Merkle
3.0 of 5 155 reviews
www.merkleinc.com Columbia, MD 500 to 999 Employees

Merkle Reviews

Updated Jun 13, 2014

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3.0 155 reviews

                             

57% Approve of the CEO

Merkle Chairman and CEO David Williams

David Williams

(121 ratings)

49% of employees recommend this company to a friend
155 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Smart people that challenge you and the status quo every day"
    in 26 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 15 reviews
  • "If you are not in senior management you have no chance to obtain this award"
    in 12 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

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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    5 people found this helpful  

    Great Places to Work? There are greater. Many, MANY more greater places to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCamaraderie. Definitely a great group of people for the most part. Compensation/Salaries are good, however this is also at the expense of any kind of life you expect to have outside the office not still tethered to either you phone or laptop - which is always.

    ConsToo much emphasis on LOOKING like a great place to work, as opposed to actually BEING a great place to work. GPTW surveys have become a major focus in an effort for the company to gain a status on a list of other companies. Instead of focusing on actually BEING a Great Place to Work, Merkle's goal is to create the image of being great by asking folks to score dishonestly. All this, while being totally unappreciative of employees' hard work, dedication and connection with the work they do. Policies and moral were much different when I started here over 8 years ago. Now it just feels like a sweat shop on a burning bus with the devil at the helm.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop changing policies and business unit structures every 6 months. Give us our 4 weeks of vacation and 1 week sick pay back instead of this 'no rules' policy that's totally based on billing client time that is now resulting in people billing client time JUST so they have enough hours to support either taking a vacation or, God forbid, being sick.

    Stop asking employees to LIE on surveys to make your company look better. Pay attention to what is actually happening with employees and listen to them. Don't just SAY you listen.

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

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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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    Great experience working at Merkle

    Business Development (Current Employee)

    ProsMerkle has a consistent and transparent culture around promotions and compensation. We work with amazing clients across a diverse selection of verticals. Many Merkle employees have the opportunity to become subject matter experts in multiple industries. Leadership is strong and senior management makes themselves available for questions by visiting the various offices throughout the year and presenting on the direction of the company.

    ConsLack of a cloud based benefits/company info portal to quickly access important documents, but I hear this is being addressed.

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

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    Best move of my career

    Associate Director (Current Employee)
    Marlborough, MA

    ProsDon't get me wrong, Merkle can be a tough place to work if you don't bring your A game but the work is challenging, the projects are cutting edge in the industry and the people are terrific. Salaries are in line with expectations at my level and they are flexibile with work schedules and working remotely. The opportunities for advancement are only limited by each persons' performance.

    ConsThe company bonus structure needs some work so that everyone can share in the company's success.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake the people your priority and everything else will fall into place.

    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  

    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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    Great culture

    Account (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsI love the team and the people I work with every day. Generally we have good and healthy relationships with our clients. Management is generally supportive and I feel well taken care of.

    ConsWe spend a lot of time meeting with east coast team members and off-shore developers - which means at least 1 or 2 early mornings a week.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work, but nothing is perfect

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    King of Prussia, PA

    ProsGreat culture, camaraderie: I love the atmosphere in the KOP office (King-of-Prussia, PA, outside Philadelphia). There are lots of "legacy" employees, here for 10+ years since before office was acquired by Merkle, but there are also new people and new opportunities. Compared to some negative experiences I've had working in other agency settings, working at Merkle, esp. in KOP, is great. I feel comfortable enough here to grow and contribute to the best of my abilities, as well as be appreciated for them, and that's really important to me.

    Lots of resources for learning: Almost everyone from director-level and up needs to offer some kind of internal education seminar to interested employees, which I think is a great way to keep everyone up to speed on what's new in the industry as well as what resources are available within Merkle. New learning opportunities are constantly offered; we also have access to marketing and career books & other resources online.

    Work/life balance: Availability to work from home occasionally really helps with work/life balance. And the flexibility as it extends to more urgent family or health matters is welcome too.

    ConsNeed to emphasize Quality over Fast/Cheap -- especially fast. Lots of times, the sales and account managers set expectations that are not realistic for everyone on the team to achieve, especially if there are client-based delays. We seem to still have "the customer is always right" mentality, which just isn't sustainable over the long run with the kind of quality demanded by ourselves and said clients. Client relationship managers need to set expectations of the client -- for their benefit and ours -- and everyone down the chain needs to enforce it too.

    It feels like everything is so rushrushrush that we have to squeeze more work into every hour of the day -- which brings up another issue, the problem of basing so much on the number of (client-billable) hours for not only individual performance evaluation, but also in terms of hiring. If I have 5 projects with EOD deadlines, that's one thing, but double that to 10 (with all of Merkle's growth) and still all have EOD deadlines, without adding resources, and the quality will suffer. It may not immediately impact the bottom line, but over time it will hurt employees and the larger organization in worker burnout and turnover and client dissatisfaction.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSet reasonable limits with clients, and ensure that everyone from sales and relationship managers on down works to enforce it. This will have a positive impact on the entire organization, even if there's initial grumbling from the clients.

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

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    Every employee contributes to the vision and has a major impact

    Manager (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsMerkle is one of the few independent agencies and the assets that Merkle has makes them uniquely positioned to succeed. We are clearly part of something great and its fun to be part of something i believe in. I know the Merkle experience i gain is going to be like a badge of honor on my resume, even more so as they continue to scale their digital business. I also have direct access to executive leadership and feel like they really care about me.

    ConsThe digital group is growing incredibly quickly, they are winning new AOR relationships constantly. It's been hard to keep up with the growth. It's exciting being in a high growth culture but it's also exhausting. The work life balance is not where it needs to be although i have learned, it's partly on me to set personal boundaries.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue the commitment to hire ahead of demand.

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

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    Great place to work

    Director (Current Employee)
    Denver, CO

    ProsI've been here a long time. Merkle is flexible and lets its employees grow. Amazing talent pool and the teams are great. This is an aggressive agency and isn't for anyone, but for me it was a perfect fit.

    ConsMerkle continues to constantly change. At times the communication on the changes isn't as great as it could be outside of HQ.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep moving, but know that not everyone can move at the same pace. Make the investment to increase the repeatable processes we need as a foundation

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

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