Olson Acquires MyThum, Bolsters Staff and Revenue

The local ad agency has completed its third acquisition in eight months, and CEO Kevin DiLorenzo says that the company will "hit the pause button" for a few months as it refines its enhanced capabilities.

Olson, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency, announced on Monday that it has completed its first international acquisition through the purchase of Toronto-based MyThum, a marketing company focused on connecting brands to consumers via mobile devices.

Financial terms of the acquisition, which closed on January 31, were not disclosed.

MyThum-which will now operate as Olson mobile-is a 30-person firm that uses proprietary technology and wireless networks to develop and execute mobile strategies for clients. MyThum cofounder Michael Carter will serve as president of the newly formed segment, and all 30 MyThum employees have joined Olson and will continue to work from Toronto.

Carter said in a Monday phone interview that his firm is “about helping clients understand mobile and how it fits into broader marketing strategies,” adding that rather than building one-size-fits-all technology platforms, MyThum focuses on developing relevant and customized services and solutions for individual clients.

Olson's mobile discipline will combine the firm's existing client roster-which includes Target and Capital One-with MyThum's clients, such Ford, Sony, and MolsonCoors.

According to Olson spokeswoman Jennifer Weismann, MyThum will bring with it about $6.5 million in annual revenue-increasing Olson's annual revenue to about $71 million. The company now employs roughly 400, but that number is “on the rise all the time through all our disciplines,” Weismann said.

The MyThum acquisition follows two other recent purchases and is part of the company's goal to create “a holistic agency” that offers a breadth of solutions for clients, as well as “deep vertical expertise for those looking to specialize.”

In June, the company added Denali Marketing-a Minneapolis-based agency that specializes in customer loyalty. Olson also announced at that time that its president, Kevin DiLorenzo, was named CEO of the agency.

Olson acquired Chicago-based public relations firm Dig Communications in December.

DiLorenzo told Twin Cities Business on Monday that organic growth has been the primary driver of the company's acquisitions, as it aims to enhance and deepen its existing capabilities. He said that Olson will likely “hit the pause button” for six to eight months as it focuses on refining its new structure.

According to DiLorenzo, Olson will “shift talent pools” and ideas back and forth between its Minneapolis and Toronto offices.

“We believe we're building a different and new agency model,” DiLorenzo said. He describes his firm as “discipline-agnostic” and says that Olson's strategies focus on internal collaboration and delivering the best solutions to clients, rather than emphasizing competition.

“The best growth is yet to come,” he said, adding that he expects the company's recent acquisition and enhanced capabilities will help attract “new progressive clients.”