Merkle Appoints Simon Esland as VP Practice Lead, Marketing Decisioning to Oversee Partnership With Pegasystems

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Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management company and part of dentsu international, has appointed Simon Esland to the newly created role of VP practice lead, marketing decisioning for Merkle’s partnership with Pegasystems Inc., the software company that crushes business complexity.

Previously group head of marketing technology strategy at Vodafone, Esland will lead the largest decisioning practice in Europe and support Merkle’s expansion across all 14 markets in EMEA. As a leading partner of Pega Marketing and Decisioning since 2005, Merkle helps its clients to deliver 1-2-1 personalised customer experiences, using rich people-based data, predictive models optimised by machine learning and business rules – powering them with Pega Marketing and Pega Customer Decision Hub.

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Having previously led one of the largest global Pega Customer Decision Hub implementations at Vodafone Group, Esland will be responsible for growing and developing the Marketing Decisioning practice as part of Merkle’s Customer Experience Management (CXM) service line and strengthening the company as a leader in the market. This work will be instrumental in helping companies to deliver a consistent and total customer experience across every encounter they have with a brand, throughout the entire customer journey.

Over the last fifteen years, Merkle has led the strategy and implementation behind some of the largest and most complex Pega Marketing and Customer Decision Hub deployments globally, across multiple sectors, brands, channels and offers. Esland will be responsible for managing and growing these relationships. He will report directly to Ben Gott, SVP, practice lead, marketing solutions EMEA.

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Ben Gott, SVP, practice lead, marketing solutions, Merkle EMEA, said: “I have no doubt that with Simon’s knowledge, ability and leadership, he will make a great success of his new role, deploying the most experienced Pega team in the UK across EMEA, and putting transformational work at the heart of our CXM business.”

Simon Esland, VP decisioning practice lead Merkle EMEA, commented: “Clients’ expectations are always evolving, and increasingly they are looking to work with trusted partners, who can support them and provide value from technology and data platforms. Merkle’s is in a unique situation to embed decisioning alongside their industry leading CXM practice for a powerful approach, especially when you also factor in their media and creative capabilities and EMEA reach. This practice area has so much potential for Merkle and to deliver exceptional results to clients.”

Rob Walker, GM 1:1 customer engagement, Pegasystems, added: “By combining Merkle’s and Pega’s technology and expertise, we’re helping marketers ensure a consistent customer journey with next-best actions taken across owned and paid channels for each individual. Having worked with Simon on several occasions before, and having him present and vocal at our events, I have no doubt that he will excel at leading the decisioning team at Merkle and strengthen our offering across EMEA.”

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