THE SHORT LIST: PROFILE
Year Agency Founded: 1989
MERGE Boston is part of the MERGE agency network
Business Development Director
Branding, Business-to-Business, Business-to-Consumer, Content Services, Creative, Design, Digital Marketing, Direct Mail, Direct Response, Enterprise Technology Solutions, Event Marketing, Film/Video Production, Media Buying, Media Planning, SEO
Strategy & Web development
Full time employees: 82
Part time employees: 3
73% Financial clients by billing
38% financial clients by roster
Current financial/insurance clients: AIG, Fiduciary Trust, HarborOne Bank, SelectHealth, CDPHP and several Blue Cross Blue Shield companies across the country
AGENCY INNOVATION IN FINANCIAL MARKETING
We’ve led the way identifying and testing strategies for content generation and distribution. We partnered with third parties including NYTimes and the Washington Post to develop content, or bring it to life in more engaging ways. While popular in the business to consumer space, we successfully launched several business to business influencer marketing campaigns. We tested newer media outlets like Cheddar TV - a live streaming financial news network broadcasting live daily from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. To help distribute content to key targets outside a client’s owned channels, we developed a mobile microzine in partnership with Zumobi. We help educate clients on the latest trends like voice/streaming or AI so we are aware of new technologies and areas for future testing. We developed National Trust Indexes to identify trust gaps to improve results. We leverage real-time dashboards and analytics to understand performance and optimization opportunities.
AGENCY VALUE PROPOSITION
MERGE Boston combines vertical intelligence, technology and creativity to help solve complex business challenges. We help clients in the financial services and healthcare industries create integrated communication programs and operationalize their brand at every point of contact.
ABOUT THIS AGENCY
Back in 1989, on a barren stretch of Boston waterfront overlooking a working drydock, Tom Simons launched a radically different marketing agency with ideas far ahead of their time. Today, this area is the heart of Boston’s Seaport Innovation District. And we’re continuing our history of innovation as MERGE Boston. At the 2017 Gramercy Financial Marketing Strategy Awards, the agency was awarded “Best of Show” for our AIG Internet of Things content partnership with The NYTimes. One of 4 major awards received that evening. This past year, the agency was also recognized by various other industry groups for results-driven work on behalf of AIG, Fiduciary Trust, and several of our Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance clients. While awards are nice, they are really only a byproduct of the business impact we provide to our clients. For us it starts with combining unparalleled domain expertise with an open, collaborative partnership between client and agency. These strong relationships allow us to generate insights, messaging, communications and experiences that resonate with people – clients and customers – in a meaningful and emotional way. The average tenure of a client relationship at MERGE Boston is over 7 years, which we feel is a testament to the value we bring.
AGENCY CASE STUDY
Our charge was to position AIG as a leader in the Internet of Things (IoT) discussion which commonly revolves around consumer benefits. The goal was to focus on how companies can benefit from IoT and the important considerations for managing risk. The New York Times T Brand Studio team was the perfect fit with their history of creating compelling custom content and third-party credibility. Thus, the NYT/AIG’s “Sensing the Next Wave” Paid Post was born. We had a thorough and lengthy white paper, however, few outside the insurance industry would digest such dense content. We wanted to bring the content to life in an engaging way so readers would better understand the broad, meaningful business opportunities of the IoT, not another explanation on how they can control their heat via a mobile device.
The partnership was an overwhelming success, exceeding traffic and engagement benchmarks. Page views exceeded expectations by 16%, generating nearly 100K total views and a majority (85%) were unique. Average time spent crushed site benchmarks across all categories (including retail, entertainment, travel etc.) by 23% and within the Financial category by a staggering 39%. Visitors were more likely to scroll down to view more of AIG’s branded content with an average scroll rate (defined as % of page views where users scrolled) above Moat average. There were over 73K social actions and referrals with 260+ comments on Facebook alone, where users debated the pros and cons of IoT and discussed how it would impact their lives.