Marketing agency Merkle acquires search engine marketing services firm RKG

RKG is the second most popular vendor of search engine marketing services to Top 500 e-retailers.

Allison Enright

Marketing agency Merkle Inc. has acquired Rimm Kaufman Group LLC. RKG provides search engine marketing services to 50 of North America’s largest e-retailers, including Sears Holdings Corp., HSN Inc., Cabela’s Inc. and 1-800-Flowers.com, making it the second most popular search engine marketing provider among the Top 500.

Merkle says the RKG acquisition will help it expand its digital media capabilities and grow its business. Six e-retailers in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide say they use Merkle for customer relationship management, including Urban Outfitters Inc., No. 48, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., No. 52.

This is the second agency acquisition for Merkle this year. It acquired New Control, a digital marketing agency, in April. Merkle also owns 5th Finger, a mobile commerce technology provider used by three e-retailers in Internet Retailer’s Mobile 500.

RKG’s penetration among retailers and its digital marketing talent and approach attracted Merkle, the agency says. RKG’s 220 employees will join Merkle. The companies did not disclose purchase terms. 

“RKG represents the best of breed in search, display, social and other digital media marketing solutions, and we are delighted to have them join the Merkle family,” says Craig Dempster, executive vice president and digital agency group leader for Merkle.

“Our two companies also share a similar energy and passion for success, which are the makings of a perfect cultural fit,” says George Gallate, CEO of RKG.


acquisition, e-commerce, merkle, Rimm Kaufman Group, RKG, search marketing