Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, announced its acquisition of Salt Lake City based Axis41, a leading strategic digital agency focused on customer experience. This is Merkle’s first corporate acquisition since joining the Dentsu Aegis Network in August 2016.

The move supports Dentsu Aegis Network’s strategy of building within its network a set of full-scale people-based marketing capabilities rooted in data, analytics, and technology. Axis41’s full staff of more than 170 employees, who are experts in marketing communications, strategy, design, technology, and marketing integration, will join the Merkle team.

Merkle’s people-based marketing approach to delivering relevant, personalized customer experiences requires a full breadth of skill sets, encompassing data, analytics, technology, and experience design and creation. The acquisition of Axis41 reinforces this strategy, bringing top-tier customer experience management services, including brand development, content strategy, persona development, UI/UX, graphic design, web development, content management systems implementation, web marketing, web optimization, and demand generation.

Both Axis41 and Merkle maintain key partnerships with major industry technology platform providers. The acquisition will augment the agency’s Alliance Channel strategy adding more than $25 million in revenue to Merkle’s already broad and deep marketing cloud practice.

Amplifying Axis41’s technology assets is a wealth of creative capabilities. The acquisition will add 35 designers with deep experience designing and implementing sophisticated websites and other interactive customer experiences. Founding partners, Ron Pynes, Strategic Services, Steve Wiest, Creative Services, and Reed Wright, Technical Services, will join Merkle’s Senior Management Team.

“We’re delighted to welcome Axis41 into the Merkle family and look forward to honing our collective people-based marketing capabilities that enable our clients to deliver ever more relevant, personalized customer experiences,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Merkle. “Our combined technology partnerships create a powerhouse of cloud-based platforms to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the brands we serve.”

“Joining forces with Merkle and Dentsu Aegis Network opens exciting opportunities for us to advance our business to new heights. It brings instant scale to Axis41, our clients, and our partners by leveraging the group’s experience, global footprint, and business acumen,” said Pynes. “Equally important to us in our decision was the fact that such a vibrant, modern, growth-focused agency offers the perfect cultural and professional fit for our employees and our clients.”