The Power of Two

Astound Commerce’s acquisition of MarketForce creates a new ecommerce standard.

Astound Commerce, one of the world’s preeminent digital commerce specialists, is expanding its repertoire of ecommerce options with the acquisition of MarketForce, a leading innovator in digital performance marketing services.

The union with MarketForce—which was, prior to the acquisition, a business unit of valued Astound partner Digital River—will allow Astound to scale dramatically as it addresses pressing brand and business ROI needs in the digital realm, says Igor Gorin, Astound’s North American CEO.

“The synergies between MarketForce and Astound Commerce capabilities and depth of expertise in ecommerce performance marketing will ensure market-leading commerce solutions for our clients in the United States and beyond,” says Igor Gorin. “We are extremely excited to welcome MarketForce to the Astound Commerce family.”

MarketForce has roughly 50 employees located in four global offices, with a client roster that includes global brands in technology, consumer electronics, and other industries. With 1,300 team members, Astound Commerce is a world-recognized trailblazer in digital commerce.

MarketForce President Jeff Dahlby observes that the partnership will provide global clients a wide range of ecommerce services on world-class platforms such as Salesforce, SAP/Hybris, and Adobe/Magento. Options will include affiliate and email marketing, content production, conversion rate optimization, paid media, SEO, and the analytics and multi-touch attribution necessary for comprehensive support.

“I’m delighted that MarketForce is joining forces with Astound Commerce,” says Jeff Dahlby. “Our organizations share a common passion for delivering expert services focused on optimizing ecommerce solutions for our clients. Through our combined expertise, we will offer a full suite of design, demand, experience, and technology capabilities on a global scale.”

The transaction between the two companies was finalized on February 1, 2021. Integration planning and activation is being driven by a joint organizational team led by Jeff Dahlby, who is joining Astound as a vice president, and Astound Head of Demand Sean Dunn, with input by Astound Global CEO Michael Kahn (MK) and Igor Gorin. The consolidation of sales and client service functions will be prioritized initially, with full integration of all departments scheduled for the end of 2021.

Meticulous accommodation for MarketForce’s client relationships will remain paramount at every stage of the transition, and communications, services, sales needs, and development of new opportunities will be fully supported, emphasizes MK.
“By bringing together MarketForce’s digital performance marketing acumen, skills, and talent and Astound’s market-leading digital commerce capabilities, we can further establish ourselves as a driver of maximum business value across every digital commerce touchpoint,” MK observes.

Supported by a deep expertise in the emerging MarTech sector as well as enhanced capabilities in the experience, design, demand, and technology areas, the partnership literally spans the globe, assuring effective ecommerce strategies for any client in any locale.

The rise of ecommerce was clear prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the coronavirus has accelerated the phenomenon to a dramatic degree, observes Sean Dunn. Backed by the best engineers and analysts in the field, the Astound/MarketForce collaboration is uniquely suited to provide the development and support required to thrive in this hypercompetitive environment.

“Modern commerce requires contextually relevant cross-channel experiences at the right moment to influence behavior, predict outcomes, and ensure sustained business growth,” says Sean Dunn. “The combination of MarketForce’s proven expertise and Astound’s cross-cloud, experience-driven digital commerce ecosystems gives us all the tools required to deliver world-class value for the digital economy.”

Additionally, Astound Commerce has welcomed Digital River as a preferred partner whose complete global payments, fraud, tax, and compliance management solutions have been proven and scaled, and whose partnership with Astound will be mutually beneficial to the clients of both companies. Astound and Digital River leaders look forward to forging ahead together, providing the end-to-end digital expertise, data-driven customer journey strategies, and performance marketing solutions that will catapult client success.

“As one of the leading players in digital commerce, Astound is the perfect home for MarketForce,” says Adam Coyle, CEO of Digital River. “We are thrilled for our MarketForce colleagues, and are committed to working closely with both Astound and MarketForce to continue building a long-term partnership between our companies that will further strengthen our ability to provide exceptional commerce experiences for our collective clients.”

I would love to connect and discuss how we can power your digital transformation.

Michael Kahn
Global CEO, Astound Commerce
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Glen Martin

Glen Martin is a frequent Astound Insights contributor whose other credits include Forbes, Wired, Outside, and Men's Journal.