Merkle

  www.merkleinc.com
  www.merkleinc.com

Merkle Reviews in Columbia, MD

Updated November 21, 2014
Updated November 21, 2014
188 Reviews
3.4
188 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams
David Williams
138 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It was a great working environment with smart people where they try to empower their employees (in 34 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Running hard means work life balance sometimes suffers (in 17 reviews)

  • If you are not in senior management you have no chance to obtain this award (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

73 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Really, really great place to work

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    This 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.

    Cons

    In 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 ManagementAdvice

    Keep 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Merkle is a growth company where principles trump rules.

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart 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

    Cons

    Running 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 ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on growth
    Invest in acquisitions wisely - don't buy too quick

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    For IT Professionals, there are better places to work!

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

    I worked at Merkle full-time (more than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Take 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Enjoy working at Merkle

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

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

    Pros

    Many 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.

    Cons

    Salaries 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 ManagementAdvice

    Focus 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Fun place to work.

    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hoping it gets better...

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    expectation 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Not 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 ManagementAdvice

    Current 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    Great opportunities, constantly challenge yourself

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Merkle 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.

    Cons

    Merkle 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 ManagementAdvice

    Be more involved and available. Take the time to listen bottom up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    There is a lot of opportunities.

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Merkle’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.

    Cons

    Merkle’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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very positive experience - and continues to improve

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

    I have been working at Merkle full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Merkle is always on top of what is going on in the marketplace. That makes it a great place to learn and grow professionally. The culure we work in is very important to our Sr Management team and recieves a lot of attention by our People department as well.

    Cons

    With all our growth it's hard to solidify repeatable processes. People try but get distracted. I don't see this as unusual and I have seen improvements as time goes on. I would like to see that be more consistent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to work on embedding top notch repeatable processes in all tha twe do

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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