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Saturday, Jul 20, 2024

Mindgruve Merges with Macarta

MARKETING: Combined Fast-Growing Firms Eye Global Brands

SAN DIEGO – One of San Diego’s fastest-growing independent companies has taken a major step forward in a merge with another top Western agency.

Mindgruve, which began in 2001 as a two-person shop and has become one of the top global digital agencies in the country with more than 175 employees, has merged with Denver’s Macarta, a top industry player in retail media and the eCommerce marketplace since 2016.

Now called MindgruveMacarta, the company and its expertise in performance marketing, retail media and analytics, will stay headquartered in the East Village. Financial details of the merger were not disclosed.

MindgruveMacarta brings together industry expertise in consumer, CPG, B2B, healthcare, financial services, and technology sectors as well as deep platform experience in Google, Meta, Linkedin, Amazon, Walmart and Mercado Libre.

The new company brings together what Adweek called “two of the fastest-growing agencies in the U.S.,” and one that is a Google Premier Partner and Amazon Advanced Advertising Partner.

Chad Robley
CEO & Chairman

Two industry veterans with strong track records are leading the new entity: Chad Robley, the co-founder and CEO of Mindgruve, now chairman and CEO of the combined agencies; and Mike Hodges, co-founder and CEO of Macarta, now president of MindgruveMacarta.

Robley was a chairman with Macarta in the past as well.

Since 2006, Robley has served as a managing partner and Hodges a managing director for San Diego-based Mindgruve Ventures, an accelerator for companies in the mobile, social and e-commerce industries. Mindgruve Ventures was founded by Robley.

“This is a transformational moment for us,” Robley said. “As MindgruveMacarta, we are well positioned to attract ambitious global brands seeking a fully integrated, omni-channel approach to performance marketing, retail media, and advanced analytics.

MindgruveMacarta’s strategists, creatives, media experts, data scientists and engineers from around the world are driven by one common purpose – create groundbreaking work that helps brands drive business growth.”

Bringing together Mindgruve and Macarta’s expertise into an integrated offering “creates a performance marketing and retail media juggernaut,” said Hodges, who graduated from the University of San Diego and worked in San Diego for nearly a decade.

Mike Hodges

Both Mindgruve and Macarta have seen tremendous growth in the past few years.

Mindgruve for the second consecutive year was included in Financial Times’ list of the 500 fastest growing companies across North, Central and South America. Mindgruve has been an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing company for six consecutive years while Macarta has been on the list for the last three years.

Mindgruve was also the seventh-fastest growing medium-sized company in San Diego as ranked by the San Diego Business Journal in The Book of Lists 2024. It brought in $28.6 million in revenues in 2020, $55.3 million in 2021 and $83.3 million in 2022.

Challenges and Moving Forward

Getting through COVID was a unique experience for both Mindgruve and Macarta from a business standpoint.

“Due to our strong presence in retail media, ecommerce and the Amazon/Walmart marketplace, we saw significant growth as consumers shifted to online shopping,” Hodges said. “We effectively helped our brand partners enhance their ecommerce capabilities, making it a major revenue stream during the pandemic. By adapting quickly and leveraging our expertise, we not only supported our clients in navigating this shift but also positioned them for ongoing success.”

One of the biggest challenges that Mindgruve and Macarta both have had to overcome has been managing fast growth while maintaining high levels of excellence in performance and client service.

“Over the years we’ve created scalable processes and invested in cutting-edge technology to increase productivity and ensure quality. We’ve focused on cultivating a strong company culture and hiring top talent across the globe to support our expanding client base,” Robley said.

MindgruveMacarta will serve a diverse client base including Fortune 500 companies, with a portfolio of brands including Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Dupont, Sony, Mattel, 3M and Wrangler.

Historically Mindgruve has excelled in performance marketing and D2C ecommerce, specializing in healthcare, finance, B2B and data technology.

Macarta has been an industry leader in retail media and marketplaces, providing specialized services that optimize its clients’ presence on their platforms.

“Our focus on data-driven strategies and market insights allows us to drive significant growth and ROI for our clients,” Hodges said. “What differentiates us is our in-depth understanding of the Amazon and Walmart ecosystems, enabling us to offer highly targeted and effective solutions. Furthermore, our dedicated team of marketplace experts ensures personalized attention and customized strategies tailored to each client’s goals.”

Collectively MindgruveMacarta now provides a single solution for brands to grow their businesses as it addresses every consumer touchpoint with a full range of services, Robley said.

“At MindgruveMacarta, our focus remains on growing our clients’ businesses as the cornerstone of our own growth,” Robley said. “Looking ahead, we plan to continue our global expansion, reaching new markets and strengthening our international presence.

MindgruveMacarta will give clients access to the most advanced media mix modeling, cross-platform attribution and in-depth data science.”

Proprietary Data Platform, Future Focus

The company will use a proprietary DataTech platform co-developed by teams from Macarta and Mindgruve, called Systemm.

“(Systemm) will transform how we harness data to drive client success,” Hodges said.

“Additionally, we will be expanding our services to offer clients the most advanced media mix modeling, cross-platform attribution and in-depth data science. The future is bright as we continue to innovate, adapt, and build stronger partnerships to drive mutual success.”
Robley said Mindgruve and Macarta have been sister agencies since Macarta launched in 2016.

“We’ve worked on many client projects over the years,” Robley said. “Our integration has been incredibly beneficial for clients and is becoming even more important as retail media and performance marketing converge.”

Mindgruve’s offices in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York will be joined by more than 100 other employees at Macarta offices in San Diego, Denver, Mexico City, São Paulo, Amsterdam, Madrid and London.

“Our goal at MindgruveMacarta is to provide our employees with opportunities to advance their careers and continually enhance their expertise in performance marketing, retail media and data tech,” Robley said. “By fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development, we empower our team to deliver innovative and effective solutions for our clients.”

FOUNDED: 2024 (Mindgruve: 2001, Macarta: 2016 )
PRESIDENT: Mike Hodges
BUSINESS: Global performance marketing
WEBSITE: mindgruvemacarta.com
CONTACT: hello@mindgruvemacarta.com
SOCIAL IMPACT: Mindgruve has been a San Diego Business Journal “Best Place to Work” for several years
NOTABLE: Robley and Hodges are also part of local accelerator Mindgruve Ventures


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