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Merkle B2B Bolsters Creative Practice with Four Key Leadership Hires

Merkle B2B acquires four new industry specialists to drive the company forward creatively

Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management company (CXM) and part of dentsu, announces that its global B2B marketing organisation, Merkle B2B, have supercharged their creative leadership team with a raft of senior hires. These new leaders have been brought into the agency to address the increasing need for brands to deliver compelling and meaningful customer experiences to their audiences as the B2B landscape rapidly evolves.


The key hires are Jonathan Turner, formerly at McCann, who joins as managing partner to lead the creative practice within Merkle B2B. Rob Crilley, formerly at The&Partnership, joins as client partner. Laura Jennings, formerly in dentsu growth roles, joins as sales lead. Gary O’Donnell, formerly at Momentum, joins as operations director. The new hires come at a pivotal time for Merkle B2B, who are seeking new ways to drive growth, through creativity, in a dynamic sector.

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This move signals the recognition of a changing industry – the new appointments aim to boost creativity to accommodate for increased client needs in the expectation economy. As consumer expectations skyrocket, clients are demanding a creative and more emotional approach to tackling the complicated field of B2B. These new industry experts combine best-in-class individual expertise and capabilities in creative, media, and digital communications that will boost Merkle B2B’s unique offering – using data and insight to deliver world-leading end-to-end creative solutions for clients in a rapidly developing space.

Formerly commercial operations director for McCann Enterprise, Turner brings 16 years of global experience to the role. He will work alongside Merkle B2B’s executive creative director Jason Fletcher and chief strategy officer, Simon Calvert to lead and grow Merkle B2B’s creative and client team.

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Turner said “I’m thrilled to be joining Merkle B2B at this exciting time in its journey. The business proposition is truly unique in the category and will prove hugely valuable to clients, both existing and new. Game-changing strategic thinking and impactful, cut-through creative that will help propel our clients’ brands onwards and upwards are core to this proposition. Combined with our media, insight, data and technology capabilities, this offer is a formidable end-to-end solution for our clients. In my new role leading, consolidating and growing Merkle B2B’s creative offer, I am proud to be partnering with an extremely talented team to deliver world-class integrated creative solutions to an enviable set of client brands.”

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Rob Crilley joins with over 20 years of experience in the advertising and customer experience industry – formerly working for agencies including VCCP, Ogilvy, Publicis and Iris. Crilley will be taking the lead on building client relationships and ensuring the delivery of appropriate solutions to drive company branding – all informed by his extensive experience across both B2B and B2C sectors.

Laura Jennings’ moves internally into a new role as sales lead, bringing with her a decade of experience working as business development director in dentsu’s media Service Line. While primarily focusing on driving revenue and growth for the agency – through both new and existing clients – Laura will also be providing essential specialist B2B marketing support to wider dentsu teams and a variety of client accounts where needed.

Gary O’Donnell joins with over two decades of experience in senior creative services and delivery operations. Previously as head of delivery/creative operations at Momentum, Gary will be charged with deepening collaboration across the Merkle B2B group, presenting clients with a full 360 B2B offering.

Rob Gold, CEO at Merkle B2B said: “This is a very important and exciting step forward for Merkle B2B. Jonathan, Rob, Laura and Gary’s wealth of experience will help us to drive towards even higher levels of creativity and create game changing work for our clients across key markets”.

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