Press release

Bain & Company set to acquire digital marketing capability-builder, FRWD

Bain & Company set to acquire digital marketing capability-builder, FRWD

Bain & Company has agreed to acquire FRWD, a Minneapolis-based digital agency

  • May 10, 2018
  • min read

Press release

Bain & Company set to acquire digital marketing capability-builder, FRWD


New York and Minneapolis – May 10, 2018 – Bain & Company has agreed to acquire a Minneapolis-based digital agency. Established in 2009 at the dawn of programmatic advertising, FRWD works with clients to shorten the distance between their marketing investment and the end consumer. In the process, FRWD has driven more than $1B in measured top-line revenue growth as an innovation partner to global organizations and through its work with many insurgent brands – those that have outpaced their category growth rates by more than 10x over the past five years. The acquisition will dramatically strengthen Bain & Company’s ability to help its clients drive superior results across marketing channels, decrease their long-term reliance on external partners, and leverage customer data sets for better accuracy in reaching consumers.

Digital technologies, increased transparency, and the rise of mobile have changed how marketers engage with consumers, elevating the role of owned data, shortening planning cycles, and fine-tuning the level of precision to micro-target consumers with advertising. Bain & Company is increasingly supporting clients in delivering superior results by integrating consumer data into their overall marketing strategies and effectively mapping and managing investments to business results.

“To date, we have achieved outstanding results in various client settings – from winning on commerce platforms such as Amazon to more effectively targeting and scaling investments to win consumers across ad platforms,” said Elizabeth Spaulding, co-head of Bain & Company’s Digital practice, including the firm’s ADAPT offering, ecosystem partnerships and the Bain Innovation Exchange. “Our acquisition of FRWD signals our continued commitment to building on these and other digital marketing capabilities so we can better guide companies on completely revamping their digital marketing strategies. We believe our clients will benefit greatly from FRWD’s experience and expertise.”

Bain & Company and FRWD have worked together successfully for the last three years. They will continue to advise leading marketers on honing and developing critical skills, such as experimental design and agility, and bring these capabilities in-house. With these skills embedded in their companies, marketing executives are better able to make more informed decisions faster than their competition, integrate marketing with other business functions, and bridge the gap between data-driven and creative marketing.

The acquisition also sets the foundation for Bain & Company and FRWD to develop additional emergent products and capabilities that complement the firms’ existing digital marketing offerings.

“On behalf of the entire FRWD team, we’re extremely pleased to join the marketing experts at Bain & Company,” said John Grudnowski, founder and CEO of FRWD and partner at Bain & Company. “We see this as a win-win partnership that will advance Bain & Company’s digital marketing expertise, propel FRWD to grow faster and into new realms and, ultimately help marketers develop the capabilities they need to operate at the speed of digital.”

Editor’s Note: To arrange an interview with Ms Spaulding or Mr Grudnowski, please contact Dan Pinkney at or +1 646 562 8102.


About Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 1% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry. 

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