Awards & Press

National Firm, Ovative Group, Opens Office in Chicago

CHICAGO March 16, 2023 – Ovative Group, a media, consulting, and measurement firm that helps change makers drive measurable marketing performance, announced today that it has opened an office location in Chicago. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Ovative is expanding its national presence to best serve its clients and recruit top marketing talent. The firm’s presence is now in three metropolitan cities, including Minneapolis and New York City. 

Since opening its New York City office in 2021, Ovative has continued to experience explosive growth. The company expanded its team from 200 to 506 employees in just over two years, a 153% increase in headcount and revenues. In ‘23, Ovative is projected to organically increase revenues 35% compared to 2022, by providing full-funnel marketing and analytics expertise to clients across industries. 

Great work that drives growth has become the norm for Ovative. Founder and CEO Dale Nitschke attributes its growth to two key factors: a team-first mentality and a transformative approach to measuring marketing success. 

Our proprietary metric, Enterprise Marketing Return (EMR), measures the holistic return of our clients’ marketing investments. With this transformative metric and a roster of top, national experts on our team, we have been able to consistently retain a portfolio of world class clients and acquire new ones.Dale Nitschke, Founder and CEO, Ovative  

Amidst its growth, Ovative’s team-first mentality has resulted in local and national recognition. For seven years, the company has earned the title of Top Workplace. In 2022, it earned special recognition for Employee Appreciation, Professional Development, Compensation and Benefits, Innovation, Leadership, and Purpose and Values.  

The Chicago team will deploy its key offerings to raise the bar for its clients across the nation. MAP, Ovative’s proprietary measurement technology, enables the team to understand the impact of marketing efforts on all sales channels. It utilizes an industry-leading approach, unifying Media Mix Modeling (MMM) and Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) capabilities to measure the impact of both digital and traditional marketing on overall business. MAP is custom-built to help marketers accelerate growth in times when every dollar matters, and customer data and privacy are top of mind. 

In addition to moving the needle for clients, the team will have the opportunity to make an impact for their local communities through Champions of Change. As part of the program’s Skills-Based Partnerships pillar, team members use their unique marketing skills to increase organizations’ access to digital media and improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Ovative offers full-service, ongoing agency support or helps organizations build their own marketing program, all pro-bono. 

In March 2023, Ovative’s Chicago team members began working out of the new office at 224 N Desplaines Street. The office space is approximately 7,000 square feet, features conference rooms and phone booth spaces equipped with world-class video technology to accommodate Ovative’s hybrid work model, and fits 40 workstations – allowing the team room to grow as they continue to hire for open roles.

Says Mara Dougherty, Chicago resident and Sr. Manager of Paid Social at Ovative, “Opening a Chicago office exemplifies Ovative’s commitment to team, providing the space for us to connect more often and empowering us to continue raising the bar across our clients nationwide.” 

Ovative serves a deep roster of brands across industries who seek to transform their business, including Coach, Kate Spade, General Mills, The Home Depot, United Healthcare, Duluth Trading Company, and more. 

ABOUT OVATIVE GROUP 

Ovative Group is an independent media and measurement firm that helps clients drive and deliver measurable marketing performance. Founded in 2009 by Dale Nitschke, Ovative brings media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to measure the holistic impact of marketing on clients’ total business using its proprietary metric, Enterprise Marketing Return (EMR). Ovative’s team of marketing experts serves as a trusted partner for its national world-class client base of marketing leaders across many industries. Ovative is recognized as an industry leader and has received awards including Adweek Fastest Growing Agencies, Star Tribune’s Top Workplaces, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Fast 50, and Inc. 5000. For more information about Ovative, visit ovative.com or follow Ovative on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  


Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of Target.com and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Steve Benson

Steve Benson

Chief Financial Officer

About the Author

Steve is the Chief Financial Officer of Ovative. Steve is responsible for the company’s IT, corporate accounting, treasury, tax, financial planning and analysis, and Business Operations

Prior to joining Ovative, Steve provided finance and accounting advisory services to clients. Before that, he spent 23 years at Target Corporation, leading Finance and Accounting teams.

Steve enjoys distance running, woodworking, and traveling. Steve and his wife have two sons, and they enjoy escaping to the Minnesota north shore.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Steve Baxter

Steve Baxter

Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

About the Author

Steve is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Ovative. Steve has been with the company since 2010 and launched Ovative’s media practice in 2012.

Prior to joining Ovative, Steve worked at Target for 8 years where he led development of Target’s CRM initiatives, Digital media analytics and Target’s Media Network. In 2005, Steve developed Target’s proprietary in-house capabilities to both measure in-store sales impact from digital brand investments and personalize marketing messages across both digital and non-digital channels.

Steve is an industry leader on topics including marketing, advanced measurement, ecommerce, and monetization. Steve enjoys fishing, camping, golfing and trying to stay competitive in any sport with his three boys. Steve enjoys escaping to the MN north shore with his wife, boys and dog whenever possible.

Beth McKigney

Senior Vice President, Measurement

About the Author

Beth is the Senior Vice President of Measurement at Ovative. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and supporting proprietary technology products that enable clients to unlock insights across marketing channels and devices. Since joining Ovative in 2013, Beth built Ovative’s Site Analytics & Optimization practice and Ovative’s unified marketing measurement tool, MAP. She is spearheading development of new technology products focused on advanced analytics, testing and reporting.

Prior to joining Ovative, Beth spent 9 years at Target in multiple digital and marketing analytics roles. She defined and delivered Target’s email and mobile marketing strategies, identified and defined Target.com guest-facing technology enhancements, and managed site-wide promotional marketing plans.

Beth is a thought leader in advanced analytics and optimization strategies. She regularly advises clients on strategies to improve their marketing effectiveness and is a published thought leader. She lives in Brooklyn Park with her husband, two boys and dog, Sota.  Beth’s an avid University of Minnesota sports fan (especially football – Row the Boat!) and enjoys downhill skiing, biking, hunting and fishing.

Lindsy Steinberger

Sr. Manager, Paid Search

About the Author

Lindsy is a Sr. Manager on the Paid Search team at Ovative.

Tyler Spiwak

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Tyler is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Dianne Anderson

Senior Vice President, Media

About the Author

Dianne is the Senior Vice President of Media at Ovative. She is responsible for delivery and growth across paid digital media, traditional media, marketplaces, and creative services. Since joining the company in 2013, Dianne has been a key leader in establishing new channel practices, a strategic voice in media and marketing strategy and a driver scaling best in class teams. She regularly advises clients on ecommerce, retail, digital media and measurement strategies.

Prior to joining Ovative, Dianne spent 8 years at Target leading strategy and activation of digital e-comm and brand marketing initiatives.

Dianne is passionate about music, leading ukulele lessons for the team and participating in office musical collaborations.  Her happy places are Northern Wisconsin, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she enjoys making memories with her family.

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

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