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David Williams

Chairman & CEO
David Williams

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 5,500 employees in locations in the United States, EMEA, and APAC and is one of the leading agencies in the US for digital, CRM/data, and search. In September 2016, Merkle joined the Dentsu Aegis Network, which acquired a majority stake in the agency, and David now sits on its Executive Committee.

Under David’s leadership, Merkle has sustained double-digit annual growth over the last 25 years and is the only agency that has been recognized by Forrester Research across every aspect of the customer journey: customer database and engagement, search marketing, and loyalty solutions. In 2017, Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 9th largest CRM/Direct Marketing agency globally, the 5th largest US search agency, 13th largest US digital agency, and number 15 of the world's top 50 agencies of any discipline. 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 is the author of the book, Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy, which was published in 2014 by Wiley Publishing. In the book, he shares his knowledge and experience, with the intent of helping world-class brands build stronger, more profitable relationships with their customers. He 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.

David served on the board of directors for the Ad Council (2015-2017). He served for 6 years (2006-2011) on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association where he also sat 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.

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.

David's Articles, Blog Posts, Webinars and More

Agencies Shrug As Consulting Firms Swarm The Croisette

Merkle CEO David Williams discusses the role of consultants in the agency world.

6 Discussions Shaping the Future of Media Industry Marketing

6 Discussions Shaping the Future of Media Industry Marketing

Technology advancement has changed the way people consume content. Innovation is constant and the old media and entertainment business models are facing a seismic shift. There are new ways for advertisers to reach viewers — opening a world of possibilities. We are discovering OTT’s new role into the ecosystem as networks are thrust into developing one-to-one relationships with their viewers. They’re also tackling how to own their own data, while the blurry role of agencies, advertisers, and publishers is taking on a new meaning.

Blog We suggest...

Merkle Joins the Dentsu Aegis Network

Today, we announced that Merkle has accepted a majority investment from the Dentsu Aegis Network. Becoming a part of the Dentsu Aegis Network further strengthens our position and allows us to accelerate our goal of being a world-class performance marketing agency.
Topics: About Us
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Merkle Buys London's DBG, Growing U.K. Footprint

Data and performance marketing consultancy Merkle is ahead of schedule. It has said it expected to spend $1 billion on acquistions over five years, by April 2015. The firm will announce Tuesday its most recent acquisition of London performance marketing firm DBG.
Topics: About Us