Merkle Reviews

Updated August 16, 2015
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2.9
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Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams
David Williams
64 Ratings

Pros
  • Worked with some very smart people who really care about doing a great job (in 34 reviews)

  • Work/life balance: Availability to work from home occasionally really helps with work/life balance (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • poor work life balance leadership are fine (in 17 reviews)

  • Senior management is constantly changing policies, and never really setting clear expectations or boundaries, instead it is left open to interpretation (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

84 Employee Reviews

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  1. Merkle

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Strong culture and management team

    Cons

    Not enough free food

    Advice to Management

    More free food


  2. Helpful (6)

    Senior Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Merkle full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Absolutely none that are worth more than the cons

    Cons

    I was hoping it would get better as time passed but it was more horrible every day. Extremely long hours, virtually no guidance past corporate on boarding, completely lied about job description vs. reality. Very "clicky"...senior management protects people even when blatantly obvious that they are inappropriate and unprofessional. Absolutely no work life balance. If you don't really care to spend time with your family this is the place for you. From the employees to the job itself it was the worst professional experience of my life & I'm no stranger to hard work in my vertical in this industry for almost 20yrs, well respected & dedicated. Best move ever was to leave. No amount if money or WFH benefit was worth that experience.

    Advice to Management

    Lies lies lies right from the start...lied about the travel, lied about the job specs, lied about the state of the account, lied about team dynamics & how helpful everyone was...never was in a position with more back stabbing empty people ever... you really should be ashamed. It was horrible. Really look at your Directors. They're shiny penny's for sure...horrible people...your pharma vertical is a well known hot mess in the industry because the core group are ridiculous people. From when I started to a few months after I left over I counted over 9 people in & out within weeks or months of starting (less then a year) with one suffering from panic attacks - pharma vertical ... They we're running out the door...I along with them & my quality of life improved immediately...I was snatched right up by another company & been there ever since. Working hard for a company & people who certainly care about the bottom line, but also care about me too. Recruiters from Merkle are constantly calling people from my company ... Nobody goes, I make sure of that for their sake. Take a good look in the mirror.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Topsy-Turvey

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Manager in Columbia, MD

    Pros

    Great Breadth of Experience, Lots of Projects Going on. Opportunities to work on multiple accounts.

    Cons

    Very fast shifts. Management will not push back on the bad behavior on the part of clients.

    Merkle Response

    Jul 16, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    We hope you were able to take away some great experiences and skills from your time at Merkle!


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  5. Marketing Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1) Great place to work 2) Very flexible timings 3) No rule vacation 4) No dress code 5) lots of work from home

    Cons

    1) pay scale below the market 2) No bonus

    Advice to Management

    Should start paying bonus or raise the pay scale to market level, people work really hard to get things done for different clients.

    Merkle Response

    May 27, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    Thanks for your review and ideas!


  6. Helpful (9)

    Difficult time ...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    • Cutting edge technology and infrastructure • Many professional opportunities to grow quickly • Above market salaries • Able to work with very sharp individuals

    Cons

    • Huge overturn of talent with no rehiring for empty positions — work is inherently absorbed • Phenomenal burnout factor — average hours per week is 55+ • Nonexistent work/life balance • Out of touch upper management with weak leadership qualities • A lot of unexperienced Chiefs and very few and exhausted Indians — top heavy organization • Abrasive cutthroat personalities throughout company leadership who are quickly are rewarded regardless of their negative impact on team morale.

    Advice to Management

    • Invest in the right people managers (trustworthy, committed to staff's professional growth, and not afraid to give their team players praise) to cultivate and keep top talent • Focus on filling positions immediately so burnout can be avoided and top talent can be retained • Hire the right industry leaders with pinpoint focus expertise for the particular vertical — do not retrofit or hire a "multifaceted" person that has no knowledge of the particular industry. • Many of the sharp individuals you work with also come with morale-destructive egos.

    Merkle Response

    Jul 16, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    We are sorry to hear about your experience at Merkle. We hope you were able to take away some experiences that will further your career moving forward.


  7. Helpful (17)

    High risk, no finish line, no reward, no life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some very smart people in the trenches. Desire to survive or make it out of this sweat shop fuels bonding and networking. Heavy reliance on remote work makes it easy to look for a new job after you figure out you've been bait and switched and headed nowhere. Pay was pretty good. Career opportunities good since people leave non stop. You might get lucky and end up in a good shop or work for a good team.

    Cons

    This is really negative but I hope to save somebody from making a mistake. No days off ever. Weekends and holidays were used to play catch up, including status meetings at the beginning and end of the day, and you working during the day. Reliance on offshore assets means no sleep as well as you work your US shift and offshore (China) shift. Routine days were 4 am to 10 pm, with work through the night 2 or 3 nights a week. You are completely expendable at any time if the billings don't support your existence. Old timers know how to make sure the hammer falls on the newer (less than two years) staff when cuts come, they play dirty, and you won't see it coming until it's too late. Everybody is a boss (account, strategy, functional, sales x 2 or 3 at each position discipline x number of accounts you are assigned) and they are minimal contributors except to yell for more work. You get to be the one or two people working all night to deliver, again and again while six or eight in the functions above leave early for yoga class or show up late to drop their kids off at the bus - and you have more than one client who's account person could care less about your other client responsibilities. Meanwhile, one of my coworkers was written up and threatened with firing for missing a client call when he was unconscious in the ER from a septic infection. Take a look at how many open positions there are at all times (and watch how they reduce the postings to feign there is no revolving door.)

    Advice to Management

    None, I presume this is how you want have things work. Sociopaths don't have the capacity to care. Keep your conference line access codes confidential, you are continually putting client teams in a bad spot as we get blindsided by your unfiltered comments that are heard by the client and cause uncomfortable questions about the raw disrespect you verbalize toward clients (or maybe you have a mole in management feeding key clients).


  8. Helpful (2)

    Sell, Sell, Sell - Merkle's blind short term focus

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - General Manager in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -There are some smart people working here but rarely come across them. -You can work from home and basically set your own schedule

    Cons

    - There is zero planning going on here - Sell your way out of the problem mentality - Poor execution across the board due to lack of process (scary for a 25 yr old company) - Management is out of touch and blind to the external market - Old guard mentality is pervasive throughout the org and needs to be turned over - High turnover all over the org so its hard to find anyone with internal knowledge and a fresh perspective - Its a sweatshop with a pretty wrapper (seriously)

    Advice to Management

    Advice to CEO: Clean house at the top and surround your self with people who know how to take the company to the next revenue milestone by adding the appropriate operational rigor and strategic planning knowledge. The longer you keep the existing team intact the worse it will get from a turnover and moral perspective. The churn is costing you a lot of money and if you do the analysis you will see it lead right back to the poor under educated executive team you have in place today.

    Merkle Response

    Apr 14, 2015 – Corporate Recruiter

    Merkle has definitely been growing extremely fast and we're sure that you, having been working here for more 3 years, have seen a ton of changes. Your viewpoint is valuable and we appreciate your ... More


  9. Helpful (11)

    Boiler room with a smile.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    No limit vacation policy (sounds great right, good luck taking the time and when you leave you realize it wasn't a perk at all, just a way for them to pay you less.) Base pay was above most others in the market Rollin' in the 90's with that expense account. Never been at a company where money was spent on clients like it is at Merkle. Very nice locations for client summits, golf outings, major events you name it, they do that stuff right. David Williams was a good CEO, he was approachable and did love the company he built and you see that in a lot of the companies culture.

    Cons

    Old boys network - This is a common theme in a lot of the reviews of Merkle, but it is a reality. You go to Merkle and you realize that it is mostly male, mostly white and mostly middle aged. Some people have been at Merkle for a LONG time and you see that in their elevated status over newer employees. Short term sales vs Long term engagements - Merkle would take 50k today even over 600k in 2 months. Many of us were brought in to strategically grow client engagements but found ourselves selling small short term deals with very little strategic value to the client or Merkle in general. If you are going to work at Merkle be prepared to be placed in a sales organization that really has little rigor or understanding of complex customer engagements. Everything you knew before you go to Merkle is irrelevant once you join Merkle - This was one of the most frustrating aspects of Merkle, while they work hard (and spend a lot) to attract top level talent from a wide swath of companies, it seems once these people come to Merkle none of their prior knowledge is ever tapped to better the company. Instead you are benched while the employees with the longest tenure continue to run the company that way they learned over the decades they worked there. If you are one who like to go with the flow then you probably would fit in well at Merkle. Executive leadership - Simply put they are nice enough people but almost all of the Exec team was elevated into their role due to tenure vs ability. I think the average tenure of the Sr. Execs with Merkle is probably 15+ years and there has been very few who have successfully entered this rank externally. OTE is unattainable - If you are interested in going to Merkle make sure you go through your plan with your hiring manager and mentally prepare yourself for the fact that your bonus is almost impossible to reach so try and negotiate more if you have an OTE number you need to hit.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management is that it is time to grow up and decide what you want to be. You need new blood, new ideas and new approaches to business. "The Merkle Way" is dated and your employees (and clients) are starting to see this more and more. There is a ton of potential in the industry you are working in and it is important that you leverage the people you bring in to help inform your vision.


  10. Not a bad place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Visionary leaders, smart team members, a great place to learn

    Cons

    Work life balance is hard to manage.


  11. Helpful (8)

    Too many chiefs and not enough Indians

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible vacation policy Mediocre pay Ability to work from home Smart and friendly staff

    Cons

    Work life balance at Merkle does not exist. You are expected to meet unrealistic timelines with skeleton crews. Management focuses on hiring at the Director level and above...

    Advice to Management

    Merkle has a lot of work to do. Fat chance of becoming a greatest place to work.



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