Merkle, the nation's largest and fastest growing independent customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency, is using SAS Analytics software to power its marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines. SAS, the leader in business analytics, enables Merkle and its clients to understand consumer needs and assess how each media channel reinforces brands capabilities critical to loyalty and retention.

Merkle helps clients design, execute and evaluate customer marketing programmes.
The agency hosts client CRM systems, building and maintaining the platform and managing information. Using SAS Analytics, Merkle delivers predictive insights that help clients identify high-value as well as at-risk customers. With that information, clients can direct tailored marketing programmes and actively manage customer interactions.
Payback has been significant for Merkle's clients. During the downturn, the company helped limit losses, reductions and attrition. For commercial and non-profit clients alike, controlling costs powered growth. Merkle used SAS Analytics to help one non-profit membership company reduce data costs by 75% – saving millions of dollars each year.
The agency itself thrived by using SAS Analytics to better understand its own customers. In 2010, Merkle saw record double-digit growth across all industries it serves. The agency also used analytical insights to broaden its products and services.
"SAS enables us to maximise our clients' customer portfolios," says David Geisinger, VP of the enterprise technology group at Merkle.
"SAS Analytics is the best all-purpose marketing analytics software. Our employees call SAS a workhorse that handles even the toughest challenges. Less powerful software quickly collapsed under Merkle's heavy data volumes and configuration requirements. SAS keeps going and going – helping us continually innovate, using advanced analytics to improve client marketing results."
With chief marketing officers accountable for returns, executives continually seek new ways to optimise their marketing budgets. Merkle uses SAS Analytics to develop new marketing applications that help clients allocate advertising and marketing dollars where the return is highest. Demand for such applications is growing.
"One of today's biggest macro-level trends is exponential data growth," says Ozgur Dogan, VP of analytics at Merkle.
"SAS helps us determine which data sources clients should select for optimised CRM programs. A breakthrough in the industry, Merkle's Data Source application uses SAS to balance cost and effectiveness measures to produce optimal ROI for data spending.
"This has proven highly effective in lowering client costs while maintaining high response rates. As news about our client successes spread, more companies call us. Using SAS Analytics, we're fully equipped to expand our array of such custom solutions."