Merck logo

Making marketing run smarter to make lives better.

Relationship Overview

It was time for a checkup

Merck is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Every day, they improve the lives of millions through breakthrough medications and vaccines. The challenge? Merck had so many traditional agencies of record (AORs) supporting dozens of brands that making critical updates and modifications had become highly inefficient in terms of time and ROI. So Merck needed a new kind of partner—one that could not only deliver great work but could also deliver against demanding timelines and keep marketing efforts on track.

We had the remedy

Aquent Studios partnered with Merck on a multifaceted, long-term engagement to efficiently identify, modify, and produce creative deliverables at scale when FDA or market changes were required. Several new and existing functions were created and staffed while a dedicated studio that is experienced with pharma requirements partners with Brand teams and their AORs.

What did that mean? New operational processes. New workflows. Detailed SOPs. And even new roles that increased Merck's speed to market with updated marketing campaigns. Right from the start, we proved that we could deliver—and within three months, Merck asked us to support additional teams and lanes of work. Now, we partner with Merck's Marketing Promotions, Market Access, Medical Education, Internal Communications, Digital Engagement, and Agile teams to provide outsourced capabilities in design, marketing, promotions, and project management.

Collective health

What began as a studio of 5 is now 160 strong, touching more than 40 brands across all product categories. Our 13+ year partnership has saved Merck tens of millions of dollars over traditional AORs, thanks to our efforts in implementing better ways to deliver on-brand creative at scale. And guess what? Our processes are so good, they're now standard operating procedure for Merck internally—we even train new Merck employees and agencies on them. Now, when an operational challenge arises, our champions at Merck often ask, “Have you talked to Aquent Studios about that?”

Close up of stem cells in a petri dish

Capabilities Engaged

Experience Design & Development

  • CX Strategy & Design
  • Design Systems
  • Innovation Strategy
  • Platforms & Emerging Technologies
  • Product & Service Design
  • UX Design
  • Web & Product Development

Brand & Marketing

  • Analytics & Optimization
  • Content & Storytelling
  • Creative & Content Production

People & Process

  • DesignOps
  • MarketingOps
  • Operating Models
  • Organizational Design
Abstract digital image of streaks of particles in light blue and purple moving in a spiral


I've had a very positive experience with Aquent Studios. Their ability to turn projects around quickly and deliver on timely and quality work is superior. I have seen significant value – cost, time, quality – in having Aquent on board in addition to our [other] agency partners.

Marketing Promotions/Operations Leader

Related Work