Merkle Acquires CognitiveDATA
May 18, 2009 — Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing database marketing agencies, announced the acquisition of Little Rock, Ark.-based CognitiveDATA, a marketing technology company with award-winning, data quality innovations that help recognized retailers, insurance providers, nonprofits and financial services organizations ensure the accuracy of mail files and eliminate waste in their direct mail programs.
Under the agreement, CognitiveDATA will remain a separate brand and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Merkle, continuing to go-to-market through both end-user clients and marketing service providers. Both companies are privately held and financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Both companies have established strong client bases and experienced steady growth in the past several years. Merkle is a top-25 ranked national marketing services agency based on revenue, according to an April 2009 report in Advertising Age magazine. CognitiveDATA, which ended 2008 with $19 million in revenue, has been recognized in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and its impressive growth earned it a mention in the Inc. 500 rankings in both 2007 and 2008.
The acquisition brings about 50 employees from locations in Little Rock, New York and Chicago under Merkle and effectively expands the company’s national footprint. Merkle, headquartered near Baltimore, in Columbia, Maryland, employs about 1,000 in its Boston, Chicago, Denver, Little Rock, Philadelphia, Seattle and Hagerstown, Md. locations.
Merkle and CognitiveDATA first began working together on select business-to-consumer initiatives for major national corporations including DirecTV, GEICO and the Arthritis Foundation starting in 2007. This successful partnership work led to further joint efforts throughout 2008 and eventually resulted in Merkle’s acquisition of CognitiveDATA.
CognitiveDATA President and CEO Rod Ford said, “We are very enthusiastic about Merkle’s acquisition of CognitiveDATA. The purchase allows CognitiveDATA to create greater value for our existing and future clients by providing access to a larger pool of resources, yet will allow us to continue to operate as a separate brand and company. This is extremely positive news for both the company and our clients. Merkle is a perfect fit for CognitiveDATA and we are very excited about the future of our company and the product innovations we have in development.”
Merkle President and CEO David Williams said, “Merkle and CognitiveDATA are a great fit from a technology and a services standpoint, and we have already built a solid foundation in our previous work together as partners. We see CognitiveDATA as a top-tier technology leader in data quality with a known brand and strong reputation. Their technology services and solutions continue to innovate and evolve, enabling national retailers, service providers and nonprofits to follow best practices and save thousands, and in some cases, millions in the execution of direct mail programs. Merkle’s support of CognitiveDATA is a natural progression for both companies, and we look forward to continuing to introduce new data-driven approaches and solutions to a wider group of marketers in the years ahead.”
Founded in 2001, CognitiveDATA is a marketing technology company recognized as a leader in new innovations that improve the quality of customer and marketing data. Companies in the retail, communications, insurance and publishing sectors, as well as associations and nonprofits, benefit from CognitiveDATA’s effective approach to data optimization. CognitiveDATA has been recognized by both Inc. magazine and the Deloitte Fast 500 for its impressive growth, and its data quality technology is an NCDM award winner. The company is headquartered in Little Rock, with offices in New York and Chicago. For more information visit www.cognitivedata.com.
Merkle is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing database marketing agencies. For more than 20 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. By combining a complete range of marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines, Merkle works with clients to design, execute and evaluate Integrated Customer Marketing™ programs. With more than 1,000 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered near Baltimore in Columbia, Maryland with additional offices in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Little Rock, Philadelphia, Seattle and Hagerstown, Md. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.