2022 Women in Business: Nicole Newville grows digital marketing firm Kose – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal – The Business Journals


Clients of Kose describe the digital marketing powerhouse and its CEO Nicole Newville as “fluent in the language of connection.” Even the Minneapolis-based company’s name is taken from the Norwegian word “koselig,” which roughly translates to intimacy and connection.
With 18 years of experience working for digital media firms like space150, which increased its media billings tenfold during her tenure, Newville founded Kose in 2013. Under her leadership the firm has doubled its revenue nearly every year and expanded its full-time staff by 54% since 2019.
In 2020, Newville and Kose were honored with a Bronze Effie, a prestigious award recognizing the most effective marketing efforts across the U.S., in the category of Business-to-Business – Services for Kose’s contributions to the successful Bulwark FR campaign. Effie also recognized Kose as a finalist in the Renaissance category for a campaign for the University of Minnesota.
Newville gives back to the community in a variety of ways, including with the Kose team, mentoring students in the U of M’s Backpack Communications agency.
How I found my voice as a leader: I distinctly remember one of my first meetings at space150 was with Marc Jenson, the chief technology officer. I remember being so impressed at his communication style in meetings — he was able to translate complex technical topics into simple concepts that allowed everyone in the room to participate in the discussion. His direct, honest and humble approach was really refreshing. That interaction completely changed my approach to communicating with clients and colleagues.
How I measure success: The ultimate measure of success as a leader is how engaged and motivated your team is. It’s especially critical in our business. Our daily work is very challenging because it revolves around answering the question, “Why?” Which means our teams need to not only know how we’re performing based on our goals, but also what factors are accelerating or limiting our performance. Being able to answer “why” is the reason our teams are able to have a tremendous impact on our clients’ business. We’re doing more than just distributing messages — we’re also providing insight into market dynamics, proposing strategic innovations in communication, and assisting in the change management process/preparation of important marketing technology updates.
Hot topic in my field: Data and privacy
Fantasy job: Part-time florist and stay-at-home mom
One thing I always have with me: Notebook with a pen
Best stress reliever: Vacation planning
Favorite vacation spot: Any place with a great local food scene
I’d most like to have a business lunch with: Sharon McMahon, @sharonsaysso
I’d take them to this Twin Cities eatery: Travail Kitchen & Amusements
Founder and CEO, Kose
Education: Bachelor of Arts, journalism, University of Minnesota; MBA, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business
Board memberships: MNSNAP (Spay Neuter Assistance Program), Koch Hills Homeowners Association, University of Minnesota Backpack Communications
Volunteer activities: Assistant coach for third-grade basketball, Hopkins Girls Basketball Association; Backpack Mentorship Program
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