Dale Nitschke, the 24-year Target executive whose last post was developing and running Target.com, is on a fast-growth track with his Ovative, a fast-growing digital analytics and measurement firm.
The 2009-vintage, 85-employee company is moving from 701 Washington Av. N. in North Loop to twice-as-much space in a new building a couple blocks away and expects to double in size within three years.
“We create the measurement capability for customers and use that capability to help them spend their digital-advertising dollars on the new enterprise metrics that we developed,” said Nitschke, 54.
“Most digital-media agencies are focused on optimizing digital channels, the e-commerce businesses. We focus on online and offline revenue and customer acquisition . . . to understand what activities within digital marketing can most efficiently acquire new customers. That's part of our operating lens. Businesses want to grow revenue and acquire new customers.
Ovative’s revenue rose from $1 million in 2010 to $15 million in 2016.
Customers include Kohls, Maurices, General Mills, Buffalo Wild Wings, Marriot, UnitedHealthcare, education and technologies companies.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is supporting the project with a $605,000 grant from its job-creation fund. Ovative, which plans to invest $2.1 million in the new facilities and add 100 people over the next three years, will receive the funding after it has met investment and job creation commitments.
“We needed more space,” Nitschke said. “We learned about the [state jobs-subsidy] program through our real estate people. That helped solidify the decision. We considered all options.”
Said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy: “Ovative is growing at a remarkable pace, thanks to high demand for their services that enable businesses to measure and optimize the effectiveness of digital marketing efforts. The company is attracting top talent and has a [bright] future."
NEAL ST. ANTHONY