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Merkle unveils Experience & Commerce practice to target ‘next-generation loyalty’ for brands 

Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has formally unveiled its global Experience & Commerce practice and named the leadership team spearheading the agency’s services. 

The announcement completes a multi-year strategy and investment plan that brought together agencies from around the world – including blue-infinity and eCommera in Europe, Bluecom in Asia, Davanti in New Zealand, and DEG and LiveArea in North America – to transform Merkle’s customer experience capabilities and offer brands a platform for global scale. 

As part of this unveiling, Merkle has appointed Michael McLaren as global Experience & Commerce lead. The announcement comes after Pete Stein, who previously served in this role, was named President, Merkle Americas. McLaren, who has been leading Merkle’s B2B practice area since 2016, will continue to serve as global CEO of Merkle B2B. Jim Butler, formerly president at LiveArea, has been named Experience & Commerce lead for Merkle Americas. McLaren and Butler will work closely with the Experience & Commerce global team of regional CXM experts, including Martin Bochineck in EMEA and Patrick Deloy in APAC. Paul Lynch, head of experience and commerce UK, leads the UK cluster, comprised of 500+ experts across service centres in the UK, Bulgaria, and Pune, India. 

Merkle’s Experience & Commerce practice is a global team of more than 2,500 experts across CX, technology, commerce, digital messaging, loyalty and promotions, supported by 14,000 technologists, strategists, and analysts around the world. 

“In a world where options are relatively similar in terms of convenience, brands must find new ways to connect with consumers seamlessly and frictionlessly, and to keep up with rapidly changing consumer expectations,” said Michael Komasinski, global CEO, Merkle. “With our standout technology expertise, scale, and enterprise integration, the team creates experiences that enable brands to demonstrate their value and  develop long-term relationships with consumers.” 

McLaren said of his appointment: “As I step into the role as Experience & Commerce practice lead, the goal is to hone and scale our solutions and make this practice area the go-to provider in the  marketplace for brands seeking to provide unparalleled customer experiences. As one integrated team, we will continue our charter to support Merkle’s strategy of providing world-class, turnkey experience and commerce solutions in the markets we serve, both domestically and worldwide.” 

“Brands, retailers, and advertisers are constantly trying to keep up with rapidly evolving consumer behaviors and expectations,” said Butler. “At Merkle, we understand that there is no single strategy or one-size-fits-all approach for keeping pace with change. Success requires the right combination of platforms, partnerships, integrations, data, and content strategies. To that end, the Experience & Commerce practice will create personalised solutions and experiences tailored to the individual needs of consumers, while also helping brands evolve their internal structures and service design to empower and transform businesses.” 

Lynch added: “Our collective vision is to create the next generation of customer experience, building the ultimate connected experience for consumers. The integration of the teams brings us one step closer to making that vision a reality. Together we can deliver efficient, rich customer experiences at scale, helping our brands to connect with their customers.”