Merkle’s acquisition of Comet Global Consulting adds personalization to the marketer’s portfolio of services.

Global marketing services firm Merkle Inc. has acquired Comet Global Consulting to add Comet’s customer relationship management services. Terms were not disclosed.

Comet analyzes data about a shopper’s history, loyalty status, preferences, the devices she uses and other information to enable a retailer to craft personalized offers, says Sam Taverner, Comet’s group managing director. Comet collects data from its retail clients’ websites, customer call centers and the computer tablets their store employees use to suggest of the most effective messages and promotions a retailer can present to each shopper, he says. Comet works with customer relationship management software firms Pegasystems, IBM and SAS to implement its technology.

“The ability to individualize decisions around the next best offer to make to a customer, whether it’s on a website or on a telemarketing call, means you don’t need to treat every customer the same way,” says George Gallate, Merkle’s chief marketing officer. Merkle, with $500 million in 2015 revenue, is the search engine marketing vendor for 54 retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500, including, Express, Urban Outfitters and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., according to

Comet will also expand Merkle’s presence in Spain and the United Kingdom, Gallate says.

“It’s important we have a strong European operation, as well as a strong Asian operation, which we’re building, in addition to the U.S. group, because we’re a global company working with global clients,” he says. Comet’s 300 employees in the United States, the U.K. and Spain will boost Merkle’s staff worldwide to 3,400, he says, but he declined to say more about the planned Asian expansion.


The acquisition is Merkle’s third in 10 months, following last month’s purchase of marketing software firm dbg and last year’s acquisition of performance marketing and programmatic agency Periscopix, both based in the U.K.