Honors to be presented at 8th Annual CRM Executive Summit

Columbia, Md.  (May 17, 2011) – Merkle (, the nation's fastest growing customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency, and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council ( ), a global network of senior marketing decision makers and brand leaders, today revealed the finalists for its Marketing Innovation Awards, honoring the elite in customer engagement marketing. The award winners will be announced in a special ceremony at this year’s annual CRM Executive Summit, being held June 6-8 at the Park Hyatt Aviara in San Diego, California.

The Marketing Innovation Awards are presented by Merkle in partnership with the CMO Council to celebrate companies, brands and marketing leaders who effectively drive market engagement, advance customer experience and further marketing effectiveness through smart technology and enterprise-wide marketing process integration. The premise of these awards ties directly to the core theme of this year’s summit, CRM 2.0: Optimizing your Customer Portfolio.

The awards will recognize innovation in integrated marketing in six categories and will be judged by academic authorities, publishing magnates and top marketing executives representing well-known brands in a wide variety of industries. A complete list of categories, finalists and judges can be found at the Summit event site. The finalists for each category are:

Customer Retention and Loyalty: Humana – REAL Powered by Humana; SAS Scandinavian – SAS Match Me Program; T.G.I. Friday’s – Give Me More Stripes Loyalty; Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Passionately Pink for the Cure; Vodafone Hutchison Australia – Bonus Bank Digital

Engagement and eCRM: BlackRock – Advisor Advantage Lead Generation; Independence Blue Cross – Improving Digital; Samsung – Galaxy S Product Launch; Scott Kay's Brute Cobalt brand, Helzberg Diamonds and Conde Nast – Brute Bowl (Joint Campaign)

Innovation in Multi-Channel Mix Optimization and Measurement: Novartis – Managed Care Trigger Program, WIN Machine; ON24 with Wiley Publication – Virtual Events for Dummies release

Social Media Innovation: Cisco – IPv6 Integrated Social Media Campaign; Ford – Fiesta Social Media Campaign; Universal Orlando Resort – Leveraging the Power of New Attractions

Digital Integration: K’NEX Brands – NASCAR No. 88 K’NEX Car Promotion; National Wildlife Federation – National Wildlife Federation Gulf Oil Spill Response; Samsung – Website KPI Improvement Initiative

Global Integration and Strategy: Cigna – Global Data Enrichment; Dell – 90-Day Program; Microsoft – Global Marketing Execution Platform

"Merkle is proud to congratulate all the nominees for their innovations in customer engagement marketing," said Merkle Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Craig Dempster. "These standout campaigns illustrate how forward-thinking companies are forging a new generation in CRM that is sure to be setting the standard for future marketing success."

To learn more about the conference, contact Erin Hutchinson at or visit the Summit event site to get the latest information on the agenda, speakers and activities.

About Merkle

Merkle is the nation's largest and fastest growing customer relationship marketing agency. For more than 20 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. By combining a complete range of marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines, Merkle works with clients to design, execute and evaluate Integrated Customer Marketing™ programs. With more than 1,400 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered near Baltimore in Columbia, Maryland with additional offices in Boston; Chicago; Denver; Little Rock; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; Seattle; Hagerstown, MD and Shanghai. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 6,000 members control more than $200 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 60,000 global executives across 100 countries in multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The Council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Brand Management Institute, and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). More information on the CMO Council is available at