The customer relationship marketing (CRM) firm, Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), which is the nation’s largest privately-held agency, announced the hiring of Patrick Hounsell as chief digital officer. In this newly established role, Hounsell will lead Merkle’s digital strategy practice, overseeing the operations of the company’s digital marketing solutions, including social, display, search, mobile and email. This appointment supports Merkle’s ongoing commitment to being the premier CRM agency in the digital space.
Hounsell joins Merkle with more than 15 years of digital media and marketing experience, most recently leading Razorfish’s media, search and social business as senior vice president and general manager of Razorfish’s National Media. During his ten-year span and several senior management roles with Razorfish, Hounsell was instrumental in the development of the company’s search marketing discipline, as well as its social media practice. Hounsell has a rich history in developing and implementing digital media and management strategies for fortune 100 companies and nonprofits, leading cross-functional teams in digital strategy, account management, analytics, media planning and media operations.
“I believe that tremendous opportunity is found where information, analytics and technology intersect with digital media and channels,” said Hounsell. “I am incredibly excited to be joining the talented team at Merkle. Their existing platform, data assets and digital capabilities – in conjunction with those we will build and buy – will enable the leading brands that Merkle serves to achieve truly customer-centric, integrated marketing. Simply put, we want Merkle to be known as the customer relationship marketing agency with killer digital capabilities.”
Merkle chairman and chief executive officer, David Williams said, “In a relatively short period of time, Merkle has been able to build market-leading digital capabilities, with the acquisition of search marketing firm, IMPAQT; the launch of social CRM agency, Merkle Connect; and the introduction of a display trading desk and mobile practice. We are excited to add a talented, multi-disciplined leader to run these businesses and continue to scale them. With his vast experience in digital media – coupled with a client-centric approach – Patrick is a natural choice to lead Merkle into the future of digital CRM. His personality and proven track record of success make him a strong fit with Merkle’s culture of passion and commitment.”