Merkle

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Merkle Reviews in Columbia, MD

Updated Jun 13, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 64 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams

David Williams

(52 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Many smart people--from bottom to top there are many (in 28 reviews)

  • Work/life balance: Availability to work from home occasionally really helps with work/life balance (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Running hard means work life balance sometimes suffers (in 16 reviews)

  • If you are not in senior management you have no chance to obtain this award (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights
64 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Really, really great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsThis is a growth company on steriods! The opportunities here are tremendous, the work is challenging and the team is incredibly smart and talented. I'm never bored and I never feel stuck. All the reviews that say that Merkle is a sweat shop just aren't true. The company is very straightforward about this and teels you up front to expect to work 45-50 hours each week. They measure this, they look at the timesheets and they mean it.

    ConsIn a growth company, there is always a lot to do. Don't expect to go home at the end of the day and expect to have everything done. It just doesn't happen. Its what comes with growth. Merkle constantly stretches itself so very often, you feel out of your comfort zone. But that is how you learn and how the company evolves and stays relevant. The pace isn't for everyone. But for those who want to excel - Merkle is a perfect fit.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep being so open with information. The fact that you share so much with everyone is refreshing and energizing. It also builds high amounts of trust. Keep up all the recognition programs and awards. They mean a lot and i'v enever worked anyplace where I felt so appreciated. And please know, the negative comments listed here are from the vocal minority - people we probably never should have hired in the first place.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    A sweat shop makes rosy bubbles of fake hopes for young people

    Analyst (Former Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsHope to move up fast if you can endure all the cons longer enough, or say, longer than other team members . You will probably be promoted when all the team members left the team and only you become the veteran.

    ConsEvery company has politics but here the politics means "gossip". It all depends on how your luck is, not the hard work. You might be working 70 hours a day with minimum wage and really making progress while just because your young lucky manager is jealous of your growth, your voice can never be heard. Promotions are based on random gossip, not work-related milestones. And your personal life also. And it will also affect your career. Here people are so bored and they can make stories for entertainment or for more malicious reasons.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to manage people and put down your faking smile! manage up is necessary but don't act so vividly and not feel shameful. Caring about your employees is not just the saying. Do something!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Merkle is a growth company where principles trump rules.

    Director (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsSmart people everywhere
    Dedication of the workforce to go great work for clients
    Generally, leading edge technologies to work with
    No-rules vacation policy - lots of flexibility - ability to work remotely when needed

    ConsRunning hard means work life balance sometimes suffers
    Revenue/profit forecasting has been lumpy resulting in several hiring freezes - but recent exec management changes and platform upgrades may help

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to focus on growth
    Invest in acquisitions wisely - don't buy too quick

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    5 people found this helpful  

    For IT Professionals, there are better places to work!

    Director (Former Employee) Columbia, MD

    Pros· There are some talented people in IT but most are unhappy and/or looking for other opportunities.
    · Opportunity to get your hands on the latest technologies.

    Cons· What do you do when you don't have enough people? Use the same resources for multiple functions and call it a "matrixed organization". Get used to having multiple bosses and conflicting priorities. There are far too few people to support the large infrastructure, they are slow to hire, and they struggle to retain talent. Hiring freezes are in place more often than not..
    · Meetings 7-8 hours a day (they provide greasy pizza for lunch). And just to make sure that everyone is in sync they will have more meetings to discuss the previous meetings, these are called "alignment meetings". This is an effort to get your 5 different bosses on the same page but you will still get conflicting direction. There is no way to get your work done during a normal business day so you are expected to get it done at home in the evenings.
    · The free expresso, coffee, soda, and chocolate is to load you full of caffeine and sugar.
    · Benefits are awful, your portion of health and dental costs will be a lot more than you may be used to, 401k matching is trivial and vesting is not incremental and takes 6 years, they implemented “No Rules Vacation” that is closely monitored and totally contradictory.
    · Beer, Beer, and more Beer - It just doesn’t seem wise to have a few beers and then head out into rush hour traffic. The company not only condones this but seems to encourage it.
    · A weekly resourcing meeting is held in IT where all resources are assigned 47 hours of work (the standard Merkle IT work week). This is manipulated to falsely reflect that IT is properly staffed when in fact it does not account for many other tasks that staff is pulled into.
    · Production issues are abundant, on-call duties are a nightmare and even if you are not on-call you will often get pulled into issues in the middle of the night.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a closer look at your senior IT leadership. They may keep costs low but it is at a much greater expense. Don't be fooled by the "Greatest Places to Work" survey results. IT staff was pressured to the point of coercion to provide positive survey results. A large group of employees decided to mark the highest rating through the whole survey but later regretted this. Lower the Merkle flag, it should not be flown at the same level as the US flag.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Enjoy working at Merkle

    Director (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsMany smart people--from bottom to top there are many smart people working at Merkle. I have especially appreciated that senior management is competent, and in my experience tries to make smart and fair decisions.

    Work schedule and location is flexible--the most flexible of companies I have worked at. You are expected to work hard and get the work done, but you can usually decide the how on your own terms.

    You are given independence in your work. I like places that hire you to do a job and let you do it. Most managers are so busy on their own projects, they don't have time to tell you how to do your job--they expect you to know your stuff and get going on your own. Not a place for people who need hand-holding, and frankly I like it that way.

    Merkle is heading in the right direction. The clients and project work in my case have been fantastic, and opportunities are plentiful. I feel like I am growing exponentially here, which is the biggest reason I continue to work here.

    ConsSalaries seem fair, but I hate the bonus program. It is not based on your individual performance in any direct way, and you can count on seeing maybe half the number you were promised.

    Merkle focuses waaaay too much on things like client billable hours. I understand they are running a business, but they need to flip this around to focus >90% of their efforts on client satisfaction, and then secondarily on client hours.

    Merkle invests very little in employee training and development at all levels.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on client satisfaction over everything else. Be consistent and smarter with bonus, promotion, and salary increases. Hire ahead of the work--things run too thinly here in terms of work per able body.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Fun place to work.

    Senior Analyst (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsThere is a lot of flexibility, fun events, smart people, and great chances to learn and grow.

    ConsThe turn-over rate is way too high, and most people live for more money.

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Hoping it gets better...

    Senior Account Manager (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    Prossalary, flexibility, company on-boarding is well defined/structured/helpful, some smart/helpful people

    Consexpectation that you "should" work after hours, not clear regarding specific job expectations and career paths/services offered at Merkle, not a great team atmosphere..feels like a "bait & switch" interview process

    Advice to Senior Managementbe honest, value employees that do great work , but work to live... not just those who work 55 hrs/week

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Political, Limited recognition of mid-level associates, Interesting Work.

    Marketing Analyst (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsInteresting work, smart people; good place to get work experience for college-grads (Ex: database marketing, analytics, digital analytics etc)

    ConsNot much work life balance (55-60 hour weeks are standard); employees required to 'bill' minimum hours which add up to effectively no vacation time for the year; not recommended for associates beyond entry level; Limited recognition of mid-level associates; Need to be politically astute to get any recognition.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCurrent culture is not conducive to building a long-lasting company; too much pressure on senior management to produce high number of billable hours translating into bad management practices and poor values.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great opportunities, constantly challenge yourself

    Project Manager (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsMerkle is very fast paced due to the growth and goal to constantly be the best and provide the best service to our customers, and for the overachievers that the company employs, it's perfect. If you fall outside of the overachiever personality, the Merkle culture may be too much for you. For the rest of us, it provides the perfect opportunity to be constantly challenged, grow, and experience a diverse set of problems, clients, and colleagues.

    ConsMerkle says its culture is polarizing, you either love it or hate it. I 100% agree and think that per my above "pros", if you aren't type A and an overachiever, you will probably be on the hate it side. That means employees get to work with the smartest, hardest working employees in the market, however it does create an attrition problem for those not cut out for the culture.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more involved and available. Take the time to listen bottom up.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    There is a lot of opportunities.

    Technology (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsMerkle’s position in the marketplace gives it a greater advantage over traditional technology companies. Having worked at other technology companies, Merkle is able to truly help companies make money with the solutions it provides. I believe Merkle is in a place to be as large if not larger than other marketing services providers, and I enjoy being part of this. There is quite a bit of freedom, but there is an expectation that you will excel at what you do and go above and beyond in your normal duties. Due to this, you find that Merkle has hired a lot of very smart people whom are focused on driving the business forward. I have been happy with the opportunities at Merkle.

    ConsMerkle’s driven culture does lead to strains on Work/Life balance, especially in areas linked to client implementations, but I have yet to work at a place where this is not true. Due to some fluidity in the organizational structure and a highly driven workforce, sometime the set corporate strategy is not well translated to specific activities for the more focused areas of the organization. New understandings about market trends can get clogged at a senior management level and do not filter down quick enough to bring the rest of the company into the light. This can lead to some disconnects in the story.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay focused, but do more to bring the rest of the company in line with the vision.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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