Columbia, Md. – June 14, 2011 – Merkle (, the nation's fastest growing customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency, and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, (, a global network of over 6,000 senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers, today announced the winners of the first ever Marketing Innovation Awards, honoring the elite in customer engagement marketing. The award winners were announced on June 7 in a special ceremony at Merkle’s 8th Annual CRM Executive Summit, held at the Park Hyatt Aviara in San Diego, California.

The Marketing Innovation Awards tied directly to the theme of the 2011 CRM Summit, CRM2.0: Optimizing your Customer Portfolio, where a combination of keynote addresses, intensives, breakout sessions and one-on-one guru meetings imparted practical insight for maximizing the lifetime value of customer relationships. The awards were designed to celebrate the accomplishments of companies, brands and marketing leaders who effectively drive Integrated Customer MarketingTM (ICM) through smart technology and enterprise-wide marketing process integration.

A distinguished panel of judges representing academic authorities, publishing magnates and top marketing executives from well-known brands evaluated entries across six categories. The following finalists were awarded top honors for excellence in marketing innovation:

Customer Retention and Loyalty: Humana – REAL Powered by Humana

Digital Engagement and eCRM: Samsung – Galaxy S Product Launch

Innovation in Multi-Channel Mix Optimization and Measurement: ON24 with Wiley Publication – Virtual Events for Dummies release

Social Media Innovation: Universal Orlando Resort – Leveraging the Power of New Attractions

Digital Integration: Samsung – Website KPI Improvement Initiative

Global Integration and Strategy: Dell – 90-Day Program

"The CMO Council and Merkle congratulate all the winners for their forward-thinking innovations in customer engagement marketing," said Merkle Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Craig Dempster. “As our industry moves aggressively toward true customer-centric marketing, it is thought leaders such as these who will set the bar for success.”

To learn more about Merkle's CRM Summit, including this year’s content, speakers and sponsors, as well as details on the Marketing Innovation Award nominees and winners, visit the Summit event site.

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 6,000 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