• Ovative Named Adweek Fastest Growing Agency

    Ovative Named Adweek Fastest Growing Agency

    Ovative ranked number 49 of 75 National Agencies and 8 for Midwest Agencies.

    Ovative Group, 10/24/2022

  • Ovative Hires Veteran Marketer Annie Zipfel As Next EVP

    Ovative Hires Veteran Marketer Annie Zipfel As Next EVP

    Ovative named their newest Executive Vice President of Media, Annie Zipfel, out of their Minneapolis Headquarters. Zipfel will oversee client delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, retail media) and creative services. She will lead a team of over 240 media experts. Zipfel has 30 years of marketing experience for retail and consumer product brands. As former Chief Marketing Officer of Andersen Windows & Doors, Vice President of Marketing, Loyalty Innovation, and Personalization at Starbucks, and leadership roles at REI, Target Corporation, and General Mills, Zipfel understands how to develop marketing strategies that connect consumers with brands to drive success. She will report to Dale Nitschke, CEO and Founder of Ovative Group.

    Ovative Group, 10/12/2022

  • Ovative x Duluth Trading Named National Finalist for Search Engine Land Awards

    Ovative x Duluth Trading Named National Finalist for Search Engine Land Awards

    Ovative was named one of five national finalists by Search Engine Land Awards for Best Local Search Marketing Initiative. Ovative’s winning application highlighted work with Duluth Trading Company for a Holiday 2021 campaign. Duluth Trading has been an Ovative client for over five years. Judges were looking for innovative strategies and creative tactics implemented, best practices/white-hat methods employed, resources and technology utilized, and tangible/measurable business results.

    Ovative Group, 10/20/2022

  • Ovative Named an Agency Disruptor by Meta

    Ovative Named an Agency Disruptor by Meta

    We are proud to be recognized by Meta as an agency disrupter! What does this mean? Our team says it best: 💪 "We are helping our clients get to the next level and navigating a tough, ever-changing space in the digital media landscape." - Jenny 📈 "We are changing the measurement industry. What we are bringing to the table with EMR [Enterprise Marketing Return] is groundbreaking." - Joe

    LinkedIn, 08/19/2022

  • Star Tribune Names Ovative Group a 2022 Top Workplace   - Ovative Insights

    Star Tribune Names Ovative Group a 2022 Top Workplace   - Ovative Insights

    Ovative Group was ranked #12 within mid-sized companies on Star Tribune’s Top 200 Workplaces list for 2022. This is Ovative’s seventh consecutive time on the Minnesota list. Additionally, Ovative earned National Top Workplaces accolades for Employee Appreciation, Professional Development, Innovation, Compensation and Benefits, Purpose and Values, and Leadership.

    Ovative Group, 06/15/2022

Client Start Year End Year
Rue 21 2021 Current
Puritan's Pride 2020 Current
Musical Instrument Museum 2018 Current
La-Z-Boy 2022 Current
Electrolux 2022 Current
Disney 2021 2022
CVS Health 2021 2022
1-800-FLOWERS.COM 2022 Current
Domino's 2021 Current
Tapestry (Coach, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman) 2019 Current

Ovative is an independent, digital-first media and measurement firm. We were founded in 2009, currently have a team of 400+, and manage $1B in media assets. We help change makers across industries drive and deliver measurable performance. Ovative was created to address two glaring market opportunities:

1. Help clients take a more customer-centric, enterprise focused approach to managing and measuring their marketing programs. We know customers should be at the center of all decisions. We saw an opportunity to craft marketing and media strategies that are informed by and supportive of your customer goals. We believe your marketing and media program should be designed and managed holistically. Decisions should be made with the total customer experience in mind. We believe marketing and media performance should therefore be measured based on the total incremental impact to your business (online and offline) and customer goals (contribution to customer acquisition, retention, and reactivation).

2. We also saw an opportunity to redefine what it means to be an agency partner. Most of Ovative’s leadership team spent their careers as operators – working for large enterprise organizations leading media and measurement programs. This experience has translated to institutional knowledge and empathy for our client’s day-to-day responsibilities. We designed the firm based on how we would want an agency partner to show up. We believe an agency partner should be more than a vendor. Your agency should be as invested in growing your business as you are. We should know the numbers inside and out and understand how the scope we are supporting ladders up to your broader business goals.

These foundational beliefs have informed everything we do at Ovative. All the services and products we offer are aligned to this customer-centric, integrated enterprise mindset.

Our services include:
Customer Foundation
For us, everything starts with your customer. We immerse ourselves in your customer, company, and competitive data, augmenting gaps and translating insights into data-driven customer metrics and activation strategies for performance marketing channels, including:
• Customer Activation Strategy
• Customer Research & Insights
• Customer Segmentation
• Customer Growth Analytics
• Customer Experience Design

Comprehensive Strategy
Knowing customers interact with you across media channels (traditional, digital, site, email, etc.) and conversion channels (online, call center, field agents, etc.), we develop comprehensive marketing, media, and creative strategies to support a seamless consumer experience and fuel consumer and enterprise growth goals, including:
• Marketing Strategy
• Media Strategy & Planning
• Creative & Messaging Strategy

Full Funnel Activation
Actions are more powerful than words so we don’t stop at recommendations. We bring customer, marketing, media, and creative strategies to life across all digital, traditional, paid, and owned channels, including:
• Paid digital media strategy and management: Paid Search, Paid Social, Display (including Programmatic and Brand Partnerships), Affiliate, and Marketplaces
• Owned digital media strategy and management: SEO, Digital Experience Optimization (including site and app conversion rate optimization, A/B testing, landing page optimization, personalization, and tagging/analytics setup and management)
• Traditional media strategy and management: Video and Audio (including national, local, direct response TV, addressable video - including OTT, CTV and linear; terrestrial radio, and streaming audio - including podcasts), Print, and OOH
• Creative services: Content Marketing, Creative Production

Enterprise Measurement
We have found that many organizations struggle to fully apply customer data and advanced measurement capabilities in ways that are actually useful to marketers. Our advanced measurement specialists, reporting capabilities, and measurement technologies help clients make better business decisions and establish a more holistic view of their marketing impact. Our measurement offerings include:
• Measurement and data strategy
• Best in class media performance reporting
• Test design, execution, and analysis
• Marketing Analytics Platform (MAP), our proprietary unified MMM and MTA model helps clients measure the impact of your marketing investments on total company performance

  • Dale Nitschke

    Dale Nitschke

    CEO & Founder

    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.
  • Annie Zipfel

    Annie Zipfel

    Executive Vice President

    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

    Bonnie Gross

    Executive Vice President, Talent Services

    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, Media

    Steve is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. Steve oversees delivery and growth across paid digital media, owned digital media, traditional media, marketplaces, and creative services. He 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.
  • Steve Benson

    Steve Benson

    Chief Financial Officer

    Steve is the Chief Financial Officer of Ovative. Steve is responsible for the company’s corporate accounting, treasury, tax, financial planning and analysis, and Business Operations Prior to joining Ovative, Steve provided finance and accounting advisory services to clients while at Salo LLC. Before that, he spent 23 years at Target Corporation, leading various Finance and Accounting teams. Steve enjoys distance running, and volunteers with Twin Cities in Motion, the non-profit organizer of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. He also serves on the TCM board of directors. Steve and his wife have two sons, and they enjoy escaping to the Minnesota north shore.
  • Beth McKigney

    Beth McKigney

    Senior Vice President, Measurement

    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 Marketing Analytics Platform (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.
  • Dianne Anderson

    Dianne Anderson

    Senior Vice President, Media

    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.
  • Jesse Grittner

    Jesse Grittner

    Senior Vice President, Growth

    Jesse is the Senior Vice President of Growth at Ovative. He oversees Client Services, Marketing and Business Development and is responsible for driving growth across Ovative’s Media, Measurement, and Consulting offerings. Jesse has defined and advanced Ovative’s growth vision – bringing together Client Services, Marketing and Business Development into one team to best serve our current and prospective clients. In prior roles, Jesse led the Strategy Consulting practice at Ovative and led multiple measurement and activation client engagements. Prior to joining Ovative in 2016, Jesse spent 10 years leading management and strategy consulting teams for Target, McKinsey & Company, and Aimia. Outside of Ovative, Jesse is a leader on topics including business strategy, marketing strategy, and talent development. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife, two kids, two cats, and two guinea pigs.
  • Jo Hamburge

    Jo Hamburge

    Senior Vice President, Consulting

    Jo is the Senior Vice President of Consulting at Ovative, responsible for diagnosing and solving business problems and marketing challenges that prevent clients from accelerating enterprise growth. Since joining Ovative, Jo has been a key leader in developing and building Ovative’s consulting offerings, regularly advising clients on customer, marketing, and measurement strategies, digital transformation, and cross-functional team leadership. Jo has also led the development of Ovative’s own strategy. Prior to her current role, Jo launched Ovative’s Client Services team. Prior to joining Ovative in 2017, Jo spent 5 years at Target Corporation where she helped lead the Enterprise Strategy team. During this time, she led the development of Target’s overall strategy and its presentation to the Board. Jo also spent 6 years leading strategy consulting engagements for leading Fortune 500 companies at McKinsey & Company, primarily in financial services and retail banking. Jo began her career in project management roles at JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, before and after business school. Outside of Ovative, Jo is an avid world traveler who is equally passionate about living and working in the North Loop and is working on making her charismatic cat into an internet star.
  • Ericka Strickland

    Ericka Strickland

    Vice President, Paid Media

    Ericka is the Vice President of Paid Media at Ovative. She leads the firm’s Paid Search practice, responsible for client satisfaction, team training and development, and channel growth. Before her current role, Ericka led multiple client engagements as a Paid Search channel lead where she was responsible for defining and managing execution of channel strategies and optimizations. Prior to joining Ovative in 2014, Ericka led the development of an in-house paid search capabilities at Northern Tool & Equipment. For 4 years, she managed the retailer’s advertising budget across SEO, SEM and PLA channels, trained and developed a team of paid search experts, and partnered with advanced analytics team to drive performance analyses. As a former client, in-house marketer, and agency leader, Ericka is a redefining internal team processes and external client experiences. She holds multiple certifications across Google AdWords, Kenshoo, and Marin.
  • Erin Aberg

    Erin Aberg

    Vice President, Talent Services

    Erin is the Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative, responsible for developing Ovative’s 160+ team members to maximize their potential. Erin is taking her experience in the business and redefining leadership and talent development programs to create a rewarding culture and inclusive work experience, fuel Ovative’s differentiation in the market, and advance the team’s personal and professional growth. Before joining Ovative in 2016, Erin spent 8 years at Target Corporation in senior site and store marketing roles. Erin was responsible defining and executing site analytics marketing strategies across a variety of key categories then later translated her digital understanding to promotional marketing in stores. Prior to Target, Erin spent 3 years advising clients on cross-functional direct response strategies and tactics. Erin is involved in a variety of mentoring and diversity initiatives— and is frequently invited to speak at industry conferences and events on topics including talent development and diversity, equality and inclusion in the workforce.
  • Jasmin Stevens

    Jasmin Stevens

    Vice President, Marketing

    Jas is the Vice President of Ovative Marketing. Ovative Marketing is responsible for building Ovative’s national brand presence, using innovative strategies to break through to prospective client and talent audiences. Jas has more than 20 years of experience in Marketing, including an extensive background leading digital marketing strategies and building relationships with strategic partners.
  • Jay Eyunni

    Jay Eyunni

    Vice President, Client Services

    Jay is the Vice President of Client Services at Ovative. He oversees client satisfaction and delivery across Ovative’s Media, Measurement, and Consulting offerings. Jay is responsible for building and growing relationships with Ovative’s leading clients to increase client value and enterprise growth. In his role, Jay has built new cross-team planning processes and tools to better serve our clients. Prior to his current role, Jay led digital media strategy and activation for multiple client engagements. Prior to joining Ovative in 2016, Jay spent 4 years leading and executing digital media for Ancestry.com globally. In this role, Jay partnered to successfully build an in-house digital marketing teams, across channels and geographies, driving maximum value for Ancestry. In addition, Jay built and managed paid digital media programs across multiple start-ups and verticals including at Adchemy, Pulpo Media and Consorte Media. Outside of Ovative, Jay enjoys spending time with his family (wife and 2 little kiddos), getting outside as much as possible (before the winter, of course) and trying all the best sandwich joints out there.
  • Jen Alcott

    Jen Alcott

    Vice President

    Jen is a Vice President of Client Services at Ovative where she leads client engagements and delivery for Ovative’s leading ecommerce and retail clients. In her role, Jen is responsible for defining and executing cross-channel media strategies and driving operational excellence across disciplines. Before joining Ovative in 2019, Jen led digital and marketing teams at Best Buy and Target for 16 years. During her 5 years at Best Buy, Jen built the social media channel and was responsible for performance across paid, owned and earned. During her time at Best Buy she defined the role of the channel, defined the KPIs and reporting framework and established the operating model for the team. At Target, she led multiple marketing initiatives within Target’s site merchandising team, media networks, mobile product (app and mweb) and rapid prototyping of new retail capabilities. Outside of Ovative, Jen is thought leader on cross-functional team leadership, multi-channel marketing and digital media analytics. She loves to travel and spend time discovering new state and national parks with her family.
  • Shannon Kast

    Shannon Kast

    Vice President, Client Services

    Shannon is a Vice President of Client Services at Ovative. She is responsible for strategic relationship management and enhanced operational excellence needed to maintain and grow some of our largest and most complex Ovative clients. She will partner across channel, measurement, and consulting teams to help bring our brand media toolset to life while unlocking measurement opportunities for all clients. Shannon is a dynamic, passionate integrated marketing and media strategist with a proven track record of achieving exceptional business results for Fortune 50 clients. Prior to joining Ovative, she spent 14+ years at Haworth Marketing + Media leading key accounts such as Target, Walmart and Shutterfly. Shannon is fueled by fast-paced industries that look to enhance marketing and communications planning to maximize performance. Shannon lives in Saint Paul with her husband and three kids. She’s passionate about both cooking and traveling – which leads to lots of new experiments in the kitchen! Shannon also enjoys just about anything outdoors, including downhill skiing and spending time at her cabin in northern Minnesota.
  • Troy Neidermire

    Troy Neidermire

    Vice President

    Troy is the Vice President of Measurement and Enabling Services at Ovative. He is responsible for developing holistic marketing and customer measurement solutions that transform the measure of marketing success for clients. Through unrivaled service and Ovative’s proprietary technology offerings, his team delivers the tools needed to answer clients’ most complex marketing questions. Troy brings more than 17 years of experience in Performance Marketing, CRM and Loyalty Marketing, Testing and Analytics, Product Development, and Website Optimization. He spent 14 years with Target Corporation, where he helped lead the company’s digital transformation efforts. During his tenure, Target’s digital business grew by more than 2,000% and consistently outpaced industry competitive growth rates. Troy was also actively engaged in standing up the first-ever MarTech and AdTech Product organization and defining and delivering Target’s Media Funding Model focused on Enterprise Return, Target Circle (their loyalty program with personalization capabilities), Roundel (their Retail Media Network), and Target+ (their online marketplace). Troy has been recognized for his work by Brand Innovators’ “40 under 40” and holds nine U.S. patents for his work building Target.com’s ecommerce platform. Outside of his career, Troy enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, and live music with his wife Kate, daughter Mara, and their dog Frances. He’s an avid outdoorsman and enjoys bowhunting, fishing, and spending time at their family hunting property in northern Wisconsin
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