Moving Forward Together

Moving Forward Together

Bain & Company has agreed to acquire FRWD, 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.”

About FRWD

FRWD is a unique digital marketing agency designed to build client capability through a comprehensive approach to helping companies make the best digital marketing investments. To do so, FRWD extends client teams through co-location of top creative, media optimization, data science, and advertising technology teams to shorten test cycle time and leverage learnings to move forward. The agency also acquires and trains talent for clients to create sustainable campaigns and drive continual improvement without further FRWD presence. FRWD works with some of the world’s most recognized consumer brands, leading healthcare providers, entertainment companies and more. FRWD is based in Minneapolis. Learn more at

About Bain & Company

Bain & Company is the management consulting firm that the world’s business leaders come to when they want results. Bain advises clients on strategy, operations, information technology, organization, private equity, digital transformation and strategy, and mergers and acquisition, developing practical insights that clients act on and transferring skills that make change stick.  The firm aligns its incentives with clients by linking its fees to their results.  Bain clients have outperformed the stock market 4 to 1. Founded in 1973, Bain has 55 offices in 36 countries, and its deep expertise and client roster cross every industry and economic sector. For more information visit:  Follow us on Twitter @BainAlerts.