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Dentsu Aegis Network appoints Ken Hong to lead China CRM businesses

May 27, 2020
Columbia, MD

Today, Dentsu Aegis Network China announces that Ken Hong has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer, across the CRM line of business reporting jointly to Michelle Lau, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network China and Zhengda "Z" Shen, APAC CRM CEO and president of Merkle. The CRM line of business in China brings together the leading performance marketing agency, Merkle, and B2B agency, DWA. Merkle China operates from hubs in Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing with over 400 data engineers, performance media specialists and data scientists. The DWA China business provides specialist media and marketing services for B2B companies and operates from Beijing, with Leon Liu as Managing Director. 

Ken Hong will lead the group focus on creating tech implementation, customer and digital transformation across AdTech, MarTech, commerce operations, CRM and loyalty platforms, supported by strong data and analytics.  Zhengda “Z” Shen, APAC CRM CEO and president of Merkle said: “Ken has been a great leader and made significant impact on our China business since he joined Merkle a year ago, I’m extremely excited about his newly expanded role and confident in his ability to lead our CRM line of business, a critical pillar of Dentsu's growth strategy in China.”

Michelle Lau, Dentsu Aegis Network China CEO said: “I’m delighted to confirm Ken as the lead for our CRM business in China.  His diverse background is well placed to support Merkle and DWA’s continued growth. With executive leadership now established across our three lines of business (creative, media and CRM), we have moved ahead in our journey to make us simpler to navigate.  This new structure is designed so we are more closely built around client needs—to win, keep and grow their best customers—by being data-driven, tech-enabled and ideas-led.”

Ken Hong joined Merkle China in 2019, first as Growth Officer and then as Managing Director, leading Merkle’s local business.  Hong has spent the last seven years with Sina Weibo, one of the largest social media platforms in China with over 500 million Monthly Active Users. Over the years, Ken has led the platform’s commercial operations and helped grow its annual advertising revenue from US$65 million to over US$1.5 billion. More recently, he was leading the Corporate Strategy team for the Sina Group.

Prior to moving to the tech platform side, Hong spent eight years with digital marketing agencies including Razorfish and Digitas. He started his agency life from the data analytics track, then became the VP of Strategy and Analytics for Razorfish Seattle, before moving to China and becoming the Managing Director for both Razorfish and Digitas China.

Speaking about his appointment, Ken Hong, CEO CRM China, said: “2020 has been a year of major disruption for marketing, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has  heightened focus on first-party data and the need for brands to adjust their marketing strategies to deliver the total customer experience – from marketing to sales to service.  Our new structure helps us to bring a sharper focus around our world-class services and integrated solutions. I’m looking forward to working closely with Michelle and the team here to ensure we are better able to help our clients realize long-term, sustainable growth in China.”

‑ ENDS ‑

For further information contact:
Lily Li
Marketing Head of Merkle China
Email: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands: Carat, dentsu, dentsumcgarrybowen, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope, and Vizeum, and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital, and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 42,000 dedicated specialists. www.dentsuaegisnetwork.com

About Merkle

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,000+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 21 additional offices in the US and 29 offices in EMEA and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.

With 400+ employees, Merkle China is headquartered in Shanghai, with 2 additional offices in Beijing and Nanjing. For more information, please contact Merkle China at +86 21 2030 8000 or visit www.merklechina.cn.

About DWA | Merkle

DWA | Merkle is a global media and marketing agency for B2B companies. With its feet in media and its head in data and analytics, DWA has a fascination with the art and science of engaging people based on data-driven approach to achieve people-based marketing. At the intersection of media, technology and strategic marketing, DWA operates from 11 offices around the world covering North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. DWA offers a range of services such as B2B strategy, paid search marketing, programmatic media, social media, traditional media, marketing automation, omni-channel marketing, account-based marketing and content marketing consulting for the world's best B2B technology companies. In 2019 Adweek named DWA to its list of fastest-growing agencies. The agency was also one of B2B Marketing’s top 10 international marcomms agencies. For more about DWA, visit www.dwamedia.com

About Merkle

Merkle is a leading data-driven customer experience management company that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The company’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,600+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the US, EMEA, and APAC. In 2016, the company joined the Dentsu Aegis Network. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.

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