Merkle acquires Australian marketing technology agency

Latest acquisition of Amicus Digital part of the global agency giant's efforts to build a presence in the Asia-Pacific region

From left: Zhengda Shen, Blaire Cooke, Jessie Mitchell and Simon Ryan
From left: Zhengda Shen, Blaire Cooke, Jessie Mitchell and Simon Ryan

US data and technology agency giant, Merkle, has followed up its launch into Australia earlier this year by acquiring Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist, consultancy, Amicus Digital.

Merkle, which is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), made its debut locally in March when the group took on and rebranded the Columbus data marketing business to Columbus, a Merkle Company. The move saw Columbus’ team of 100 performance, experience and data marketing employees immediate become the frontline for Merkle’s Australian efforts.

The latest acquisition sees Amicus Digital rebranded to Amicus Digital, a Merkle Company. At the helm remains co-founder and current MD, Blair Cooke, while co-founder Jessie Mitchell, stays on as commercial and client services director. Cooke will reporting both to Dentsu’s A/NZ CEO, Simon Ryan, and Merkle APAC president, Zhengda Shen.

Amicus was established three years ago and has offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Its focus is on using data and technology in consumer experience management. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Shen stated Australia is a priority market for Merkle. “On the back of bringing Columbus and DWA into the Merkle family locally, it’s critical we build on this momentum and continue to build out our capabilities to establish a strong local market position,” he said.

Merkle acquired DWA, a B2B digital media and marketing agency based out of San Francisco, last December, picking up skills in programmatic, search, social and demand generation.

“Amicus Digital is one of the few consultancies in Australia that can provide people-based strategy, transformation, technical implementation, support and campaign execution,” Shen continued. “This acquisition provides considerable differentiation for Merkle and DAN in Australia and we look forward to delivering on the opportunities and potential for our clients and partners.”

Ryan said Amicus Digital’s market-leading reputation for expertise across all aspects of Salesforce Marketing Cloud brings an in-demand offering into the group and cited strong cultural and strategic fit across the two businesses.

“Fully backed by the power of the Dentsu Aegis Network and with our clients increasingly looking to their agency partners to provide seamless expertise across multiple communications services, building our capability across data and digital skills is a strategic imperative,” he said.

Cooke, meanwhile, said the sale to Merkle is the next step in achieving the business’ ambitions.

“Merkle is an incredibly impressive business globally, with exciting ambitions for APAC. Jessie and I could not be happier with the cultural alignment we have with the Merkle team,” he added.

Earlier this month, Dentsu appointed Min Lu as its first VP of network development for Merkle Asia-Pacific to spearhead the brand’s business expansion across the region. In this role, she is responsible for adding new capabilities, strengthening market presence and driving acquisition integration and synergies across the DAN network in Asia-Pacific.

Last week, Merkle also launched its Merkle Innovation Cloud 2.0 in the local market, based on Adobe’s Experience Cloud. The new offering is tapping into the software vendor’s Adobe Sensei artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities and is designed to demonstrate how data and technology can be used to personalise customer experiences.

In its announcement, Merkle said MIC 2.0 builds a digital foundation that allows for testable real-time use cases in the lab around how brands create more meaningful interactions with customers.

Dentsu acquired Merkle in 2016 in a deal worth more than US$1 billion.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Michelle O'Keeffe

CEO, Engaging.io

Customer value proposition: Getting the brand promise to your customers right

Throughout my career, I have witnessed a litany of brand names that profess to have a unique customer value proposition (CVP). In reality, however, they’ve had little more than a ‘value proposition’: A simple list of benefits applied to a general audience.

Ric Navarro

Global director of marketing and communications, Norman, Disney & Young

Hi there! Thanks for this interesting article! I love to read about new technology and software that makes our lives easier. I'm looking ...

Julia Summer

Wartsila overhauls Web platforms to create ‘seamless’ brand experience across all devices

Read more

RE: Sales and marketing SLAs, often the choke point isn't the teams but them getting the data into the tools they want to use with the da...

Ed Fry

Why sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever

Read more

Thank you for the good and very helpful information. It is very interesting. I love all the things you share and see your beautiful creat...

รัตนาวดี ภูมิวรรณ

Former eHarmony marketing chief joins telco startup

Read more

Colin Kaepernick, not Mike Kapernick.

thisisw

Zenith's innovation leader: Mid-digital age not benefitting media, brands or consumers

Read more

AGA KHAN HOSPITAL is in need of kidney donors for the sum of 2 crore, Contact us today if you want to sell your kidney for money, and thi...

Sebastian Friedrich

Mindshare gets behind blockchain advertising alliance

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in