Right Media Exchange, a Yahoo Company. She was responsible for Right Media’s Demand Side Platform (DSP) relationships including brands such as P&G, as well as consulting services for the Agency Trading desks. Previously, she led the publisher services team which included the deployment and integration of Yahoo APAC & EU on to the Right Media platform.
Megan received a Master’s of E-Commerce from Bond University, in Queensland, Australia. She also holds a BA from University of San Diego where she majored in Business Administration and Information Systems. She is a member of Step Up Women’s Network, which bridges communities of professional women and underserved teen girls through mentorship, networking and advancement. Megan frequently speaks at industry events, focusing on topics such as display technology eco-system; the agency perspective evolution; the convergence of Search/Display/Mobile/Social; and measurement & attribution.
Vice President and Marketing Mix Optimization Lead
Scott has more than 10 years of experience developing and implementing analytical solutions into marketing programs for many different companies, including GEICO, AEGON, MBNA, Fidelity, DirectTV, Eli Lilly, GSK, and Dell. Prior to joining Merkle, Scott worked for American Express as a statistician and modeler and taught graduate students statistical methods and experimental design at Cornell University. Scott has dual BS degrees in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Statistics from The University of Rochester, a MS degree in Statistics from Cornell University, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
Scott has been honored with several awards within Merkle, including The “Merkled” Award (Employee of the Year), Database Marketing Excellence, Outstanding Achievement, and the Chairman’s Award, which is the highest recognition within Merkle. Scott’s team also won the NCDM Excellence Award in the Modeling and Analytics Area with GEICO in 2005. Additionally, Scott has presented numerous times at the NCDM and DM Days, and has published 3 white papers for Merkle since 2008.
VP, Client Leadership Group, Life Sciences
Deb has more than 15 years of experience working with FT500 companies to drive growth through innovative customer relationship strategies. Deb is responsible for healthcare client management, strategy and solution integration and has significant experience working with top pharmaceuticals and biotechs on professional and consumer marketing with companies such as Merck, Boehringer-Inglelheim, Sanofi-Aventis, Shire, Abbott, Roche Diagnostics, Medco Health, Aetna, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer.
Prior to joining Merkle, Deb was a Managing Partner leading Fair Isaac’s Pharmaceutical Marketing Practice where she oversaw strategy, execution, sales and client management for Consumer and Physician direct marketing programs. Deb has an Ed.M. in human cognitive development and educational media from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. from University of Massachusetts.
VP, Client Leadership Group, LIfe Sciences
Kent has been consulting in healthcare for more than 10 years in the areas of healthcare provider segmentation, brand channel integration, CRM, marketing analytics and direct-to-consumer. Kent is published extensively in a variety of journals including, Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, Formulary, the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, and the Journal of Database Marketing. Kent is recognized as an expert in the area of factors influencing physician prescribing, and was the author of the chapter on Prescribing Behavior in Social and Behavioral Aspects of Pharmaceutical Care, 2nd Edition, released in March, 2009.
Kent has worked with a number of clients in the healthcare vertical including Sanofi Aventis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Genetech, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble.
Kent has a BS from the University of Guelph, an MS from the University of Saskatchewan, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Strategy and Policy from Dalhousie University. His PhD dissertation focused on the influence of pharmaceutical marketing strategy on physician prescribing behavior. Additionally, he holds the position of Adjunct Professor, College of Pharmacy, Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a former Professor of Marketing at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and holds the designation of Chartered Chemist.