In its ongoing transition from database marketing to media, Merke’s ultimate goal of becoming what it calls an “addressable agency of the future” is contingent upon its data-driven push.
“We’re sort of our own DMP,” said Bavaro, referencing Merkle’s data platform, which he claims encompasses 200 million US households. “We’re essentially a competitor to Acxiom and Datalogix, and then we layer in solutions on top, whether it’s [data] matching with publishers or building measurement for clients who want to go beyond the cookie and know who they’re reaching in-app.”
Bavaro, who helped Resolution obtain Facebook’s prestigious media-buying certification stamp of approval, and who, similarly, test-drove an early Salesforce.com-Datalogix alliance, said he believes advanced customer segmentation and data matching is the path forward for marketers.
He also pointed to Facebook’s development of Custom Audiences and audience-based ad server Atlas – Merkle, along with Omnicom, were among agencies with first access – as evidence of the industry’s drive toward data-driven advertising.
“Everything is moving to this de facto standard, which is platforms will be used for planning and buying media and the ability to reach a person across all devices is becoming a standard,” he said. “Everyone is trying to break the traditional agency model and [with Michael and I] walking into Merkle, it’s kind of fun to bring a different [point of view].”