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Our History

A Foundation of Passion and Experience


Merkle’s business model has evolved over the years, allowing us to become one of the world’s premier CRM agencies. Throughout, one thing has remained constant: our dedication to providing our clients with world-class solutions for maximising the value of their customer portfolios. 

From the days when one-to-one marketing was limited to direct mail, telemarketing, and email, we have always understood the value of data, analytics, and technology in informing customer engagement. As the market evolved, Merkle has invested globally in the technology and digital media capabilities that have kept us at the forefront of our industry. In fact, we are the only agency that has been recognised by Forrester across every aspect of the customer lifecycle.

It all started when a small data processing company was purchased by a young visionary with big dreams of building a world-class service organisation ...

In 1988, Merkle was acquired by a young entrepreneur named David Williams. At the age of 25, Williams already possessed a visionary leadership style; but even he never could have foreseen what technology had in store for the marketplace and for Merkle, which evolved into one of the leading performance marketing companies in the world.

Growth and expansion have always been watchwords — not only for Merkle’s own business ambitions, but even more importantly in terms of our clients. We have reached our market-leading status through years of tenacious focus on organic growth, revered talent acquisition, and smart corporate acquisitions.

Merkle has earned a reputation as a valued partner to our clients by assembling an elite team of experts who share a passion for achieving greatness. Merkle has convened the most experienced multidisciplinary marketing experts in the country, who strive to achieve their best work in areas of strategic consulting, database services, digital media, experience creation, analytical services, and technology.

In addition to our human assets, Merkle has made a series of strategic acquisitions over the last 29 years, from software and technology providers to data and analytic companies to creative agencies and mailing services. These assets have repeatedly built upon Merkle’s core strengths.




Merkle, which joined Dentsu in 2016, has now grown to be one of the world’s leading CRM and performance marketing agencies. Companies that have come to rely on Merkle’s passion and expertise to drive results include many household names such as GEICO, Dell, Microsoft, Google, HBO, AARP, Kimberly-Clark, Under Armour, Nespresso, and American Heart Association. We are proud of the industry position we have earned, with Advertising Age 2017 Agency Report rankings in the following categories:


4th largest CRM Agency in US

4th largest CRM Agency Worldwide

5th largest US Search Agency

12th largest US Digital Agency Network in US 

Top US Agencies from All Disciplines: Number 12

Top 25 US Mobile Agencies: Number 10

Top 50 US Healthcare Agencies: Number 19


We are constantly evolving Merkle's value proposition and expanding our core competencies in anticipation of marketplace changes. Our company has experienced double-digit annual growth over the past three decades, with 2016 revenue of $560 million. With more than 9,600 employees worldwide, we opened our Columbia headquarters campus in 2008, now complemented by 21 additional offices in the US and 21 offices in EMEA and APAC.



In Our Company