Bain builds on digital marketing capabilities through acquisition of FRWD

16 May 2018 3 min. read

Always in tune with trends in the global consulting industry, management consulting firm Bain & Company has strengthened its presence in the digital advertising and marketing space through the acquisition of Minneapolis-based digital specialists FRWD. 

Intentions are clear across the global consulting industry: enter the lucrative world of digital advertising. Last year, a handful of major consulting firms cumulatively spent over $1.2 billion on acquisitions of digital marketing agencies. These include Big Four firms such as Deloitte and KPMG, alongside other big names such as McKinsey, IBM, and Accenture – which independently accounted for more than $1 billion of this expenditure.

Management consulting firm Bain & Company often finds itself amongst these names, and its latest acquisition of digital media agency FRWD has secured its place on the list. Bain already has a strong digital consulting practice, including segments such as Bain Radar 360, Bain Omnichannel Strategy and ADAPT@Bain, each of which targets a specific aspect of a client’s digital growth strategy.

“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’s Digital Practice, including ADAPT, Bain Innovation Exchange, and ecosystem partnerships.

Bain builds on digital marketing capabilities through acquisition of FRWD

FRWD is essentially a digital marketing agency, which combines a number of dimensions such as data analysis, systems integration, media design, and other creative techniques to offer value generation on marketing investments. Since its establishment in 2009, the firm has facilitated growth in top line revenues worth over $1 billion across the world. 

For the last three years, Bain and FRWD have been engaged in a collaborative arrangement, combining their individual expertise and resources to design innovative solutions for clients. The collaboration has now been cemented as Bain has moved to acquire the Minneapolis-based firm.

“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,” said Spaulding.

John Grudnowski, Founder and CEO of FRWD and now Partner at Bain added, “On behalf of the entire FRWD team, we’re extremely pleased to join the marketing experts 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.”

With its enhanced capabilities, Bain will be able to capitalise on digitalising economies across the world, including in India, where online consumption is expected to go through the roof over the next few years.