The customer relationship marketing (CRM) firm, Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), which is the nation’s largest privately-held agency, announces the introduction of Merkle Connect, a social CRM agency. Merkle has been at the forefront of social media marketing over the last several years. This has led the company to take a bold step toward advancing its strategic initiative to integrate social media to help meet its clients’ CRM objectives.
Merkle Connect operates with the goals of bringing clarity to the often-noisy social landscape; developing social measurement insights to inform decision making; and creating dialog which facilitates engagement between consumers and the brands with which they interact. The agency focuses upon delivering value across a framework of core elements that drive performance in social CRM: connect, activate, evaluate and integrate. The process begins with gaining an understanding of consumer connections to optimize social audience growth. Then, by segmenting their social audience, Merkle Connect helps marketers develop a dialog to activate and sustain consumer engagement. Continuous measurement at the fan level helps drive a more informed and agile social relationship. From this, social behavior is connected with consumer insights to develop an integrated, consumer-focused social strategy.
Merkle’s recent point-of-view paper, Merkle Connect – a Social CRM Agency, discusses how the convergence of long-standing customer-centricity principles and ever-evolving digital technology is changing the way we look at CRM.
“As Merkle has become more involved with delivering CRM solutions that incorporate a social media strategy, it is clear that there is demand for an agency-style relationship for clients who wish to take a unique and effective approach to marketing in this space,” said Rich Fleck, Vice President and General Manager of Merkle Connect. “The formation of Merkle Connect fills that demand. Our goal is to help clients move away from using social as a mass media – and start targeting messaging based on how their social audience behaves. We bring a deep-rooted foundation in strategic consulting, data-driven analytics and creative, together with digital media expertise, to help our clients align social marketing strategies with consumer behaviors.”
Merkle EVP and chief marketing officer, Craig Dempster, added, “The establishment of Merkle Connect as a dedicated social CRM agency dovetails with our overarching digital strategy – developing strong capabilities in major online media, such as search, display, mobile, email and, of course, social. Merkle Connect is one of a number of achievements we have made toward this goal, including last year’s launch of Merkle’s mobile practice and display trading desk capability; the capital investment by Silicon Valley-based investment firm, Technology Crossover Ventures; the recent appointment of digital marketing thought leader, Jim Warner, to Merkle’s board of directors; and the acquisition of search marketing firm, IMPAQT. These steps are all representative of our commitment to increase Merkle’s digital footprint.”