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IndustryConsumer goods
FoundedFort Smith, Arkansas, 1905
FounderWillis Johnson and E. Leslie Hunt
Area served
North America, Australia, New Zealand
Key people
Chris Moye, CEO, and Rudy Gonzalez, CFO [1]
ServicesSales and marketing
OwnerPrivate Equity
Number of employees

Crossmark, Inc., stylized as CROSSMARK, is a sales and marketing services company that operates within the consumer goods industry.[2][3][4] The company was established in 1905 by Willis Johnson and E. Leslie Hunt in Fort Smith, Arkansas as a provision supply point for groups traveling to the Oklahoma Territory.[2][5][6] Crossmark contributes research and data to the Food Marketing Institute.[7] The company serves grocery, mass, club, drug, convenience store, and home improvement channels.[8]


  • 1906 - Company founded as Johnson and Hunt Merchandise Brokers in Fort Smith, Arkansas [9]
  • 1914 - Company renamed Willis Johnson & Company, operations moved to Little Rock, Arkansas
  • 1943 - President Roosevelt names Willis Johnson Sr. to the national office of price and administration (two-year assignment)
  • 1944 - W.L. Gordon Company formed in Dallas, Texas
  • 1953 - Phillips Brokerage Company created in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1960s and 70s - These three companies grew and prospered
  • 1977 - Willis Johnson Company calls on Sam Walton in 1977
  • 1981 - Willis Johnson Company changes its name to SalesMark
  • 1995 - Three companies and alpha one merges

In 1997, Crossmark was one of three companies that collectively controlled 75 percent of the sales and marketing services industry.[5] In 2012, The Dallas Morning News reported that the Plano, Texas-based Crossmark had 34,000 employees and has an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion.[10][2][5] In December 2012, a majority of the company was sold to the private equity firm Warburg Pincus.[11][12] In November 2013, Crossmark acquired the assets of PromoWorks.[13]

Products and services[edit]

Crossmark's services include headquarter sales, retail merchandising, in-store data collection, event marketing, retail technology, and retail analytics.[14]

On August 6, 2013, Crossmark agreed to buy Marketing Werks in Chicago. The Marketing Werks deal will contribute to its total annual revenue of nearly $1 billion.[10][15] Marketing Werks, based in Chicago, provides experiential marketing campaigns for companies in several consumer industries. It will become part of Crossmark Marketing Services, which offers in-store events, experiential marketing, shopper marketing, consumer engagement and field intelligence. Mike Graen has joined CROSSMARK as Vice President/Managing Director for CROSSMARK's Center for Collaboration in Bentonville, Arkansas, which opened in July 2014.[16]


In 2010[17] and 2011,[18] InformationWeek ranked Crossmark on its list of most-innovative users of business technology.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Crossmark Named a Top Technology Innovator". CSPNet. September 27, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  3. ^ "CROSSMARK, MARS Advg. Launch Shopper Marketing Venture". Progressive Grocer. December 12, 2011. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  4. ^ "Crossmark to Acquire NCiM". Progressive Grocer. December 1, 2011. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Crossmark quietly makes its mark for big-name brands" (PDF). Dallas Morning News. August 26, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Crossmark History". Crossmark. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Retailers Face a Customer-Centric Universe: FMI". Supermarket News. April 30, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "Bloomberg Businessweek Company Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  9. ^ "CROSSMARK 100-Year Anniversary Video". CROSSMARK. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Plano-based Crossmark to buy Chicago consumer marketing firm". Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  11. ^ Halkias, Maria. "Plano-based Crossmark sold to private equity firm Warburg Pincus". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "Investor Buys Majority Stake in Crossmark". Supermarket News. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  13. ^ "Crossmark Acquires Shopper Engagement Firm PromoWorks". Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "Crossmark Names New President of U.S. Sales Agency". February 8, 2012. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "Crossmark to Buy Marketing Werks". Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  16. ^ "Mike Graen to Lead CROSSMARK's Center for Collaboration". Reuters. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  17. ^ "Crossmark Named to InformationWeek 500". InformationWeek. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  18. ^ "Crossmark Named a Top Technology Innovator". Retrieved June 24, 2013.