006: Mentorship, Media Buying, and Motivation with Cory Henke

C: Podcast

Cory Henke’s path to his current stop, leading his media buying and analytics agency, is anything but a straight line. From convincing his college basketball coach to let him walk on as a novice to being taken into investor meetings by his last boss and CEO, Cory’s learned a lot of things by being unafraid to ask questions, take risks, and be the best at whatever role is needed, especially if that role is ‘Dad.’ 

Key Points + Topics

  • [1:27] Cory Henke started his post-high school education with a year at a junior college. Then he found himself at a small school called California Lutheran University. He tried to join the D1 basketball team despite never playing a season in high school. The coach was unimpressed. However, in later discussions with the basketball team, so many of them stood up and explained why Cory would be a boon to the team, even if he wasn’t going to get them a ton of points on the scoreboard. His experience as a member of the basketball team taught him many skills he’s used throughout his career. He learned hard work, long hours, dedication, and molding yourself to a role. He also learned that there are certain things that only experience will get you. Agency work and life rely on so many of these skills for success. 
  • [6:38] A mentor is someone willing to tell you the truth. They’re someone who doesn’t need anything from you and is willing to spend the time to help mold you. The most important piece, though, is telling you the truth; and the mentee must be a willing vessel, open to receiving the truth. 
  • [7:28] Cory’s first mentor and boss, Cat, was ruthless. She made sure he understood that he couldn’t waste time or attention and really set the tone of his professional career. She helped instill a sense of urgency and the importance of being a strong team member. She brought tough love. Some mentors are very kind, but it’s nice to see that Cory learned so much from mentors, even if they had a less-than-gentle approach to mentorship. He also had two other women as managers that saw the potential in him and got him into the rooms and meetings with people that he would want to make connections. They helped mold him into being a leader of a brand. 
  • [13:19] Cory found himself truly buying into the agency world when working on a particular client – Mormon.org. This client, due to its religious nature, couldn’t really be advertised on big publishers like Google or Yahoo at the time. So Cory went around to all of the smaller advertising networks they were on and cut the cost of advertising down through negotiating. He realized digital marketing is a disruption and innovation at the same time. This lead him to working for Yahoo. He wanted to work for the publishing side, which put him in the room with hyper-intelligent people and big-name brands. 
  • [18:05] Cory’s most recent CEO and mentor was Jeff Davis. He was the CEO of Molio. He made Cory work incredibly hard, but he also opened the door for him to many things. Jeff took Cory with him to investor meetings and big pitch meetings and helped him learn what it was like to run an agency. Eventually, Cory landed a big client and grew their revenue considerably in a very short time. He used this as evidence to ask for a raise. Jeff told him they couldn’t afford to pay him what he wanted and that he needed to go out on his own at that point. Molio is also what brought Cory to Utah, the first place he’d ever lived or worked outside of Los Angeles. The community and connections he’d built with other businesses in Utah, coupled with the low cost of entry into the agency world, ultimately launched his own agency that he runs to this day. 
  • [23:55] Now, Cory is the mentor, and he makes sure to do it all with transparency and love. He’s very open to sharing knowledge and is willing to teach anybody anything. As a leader, he’s always sure to be the safety net if his employees need it. If they have a potential client and the employee doesn’t want to work with them, and Cory doesn’t want to work with them, they won’t sign them. He doesn’t want to ask anyone to do any work he wouldn’t be willing to do. He tries to allow his employees the space and freedom to grow independently. He’s told them to learn and do things not for the logo because that can disappear, but to do it for themselves and their education. 
  • [29:00] Cory’s Keys to Mentoring Success:
    • Lead by example
      • The biggest one for him. He doesn’t want to ask people he wouldn’t want to do. It was previously things he “can’t” do because there are going to be a lot of things you don’t know how to do. But you’ve got to be willing to get in there and learn. 
    • Always make the time
    • Hold frame and accountability
  • [30:00] Cory lists the position of ‘Dad’ first in his LinkedIn bio. Why? It’s the biggest piece of his life. He didn’t have the best upbringing and didn’t plan on this being his path. His soon-to-be wife is from Estonia, and she’s taught him about his own childhood trauma and what it means to be a family. Your kids are who keep you here. They’re also tougher than any job, but they come first. They’ll always be first. 
  • [32:29] Favorite element of digital marketing – DATA! Cory believes in data so much. There are so many different variables out there. And marketing and advertising data are the best data. We have data that looks like consumer behavior. He believes data is the gold to success in this field and wants to be the best at mining it. Cory believes data is the backbone to success, at least for him. 
  • [34:40] Why does YouTube hold such a place of focus for Cory? Molio was one of the first agencies to have video production and media buying right next to each other. He could quickly produce and test different media. But the majority of the agency’s clients don’t run that much Youtube, but that’s because their audience isn’t there. Variable is all about making money for itself and its clients. All the different platforms contain their own advantage, and it’s finding and exploiting that. 
  • [38:32] Variable highlights how they help clients scale. With the past few years being a big shift in all marketing trends, some of the focuses have changed. Beginning in 2020 and into 2021, scaling a business required a talented media buyer. In the last year, successful scaling has come from those focusing on product innovation. Media buying is no less important than it was before. Now, it seems the industry is going to shift back to being a bit more balanced like it was back in 2018. Back to a sense of normalcy. Cory doesn’t think TikTok is the new Facebook. It’s the shiny new thing right now. It’s innovated in some new ways. The agency has seen success with a new tactic of hashtag targeting. But it hasn’t existed for that long, not like Facebook. 
  • [44:54] Cory Henke’s Top 3 Tips for Getting into Media Buying
    • #1 Don’t buy a course -he jokes. There are some great courses. But media buying is something you have to experience. When you have to manage budgets, there’s some pressure and urgency, and you get to see that you moved the needle. This is an experience sport.
    • #2 Be humble. BE humble. Cory has wins and losses. Nobody always wins. You’re going to do your best; sometimes it doesn’t work, and know that it’s not all on you. 
    • #3 Learn how to do a pivot table and v-lookup. Those are excel terms. This will take you from being lost in a sea of 40 pages of raw data into something visualized and actionable. 
  • [47:31] The Variable company website is in Notion. Why? Cory has always struggled with websites. They had a horrible website for a long time. They started getting so much biz from referrals Cory thought, “We don’t need it.” He built the website in Notion primarily for ease. They didn’t have to pay for space on a web server and could just make a quick update here, and it changes there. It’s all templated and copy, paste, and update. 
  • [50:55] Lightening Round
    • Favorite Youtube Channels
      • Paid Media Pros
      • Lex Friedman
      • Andrew Huberman
    • Favorite UFC Individuals
      • Israel Adesanya
      • Nate Diaz
      • Dana White (not a fighter) 

Guest + Episode Links

Full Episode Transcript

Danny Gavin    00:26 

Hey everyone, my name is Danny Gavin. I’m the founder of Optidge, a full service digital marketing agency and a marketing professor and the host of the digital marketing mentor. I’m super excited. Have a very special guest today, Cory Henke, my man, the CEO and Founder of Variable Media. And Variable Media is an analytics agency. Ultimately they use data and results driven planning strategy and buying using proprietary variable analysis methodology. Recently Cory presented at Hero Conference in Austin, and he won best presentation as well. Cory in general speaks at a lot of different he’s invited to speak at a lot of different conferences and online webinars, and he’s truly a master of data. So awesome to have you here, Cory.


Cory Henke    01:11 

Thank you. Thank you, Danny, so much to be here. Yeah, just excited, man. You know, haven’t got a chance to sit down and talk with you, but yeah, super excited that, you know, we get a chance to do this, so.


Danny Gavin    01:22 

All right. O let’s dive straight in. Let’s talk about your background. Where did you go to school and what did you study?


Cory Henke    01:29 

Sure i think like most kids coming out of high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Ended up in Junior college for a year and then somehow ended up at a school called Cal Lutheran University. It’s a small school in Thousand Oaks, maybe about 3000 kids. And I’m the lucky enough to have made the college basketball team there, having never played in high school. And that was, you know, just a journey over a summer. With a close friend of mine who was going to, you know, play D1 and luckily I had a background in volleyball so i could jump pretty high and you know D3 is not D1 So I was able to slide in there and that was kind of, you know, a really cool thing and you know something I hold, you know close to.


Danny Gavin    02:11 

I feel like that basketball experience was really important in shaping you just because I like, I know you’re discipline and, you know, was there a coach or maybe a professor during college that was kind of. Stood out as. Like inspiration or maybe someone even think about these days.


Cory Henke    02:29 

I think what drove me was the fact that, you know, like, I could play, I could try out every single year in high school and like never make it, you know, for, in my opinion, somewhat of the wrong reasons. And then, you know, there was a coach that, you know, in college that gave me a chance. But the interesting part about that story, you know, Danny, is that as I was trying to make the team, there was a time where, you know, I had to go into that office and say, hey coach, you know, like, can I make this team? You know, like, would you allow me on this team? And he said no. I said, you know, you can go kick rocks. And I was just like, and I told them, you know, and it was kind of just a couple. I’m just like, listen, man, I know it’s expensive to put somebody on this team, right? You got to take him to Hawaii, you got to give them a jersey. You gotta put, you know, money in. I don’t need any of that. Just let me practice. Like, these guys are my best friends now and I just want to come to practice. Like, I don’t care, you know, about playing any of that stuff. I just want to be next to these guys. So then I think about a week later, you’re just going to give me some time. Let me think about it. He had a meeting with the team and at the end of the meeting, nobody said anything. And one of the team captains stood up and said, hey, what about Cory? And the coach, you know, pointed to the board with a lot of, like the things that they wanted to do this year and he says you guys think that we can’t accomplish all these things without Cory, right, which is an absolutely fair statement. And I think the response was like, listen, coach. Corey’s not gonna score 20 points a game. Corey’s not going to be the best on this team. But he does add value in the sense that like, he’s going to make us better. Then he sits down. Somebody else gets up and stands up for me. He sits down. Somebody else stands up and gets up for me. And after that, the coach was just like a little flustered. They said, again, I wasn’t there. But after that, you know, I walked into his office and he threw me a jersey and said you earned the respect of your teammates. And it was, you know, one of those times in life that I will never forget. But it wasn’t necessarily the coach. It was really the team, you know, that stood up for me. And I think from that, you know, I learned a lot. Being on that team, you know, I learned, I think one of the biggest things that coach ever said to me was just like, we’re going to work you so hard that, like, when you get out of college, it’ll be easy. And he couldn’t have been more right. The fact that I was up at five AM and running until seven AM and then going to class and then at 12, you got to go to practice and then you have to weight lift and you go back to class for a little bit, and then you have to go back to practice and then go to study Hall. They own a lot of your time. And then when you get out and you just have to go to work from nine to five and they pay you. Pretty good deal, you know, if you ask me.


Danny Gavin    05:03 

Yeah, it’s amazing. And i feel like that’s why a lot of athletes, I mean, I’m not saying all of them, but a lot of athletes, I feel they are successful because later on in life, because they have that grounding and they know what it means to work hard and to graft hard.


Cory Henke    05:20 

I try to apply the same mentality. You know, I try to be able to push through and, you know, be a team player. I think the thing that it taught me, Danny, is that like i never really played like of three years playing on this team, I probably played a total of 20 minutes, maybe scored eight to 10 points, you know, total. Because again, me coming there, I couldn’t gain the knowledge that these guys had the previous four years and it was a little upsetting. I could jump with them, I could play with them, but I couldn’t know the plays or run things the same way they could with that experience and it showed me the value of experience. You know, it’s like really learn something in depth over a long period of time. But I think the bigger thing that I learned. Was being a role player. You know, like knowing your role on a team, like, you’re not always going to be the best. Like sometimes you’re going to be a sous chef. Like it’s OK, you know, and I took that with me. And wherever I went, you kind of had to like, mold yourself to the role to make sure that the overall job got done. And I think that’s a lot of agency work, right? Like you’re not going to come in as an assistant account executive and, you know, be leading a call, right. You have to learn that, you know, like over time. And so luckily I had, you know, great teachers, you know, at that first job that was able to help me. Mold me, you know really help, so I really appreciate those.


Danny Gavin    06:35 

I mean, we’re really talking about mentorship, right? But let’s go into how would you define a mentor?


Cory Henke    06:42 

I would define a mentor or somebody that’s willing to tell you the truth. Somebody that doesn’t necessarily, you know, need anything from you, but is willing to, you know, help you, give you their time. I think, you know, mold you. But I think the biggest thing that they can do is tell you the truth and earn your trust so that you believe them when they tell you things that are a little bit tougher to hear. But that that’s what I think it is.


Danny Gavin    07:06 

The running theme about the truth and transparency is so important, right. Because a mentor when they sugarcoat it, we don’t want that, right. We want to hear what they actually have to say and obviously have to be willing and a willing vessel in order to receive that. But yeah it’s very important part. You know we touched upon high school, college, let’s get into your mentors especially when you were you know at the at the corporations and the corporate jobs early in your career.


Cory Henke    07:32 

Yeah, I think you know one of my first. Contours is one of my first bosses, Cat Chong. You know, if I could describe her in one word, it’d be ruthless. You know, I remember the first time I was training with her. It was like she kind of just, you know, went through things and she would check on me. Like, yo, are you paying attention? Because I don’t want to repeat this again. So like, you’re going to take notes. You’re going to go through this. And it really levels set me in terms of justice, like, OK, this is a serious thing, you know, like I can’t waste her time. And there was multiple times during that, during that, like first year where she was just, you know, slams the deck on my desk and goes, hey, we’re all waiting for you for you to finish, you know? And it kind of puts things in perspective that this is a team, you’re a piece of it, and we need you to get your stuff done so all this thing can move. And I think that’s what. You know, she definitely gave, you know, me was just that sense of urgency. This is serious and you need to take it seriously because these are big brands and, you know, she’s got a job to do and her job is to make me, you know, as good as I can be, so. I think she was big in the earliest, you know, part of my career. And now that, you know, I manage a team of 10 and I have managers who manage new people that come on. I always let them know and the person that they’re managing that like, that’s the person. Like the person that turns you into like a good, you know, office, you know, a good individual who’s there adds value, you know, sort of changes, you know, the way that you know, approach things I think deserves, you know, a lot of credit, you know, in terms of that person’s career because it’s tough. In the beginning it was very tough for me, you know, I felt a lot and I’m and I’m glad I had amazing people around me to help.


Danny Gavin    09:14 

It’s funny because it reminds me of sometimes when I’m like teaching someone or telling someone and I see that they’re not taking notes, I’m like, I look at them. Like can you please take out a pen and start writing? You know it’s funny because not everyone’s like that. Some people you know process differently. But for me it’s like if you’re not taking notes I like I’m not going to waste my time so I can relate to that. So that’s cool. So it look it feels like that there was a lot of tough love in a good way. Was it ever too tough? Like man, i don’t know if this is for me or man. You know it’s they’re being really rough or did you take it did you take it with.


Cory Henke    09:49 

Stride, you know, fortunately or unfortunately. I don’t have like the best upbringing. And so I think kids that go through a lot of trauma are able to deal with tough love a little bit better. So I never went through the whole Oh no, this is going to be too hard like this and that. I was more on the other side of can we get this guy to just calm down, you know, like when he comes into the office, he has an impact, positive or negative. When he comes in, everybody’s happy, he comes in upset, everybody’s a little. You know, like on edge, right? So what I had to do was begin to control my emotions a little better, you know, because I believe that what they were trying to teach me was that the same reason why we all come to work in clothing is the same reason that you should come in and work with like a get out attitude, you know, so that everybody else is happy we can all get through this day and, you know, sort of leave your baggage at the door, you know, and pick it up on kind of on the way up. So that’s something that I definitely had to learn.


Danny Gavin    10:48 

And that’s what if because I think it brings up a point about typically that mentor relationship is. You know, let’s say someone who’s kind but what? But it’s cool. What you’re pointing at is there were mentors in that in your early days and agencies that maybe didn’t act the best way from their behavior. You were able to learn things as well. And instead of like running away from it, you could actually embrace those opportunities and situations as well.


Cory Henke    11:12 

100 %. There was two other, you know, important ladies in that office as well at that agency I definitely want to highlight because they were a bigger part of that like first three years of my career and that would be. Ella Kwong and Maggie Chen. And these two were really my manager managers. Like they’re the ones who molded me, I think to be a good, I think leader of a brand. These are the ladies that I was in meetings with where I would be begging, like come on, please let me get in there and say something. Let me, let me get a slide watch. Let me get a slide, you know, to present. And they would always say calm down, let you let you meet with this Rep and that was cool because those reps always came with Laker tickets or steak. Winners, you know, or other things like that. And for a young twenty two twenty three twenty four year old guy you know, it was pretty cool experience. But those ladies I think you know poured into me. They believed in me, I think more than I believed in myself. And they saw something in me that i just couldn’t see. But they always told me I would be great. They always told me that like you know, you got a headlight kid. You know you’re going to be special. And it was hard for me to believe at that age. But I look back on it now and I couldn’t be more thankful for them you know, and all and everything that they put into me and. There was a lot of, like, hard work. I would say, you know, it’s just like, got to bring this kid along, got to teach him. I got to because, I mean, I’m going in there with questions like, hey, like, this is like a lot of money that we’re spending, like, my paycheck what? Like, how is this even possible, right. They have to answer those tough questions and say there’s a lot of people here. Corey, that computer out there costs money that you use. You know, we have to take risks on people like you know, and so that type of education I think is important, you know, for a young man to learn, but ultimately. I owe a lot to them, I definitely do. And they were super impactful I think in my career. So, you know, just a great mentors very early on for me, you know, three wonderful ladies. That definitely helped.


Danny Gavin    13:12 

Me, at that time, did you fall in love with the agency life?


Cory Henke    13:17 

So this is what it was, Danny. This is what it was. This was it, man. This was like the, I think the inflection point for me. So one of my first clients was mormon.org and we were driving users to the website on a cost per chat. Soon as they open the chat window to just discuss religion with the BYU student on the other end before he went on his mission, that’s where we would kind of see that conversion. And so back then we would run on a variety of ad networks because a lot of, you know, Google, Yahoo, they wouldn’t necessarily take like the religious content. And so we were working with a variety of ad networks and it came down to maybe like a 10$ cost per chat. And so I would run across traffic, marketplace specific media value, click all these different places and I would say, OK, can we get this to 8? Yeah, sure. Ok, if you double the budget, we’ll get to five. Wait a second. It’s 50 % of the margin. How did you just cut 50 % of the March? Where’s the margin, guys? Is it 90, is it 80? That was the inflection point for me because I’m just like we’re pricing things that aren’t actual things, like this is like impressions. These are real estate on a website. It doesn’t cost anything to produce way to what’s going on here, right? So my move after that was to learn more, we’ll learn more about the publisher side and I got the amazing opportunity to go work yahoo. And that was, you know, a huge advancement in a lot of different ways because I remember in the interview they were like, well, how much would you like to make here? And I was making about 35,000 thousand at the time. And I said I’d like to make 65,000 thousand and, they said well how, about 85 And I said yes, please. And just for the audience, Yahoo in two thousand and nine ten was more like Facebook up today.


Danny Gavin    15:06 

And how did you find that job? Was it, was it just a job posting? Did a friend or how did you get there?


Cory Henke    15:11 

I just, I wanted to go on the publisher side. And so whether it was an ad network, I was just, you know, applying to publishers and I just wanted to get, you know, out of that agency world and just, you know, extend my understanding of this industry. Because I was just wrapped into it. Like I knew that I didn’t know at the time, but I could see it now that digital advertising is a disruption and an innovation at the same time it disrupted TV in terms of taking the dollars, but the innovation of digital just keeps it nonstop. So it’s always moving. It’s never changing. And so when I saw how those two things worked together in terms of digital media, I’m like, I have to go work, you know, at a big publisher. I have to go get experience, you know, like I can’t sit here for 20 years.


Danny Gavin    15:54 

Yeah, so tell me about it. So what were some of the, like, the lessons learned from like being an account manager for like Sony and Red Bull and Adidas? Man it’s a it’s amazing. You know, it’s absolutely amazing. And I can’t, you know, credit a Los Angeles enough for just being such a big city that can provide, you know, a young kid, young traumatized kid, an opportunity. You know, like that. I just think it’s crazy that there’s so many places that don’t get an opportunity to work on brands like that. But I was hungry, man, at Yahoo, at an amazing boss, Alexis Coronell, you know, she was great. She was amazing to me. But I think she had a lot of account managers that I didn’t get the focus time that maybe, you know, I got it a. You know, the previous agency. But it was magical in the sense that I was able to walk into offices, you know, with this Yahoo badge and obtain so much respect and like, looked at a certain way because of the logo that I had my grandma knew where I worked for the first time. You know, like people had like a respect factor, you know, with that logo, I got to work on stuff and they really extended me. You know, they sent me up to San Francisco to work with that team, working with the Los Angeles team. I was, I was doing so much, just trying to gather as much, learning as possible. Trying to put as many logos, you know, as I possibly could up and it was such a valuable experience. I would recommend it, you know, for anybody. But I can’t say enough positive things about, you know, working there with those people. I think also what you get to at a Yahoo, at a Facebook is you get a bunch of hyper intelligent people. There’s a lot of people vying for those jobs. And it’s kind of like a Ivy League in the sense that only a select few make it into those bigger, you know, publishers. That’s another thing that I found is that like I felt the competition level was at its highest. You know, a job like that.


Danny Gavin    17:43 

So it pushed you to be even more successful yeah. yeah Yeah. Yeah, the only thing that limited me was my age. And interoffice relationship, but we won’t get into that.


Danny Gavin    17:55 

Yeah, no need. But it’s funny. I feel like, you know, we’re ten years later. I feel like age is less of a thing these days.


Cory Henke    18:04 

Oh yeah, nowhere.


Danny Gavin    18:05 

Let’s move on to your last stint before your agency. Well, let’s talk about polio. You mentioned to me that there was individual, the CEO, Jeff Davis, he’s now a professor, which is pretty cool. So just tell me a bit about how like how did he shape your perspective and jeff Davis was huge in my career. Like i can’t say enough about this. About this guy, he put me in so many positions to just, you know, showcase my skillset. He allowed me to innovate within his company, which I think is another great thing. He worked me to the bone though, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t providing value working on the biggest clients, you know, this and that. But it was also my first opportunity to work in self-service media, you know, which is buying inside of Google ads and Facebook ads and, you know, applying the data analytics to YouTube was kind of, you know, where I was, you know, really special. But Jeff Davis like took me with him to like investor meetings so I could see what those look like. He took me with him to like huge clients at this small agency and really put me out as kind of like the face of this, you know agency and it was respected and I think. I can’t thank him enough. You know, for everything, you know, that he taught me. But more of just more. I think the positions he put me in, you know, were just amazing. And you know he gave me his time. He gave me his effort. You know, he showed me so much. And even to this day, you know, we still connect that, you know, he’s still a big fan of me, like I am of him. He was huge. You know, it sucked to break, to break away and do my own thing. Unfortunately, I got to feed my family, man, you know? So how did that go? I mean. Was it like, because think about it, here’s this guy, he put so much into you and I’m sure he did it. You know, it worked both ways. Like good for him good for you. But I know like when I put so much into someone and then like it’s time to go, it’s painful. So how did that go down?


Cory Henke    20:00 

We had a client come through the door, a very big DC brand named Purple Mattress. And they were running these beautiful, you know, YouTube spots at the time and they came in and they wanted to spend about 50 grand a month. And by month three they were spending half a million and so on a 10 % margin. When you go from 5K to fifty K, you know you’re the only person working on the on the account. You know you want to go in there and ask for a little bump, right?


Danny Gavin    20:28 

Just a little bit and so in going in and asking for that bump, she just, you know, had that kind of just like, listen, kid, like we can’t pay you. What you want here, you know, and it was disheartening, you know? And if I look back at it, I’m just a young kid who doesn’t understand. You know, like I have my own agency now and I wouldn’t have paid me that. I would have worked with me probably a little bit more that he may have. But you know, hindsight is always 2020 I could understand his position and for me. I think moving to Utah, that was one thing that I forgot to mention. He actually moved me out to Utah to work at his agency and I was there for about a year, maybe nine months to a year living in Utah. But in him doing that, you know, he showed true belief in me and my girlfriend at the time were both there and we loved it. I had never lived outside of anywhere outside of Los Angeles, so it was definitely a culture shock, but I think a positive one. Utah is an amazing place, so family oriented, you know, like no traffic. You know, for a kid like me, it was. Just stress depreciation. I was like this is amazing. Well, Utah gave me is a is a way to sort of start my own business at a lower cost. I don’t think I could have done that in Los Angeles because of how expensive it is. Utah gave me the runway to be able to launch my own business and to say OK, if I don’t make any money for the next three months, that’s OK maybe the next six months might hurt, but I can go three months and we’ll see right. So that I think was like the combination of efforts. The belief in me to move me out there, the belief in me, you know, with the brand taking me places, you know, like this and that. And then all of a sudden, you know, you end up starting your own business and the people that you’ve connected with in Utah, they’re willing to help. And so I had so many people that I had worked with over the time that were just like, hey, do you want to come present? Hey, do you need a new client? I heard you starting your own business, you know, and I couldn’t imagine how many amazing people there are in Utah that helped me start my own business. I’m so thankful and, you know, forever in debt to those people.


Danny Gavin    22:32 

When you left Moline. Did you know that you wanted to start your own agency or was there a little bit of a process there?


Cory Henke    22:40 

No, i knew i was like, because the self-service stuff, my thought process, you know, five years ago when I started that agency was just like, oh, self-service is going to take over. We’re not going back to calling each other and placing buys and saying, hey, 20 K, 10 million impressions, OK, sign the deal done. No data. Like everything will move to Google ads, Facebook ads. And from there it’s only been self served and so. I knew that advertisers needed to move in this direction and they would move in this direction. It’s just, could I be good enough and showcase my skill set so that they would want to want to run with me versus, you know, maybe a different agency. And I think I was able to do that based on my experience having worked at multiple agencies. It’s just like, oh, I can do this. It’s the reporting, it’s the call. It’s making sure you have no mistakes. You know, like there’s certain things like that you know, working at an agency that you can provide it.


Danny Gavin    23:35 

Like, it reminds me, like Legend of Zelda. Like, I don’t know if you’re a gamer, but it’s like you went around your path. You got your sword and your shield and your potions and like, you had everything. Like, oh dude, I’ve got everything now I can go fight the monster. So cool. So you’ve been in your agency now for almost six years, which is pretty cool. So now you are the mentor. O tell me about how you’re mentoring your staff, your people.


Cory Henke    24:02 

I deal with the transparency, you know, love i don’t know how to be any other way, but just, you know, honest and transparent with my team. I am very open. You know, I found out that there’s a lot of people that kind of closed themselves off to sharing knowledge. Where I am completely, 100 % open, like I will teach anybody anything. Because what I believe is that competitiveness is that like, you want to come learn this. Like do you know how hard this is? Like, let’s go. We’ll figure this out. Let’s do it. I’m a teacher internally as a mentor. You know, I’m just here to help. I think the other thing that I do as a as a mentor to these guys, as I always, you know, cover them. I think as a leader of a company, you know, you have to let them take vacation, do the things that they want to do and always let them know that you’re here to back them up. If they’re sick, you go ahead and I’ll go ahead and take that call. Taking tons of calls. It’s OK, guys. No big deal because I try to provide an environment so that they can grow. And the other thing that I do? Is I make their decisions, theirs is that if they don’t want to do something or they don’t want to work on this client and I don’t want to work on it, well then fine, we’re not going to have. You know, is that like, why would I make you work on something that you don’t want to work on? We’ve all been there. It’s not a great, you know, situation. And so I try to let them grow on their own. And I don’t know if that’s the best because I haven’t necessarily seen them pull the bigger triggers right in their growth. But maybe it’s something I need to, you know, potentially change in the future. I don’t like to pressure people if they want to work, you know, I tell them, make sure it’s for you. Don’t do it for the logo. This logo can go away. Do it for your learning. Your education, your growth path, that’s what’s more important to me. This company can survive on its own. If it’s just me, it’s been there before, you know, so that I think is a is a good space to be in for them so they don’t feel, you know, taking advantage of, I think.


Danny Gavin    25:57 

I love that perspective. Like saying that concept of doing it for yourself, not for the logo. And I think it’s so important to create that environment where there are choices and it’s just it’s. With the age, it’s the age of people. You know, I don’t want to say millennials because it’s even younger than millennials. But like, that’s how it works, right? People are very used to making their own decisions and things like that. So why create this corporate structure that is just horrible, but create a way that you’re actually going to get people excited? I can really relate to that.


Cory Henke    26:32 

I think one of the tough things is that when you’re employed by somebody else and you’re the employee and you’re working for a company. You are somewhat selfish. You know, the world somewhat revolves around you, your feelings and everything else. And before you sit in a seat where you’ve hired, you know, multiple people, you begin to understand like, oh, wow, there is a lot that Jeff Davis used to do. Holy cow, he is bad. I didn’t see everything that he was doing right. And I think that, you know, I always try to put myself in their shoes. You know more than anything, especially when it’s with clients or especially like internal staff. And I go, of course, how do they think, how do you think they feel right now? You know, and it’s just a humbling, you know, of being a leader, you know, something that like I’ve had to grow into and learn because it’s just new for me. But I think if you do things with your heart, you care about your team, you know, and you sacrifice because you’re the one you know. I think you can end up in a good situation, but you know, one of the biggest, you know. Goals or things that you want to look at in terms of the health of a company is how long people stay. And, you know, I’ve got some people that have stayed a long time. You know, my VP has been here for five years and so I pay these guys well, you know, media buying is a very unique skill set. It’s very tiresome. So i think I’ve done a good job, you know, bridging the gap of a high paced, high reward. Yeah, just trying to leave with my heart, man. She knows punch as I possibly can.


Danny Gavin    28:05 

It’s funny because we had a situation earlier and on the year where we’re like we were Q1 we were like going at it crazy, right, you know, and it was exciting for my part. Oh wow, look how busy we are, all this business and like thank God my employees and some of my closest. You know, approached me like Danny’s like, dude, we’re going too fast and people are burning out. And it’s funny because in my head I never wanted that environment, but it actually ended up happening. But I created a situation where they felt comfortable of speaking to me. I was like, whoa. And it’s like you said, going in their shoes. I’m like, Oh my God, I didn’t even realize this was, yeah, like, I wouldn’t want to be them. And we got to hit the brakes and thank God, it was such a an eye opener for me and it’s kind of pushed me further to. Be able to look through their eyes. You know, sometimes like I stray away from that, but the point is we got to get back to that as much as you can. I want to just mention this. I think this is cool. You mentioned 3 keys to mentoring success. I’m not going to take the credit number one lead by example. Two always make the time, and three, hold frame and accountability. I think those are awesome. Anything you want to expound on those three points?


Cory Henke    29:17 

I think the biggest one for me is just leading by example I do not like. Ask people to do things that I can’t do myself. I think you know when you do that as a manager, you put yourself at such a risk. Don’t ask people to do things you can’t do right i’ve now changed that as things have grown and as things have like you know, gotten bigger to don’t ask people to do things you are not willing to do because there be a lot of things you don’t know how to do. You can’t know everything, but are you willing to get in there and do that? You know and i believe that you know, I’m willing to do whatever my team. Can do 100 %.


Danny Gavin    29:52 

So just to pivot a bit, you list Dad as your as your first role in your LinkedIn bio hundred percent % about this because you don’t typically see executives list of personal role first. What about your family is so important to take this place under professional resume?


Cory Henke    30:10 

It’s the biggest, I mean, again, you know, coming from not the best upbringing. Lot of trauma. I’m a person who never wanted kids because I’m like, why would you? You know, that’d be the dumbest thing that you could do. Like, looks like it’s so difficult and impossible. All right. But then you meet the woman of your dreams. You know, she changes your life. My soon to be wife, Marian, is from Estonia. She comes from, you know, humble background. She’s taught me a lot about family and, like, what it means. I never knew how much trauma that was in my life until I had kids. And your kids are the ones that, you know, keep you here, you know, and help you know, understand life and then what it’s really about. And so, you know, my kids will always come first, you know, and the things that I’m most proud about, I think they’re also tougher than any sort of job. Like, let’s be honest, you know, like I think as a, as a man, it is much easier to go to work than it is to take care of these kids, even for an hour, right so of like i put I put them before everything and I plan to you know, be there for them you know their entire life. And so they do come first, they always be first.


Danny Gavin    31:28 

I love it and I love I love that display because it’s, you know, I think we’re getting better these days, but I think. In general, you know, often, you know, we’re scared to bring that family perspective into the business world. I feel like with COVID and zoom and like seeing kids pop up, it’s kind of normalized a little more. But it’s awesome that, you know, a lot of us say that but we don’t necessarily show it. And I think it’s cool that Cory, like you’re amazing at media buying and analytics, but you’re also. Yeah, but as equal or even more is being a dad and a parent and that’s awesome.


Cory Henke    32:04 

I’m just not doing all the. To work right now, you know, it’s really, you know, my soon to be wife that handles, you know, the hard work. I get the little bit of the fun times right now. But I know when these kids get older and they can run, you know, with me and we can have some fun, I’ll be teaching them a lot. But I’m just super excited for the opportunity. And, you know, I pray that we get to have a few more, but we’ll see.


Danny Gavin    32:27 

So now I want to switch. Let’s get into marketing sure what is your favorite approach and element to digital marketing data?


Cory Henke    32:35 

All day people have their own backgrounds, you know, like, and I just believe in data so much. I don’t know if it’s because I’m colorblind, right? Then take the creative path. Take the data path. But I just think that, you know, there’s so many different variables out there and when it comes to marketing and advertising data, we have the best data. I mean if you think about like finance data. Back in Shopify data. Food data. Health data. Like we have data that looks like consumer behavior. Like I know what pages you went to, what thing you bought, how long you viewed this video, and then you went and watched another video on my YouTube channel, and then you became a subscriber, right? Like, I know how many times you purchased something like these are like such cool indicators of just like user experience, like the way that I can look at a placement report inside of YouTube and I know what YouTube channels like you converted. One and I can see like influencer YouTube channels versus like legacy channels like CNN A and etc and know that there’s higher conversion rates on the influencer channels. What how is that even possible you’re telling me that the user you’re more likely to convert on an influencer YouTube channel versus a legacy YouTube channel like that’s interesting to me and so I believe that like you know data is just the gold to success in this field. And I wanted to be the best at mining it. I wanted to be the best at figuring out how to get to every single area to be able to analyze because I felt that gave me the best advantage. Now, I didn’t know at the time, but five years in, we are still here and we’ve only increased in revenue every single year. So I believe that we’ve proven it as an agency. That data is you know, the backbone at least to our success.


Danny Gavin    34:31 

Now I know you work with a lot of channels, but. I feel like, at least to me, it’s like YouTube has a special place in your heart. How did you come to focus your efforts and skills, specifically with YouTube advertising and really mastering the channel?


Cory Henke    34:44 

Great question and it all goes to you know just Davis and Molia and it’s because that agency was one of the first agencies that was able to have video production and media buying literally right next to each other. And So what I would be doing the media buying I would say oh build, take this two-minute build me a 30. 15 and a one minute test those. Oh wow, look at the cost per views here. Google really likes these, you know, smaller segments. We’re able to get, you know, twice as many XYZ, you know, but that’s where YouTube really grew for me. And it was also like a breeding ground inside Utah because you had. Cost efficient video production. And you had, you know some pretty good media buyers out there with some great DLC brands that were just launching, you know as a silicone slopes was just growing in Utah. So it was like that Zelda thing, right. It was a microcosm. You’re picking up your little tool sets, you know, each and every place. And that’s why, you know I’ve kind of made YouTube, you know, my go to in terms of the platform. I will say though, Danny, the majority of our clients do not run that much YouTube and it’s because their audience just isn’t there. I’m about making money, so I’m not gonna just put you on YouTube if it doesn’t make sense. But I still think YouTube has, you know, some of the most, you know, lucrative opportunities because it’s a it’s a lean back format and people are willing to spend more time with your video if you have something harder to explain or if you want to convince somebody over content. I just think that you know all these as all these platforms continue to grow, they all contain their own advantage and how do you find that or exploit that? Again, I think it’s through data.


Danny Gavin    36:26 

How important do you think the actual creative is when it comes to YouTube ads?


Cory Henke    36:32 

Again, moving target. If you would ask me this in, you know, five years ago, I’d say extremely important. Like wildly. Today it’s like, you know, face to camera that can work, you know, like creative I don’t think is as important as it was, but the analysis of the creative has grown in importance because a view isn’t the same across all platforms. A view at three seconds in a Facebook news feed is no comparison. To have you start on a tik tok video, versus you know, getting at least 30 seconds within YouTube. And so then the creative has to be different. One of the things that I’m focusing on especially like this upcoming year is just vertical video. It’s like I can run the same exact spot, the same video across YouTube shorts. Tik tok stories and. Reels the same ad the, same video ad. I can run across all four now. Instead of analyzing these three creatives within Tiktok, I’m now analyzing this one creative across these four platforms. And so that’s sort of the shift that I’ve seen. And so I think creative is one of those things where you might find creative people that can change your life. You know, creative is one of those things that can’t be calculated. Like you find somebody who’s great at this, it’s a, it’s unlimited in terms of your possibility, but I think you can also get away with. Very little and still be wildly successful. And that again is why I think the onus is on how do you analyze this? Like how do you understand, you know what you’re creative is doing? And still my best recommendation for any creative is make 2 versions. Test them across 4 platforms. You’ll find what wins, what works and what’s engaging. That’s how I feel about creative and video. You know is that it’s a. It’s a toss up, man, but I wouldn’t do what we were doing in five years ago in terms of dropping half 1000000$ on a 2 minute spot.


Danny Gavin    38:29 

You definitely don’t have to do that these days. One of the benefits you highlight about your services is the ability for your clients to scale. And I think that’s a big part like you can get help people to scale, but with the hectic nature of everything in recent years, can you give some examples of some scaling you’ve seen from your clients or your own company positive? Even with all the craziness going on.


Cory Henke    38:50 

I think a lot of it is really like out of my hands, you know, in terms of the scalability, you know, as a media buyer, you know, especially recently, if you look at the beginning of COVID, like 2020 in 2021 it was really a media buyer. You needed a really good media buyer to educate you on lower CPM, lower CBC’s We need to put the dollars here, we need to scale you know, this and that. The brands that I’ve seen scale in the last year have really put an emphasis on product development, right. And it’s not necessarily anything has to do with media. You know, media buys you to say this product works better than that one. We’re going to do the analysis, you know, everything. But I think the brands that have really taken the opportunity to innovate their product either with different variations, launching new products, those are the ones that I and sometimes they increase the OV, right. Those are the ones that I think have been able to sustain growth into 2022 where I’ve seen other sort of, you know, lag. Does that mean media buying, you know, isn’t as important as it used to? No and the reason why is because this is in an innovation engine, tick tock wasn’t around two years ago. Now media buyers have to understand that and the value of it and be able to explain it. So although media buying isn’t having the revenue impact, it is still important that you’re testing its new channels developing and media buyers still have a very tough job, you know today. And this is just shifted to being more well-rounded I think in terms of scale, it’s really been on you know the brands this past year, but I think into this next year it’s going to be a combination of both. You know, we go back to like 2, twenty eighteen twenty nineteen in, terms of OK, it’s back to normalcy, right, competition, real marketing, real advertising, let’s go, you know, big combination of efforts. But I think the scale has been on the brands, you know, the past year, but previous to that it’s been all media buyers for sure.


Danny Gavin    40:39 

Do you feel that tik tok has is the new like Facebook? Has it gotten there? Is it?


Cory Henke    40:46 

No to cute, cute shiny little objects out there. You know, in the ether in my opinion tick tocks a great place. I just think it works for certain brands, you know, especially younger demo. You know i think tik tok has innovated in very unique ways like one of the things that we test that works really well is #targeting And so we were testing #targeting for a finance brand. It wasn’t banking or finance, you know hashtags that worked. It’s it was a term that was more unique to the newer generation of like Gen. Z or like a millennial that actually like to work better and so that’s where you find. Very interesting. You know, hashtag. Audiences but it’s, like wait a second. Has Facebook never done a Facebook? You have so much search data. Like come on, give it up right but now they’re moving into that area, right. Another thing that tik tok did was allow follower campaigns and you’re able to, like, retarget, like people who follow you. Now you can do that, you know, on Facebook. So I think the same way that Facebook opened up Google’s targeting, you’re finding tik tok opening, up you, know facebook targeting. And so while we might not run as many dollars on tik tok, I think it’s still helping the ecosystem continue on that innovation path. But I don’t see Tiktok growing at the rate that it did these past couple of years. But I don’t think any brand or anything is anyways. So can you really like you know fault it? I don’t know, you know, but a lot of these I think you know social platforms especially the new ones, you know that pop up, they will have a tough time, you know, capturing market share. Because since reels launched, it’s been pretty popular. And so does reels. Do to tick tock what stories did to Snapchat. He’s pretty good at it.


Danny Gavin    42:32 

It’s true, they are very good. It’s not my space. No, it’s going to be a long time till Facebook turns into space.


Cory Henke    42:41 

And it’s another reason why I’m just so i think so highly of like Instagram and Facebook in terms of brands wanting to make that core property, especially in DC or ecommerce just because they lead in terms of Instagram shops or Facebook shops like being able to purchase on platform, it’s their game to lose. I think another thing that we’ve had immense amount of research into is Instagram shops. I think we have the majority of our brands. We have some brands where they make more money on shops than they do their Shopify website. And so yeah, we’ve seen 1 % of traffic, you know, for brands now it’s all the way up to 10 % of traffic, you know, for brands. And so this is growing at a rapid rate. There’s no other platform that can do what they can do there. And I think the what they’ve really focused on is getting rid of your website. Like the fact that you can just one click add UGC into these like product pages on Instagram shops, they’re doing things on your website, can’t necessarily do. And for some brands, we look at this website, it’s just a conversion tool. It’s a rapidly changing environment. And then I think the other thing that Facebook did and you know, we called this out internally too is that when Facebook decides to go to Facebook, Instagram, Meta, when Meta decides to go to brands and say, hey, let’s give you guys, you know, some money to run shops, right. And then they go to the consumer and they say, hey, here’s a discount. You know, if you decide to put your credit card in and buy something, they’re going to bring that, you know, community together. I just think that. You know, giving consumers money while you’re firing employees is a bit interesting, you know, meta, but it’s a, I think they have something special, you know, with what they’re doing in ecommerce on Instagram and you know, we plan to be experts in that area as well.


Danny Gavin    44:32 

And it’s wonderful just with the whole like third party pixel and iOS 14. Like, it throws that all away because everything’s on platform and you can actually track really well, which is so cool. I love it.


Cory Henke    44:44 

Yeah, it’s been a, it was a huge advantage for us, you know, in November and I think it saved some brands and really elevated a lot of brands. So definitely took advantage of that.


Danny Gavin    44:53 

What are your top three strategies or tips you recommend for someone who wants to get into media buying?


Cory Henke    44:58 

Number one, don’t buy a course. No, I’m just kidding. There’s great courses out there. The reason why, they’re just the reason why I say that is because I think, you know, Danny, is that like media buying is something that like you have to experience. And the reason that is because of the pressure that’s involved. You know, is that like when you have to, you know, manage daily budgets, monthly budgets, you know, like there is an amount of, you know, pressure, good or bad. That I think is involved and you know, your analysis, you being able to see as a person that you move the needle, that you change something, that advertiser did better. They came to a call and said, hey, would you do this is amazing. That’s a feeling you’re not going to get, you know, out of, you know, out of school. And so I think the example that you brought up earlier when we were just talking about how you had a student. And she had, I think it was swimming, swimming, instructing that was closed yeah and she just walked in there and said, hey, I think I can do this based on, you know, being a student of yours, right. That’s the path. Come in, take the course right get the learning. But understand that there’s an experience involved that you need to go get to be to, I think, cross the realm of saying, like, yeah, I’m a media buyer, right, is that. I think this is an experienced sport, you know, more than anything. So that would be number one number two. Be humble, be humble. I’ve got wins and losses. Every great media buyer has wins and losses. Nobody always wins, right? And so be humble to know that like. You’re gonna do your best and sometimes it just doesn’t workout because it’s not all on you. The brand just might have not the greatest product. It could be the wrong season and you got dropped down to that account. You might not have the best manager. So be humble to know that like if you if you go through a bad experience it’s not necessarily on you know and then I think third one I’m a little bit biased in here but you know learn how to do a pivot table and if you look up those are excel terms but those will be valuable you know for you as you go in there and you click download data and you have this raw data and it’s. 40.000 thousand lines. You pivot table that thing, put that date column in, add those metrics. Cleans it up visualization.


Danny Gavin    47:26 

Of it. One last question before we start to wrap U and I know this is kind of random out of left field, sure, but your company website seems to be a notion, yes. What led you to choose that platform to resent all the information about your business?


Cory Henke    47:41 

I’ve always struggled with websites. I tried to be a web designer very early on in my career and I was never like really great at it. Like I never got to understand like HTML and JavaScript. And I tried so hard, you know, to just be really good at a website. I had a horrible website for a long time and at some point we were just getting too much business that like, I just left it there. I’m like, I just don’t even care. And as we kept getting more business from referral, I just thought like, I don’t need a website. Like, I just don’t. It’s just it’s there for people to know. Like I exist but it never really, like drove business. But I don’t knock it. I know there’s some amazing Web developers out there. I know some. You have an amazing website, Danny. You know, the drives, conversions like they are, you know, important I think to the success. I think there’s a lot of things that you can do with it. I think the reason why I built it in notion was just ease, you know, like I didn’t want to pay for, you know, space on a web server and the fact that like I can change it like this and it updates like that like very simply. I think it’s great. I think it also allows me to expand and build out like multiple properties, right? Like, very easily. This is just a template. Copy and paste, boom, change it. And I also wanted to make it simple for, like, the user, right? Because I live in this world of, like, media buying, and we’re always sending people to websites, but what do we know about websites? They’re all different. And so why do people love finding brands on Instagram? Because they’re used to it. I’d much rather see your brand on Instagram than go to your website. I don’t know how your website works. I know Instagram works. So if I go to Instagram, I can see what you did yesterday. I can see how people use your product. I can browse your products. I can see what type of videos you’re posting. I can see all about your brand. You know much better than you know, going to your website for some of the brands that like, I work with. And so I wanted that same type of feel. Where is that like, if you want to work with us, understand that like. We’re not flashy. Were grimy like we’re going to get to the results and we’re going to tell you how it is and you know. We’ll go from there. I just want to think simplified. I didn’t want it to be complicated. I didn’t want like, you know, to. I think another thing, Danny too, about the website is I felt that like in working with, like, Web developers, I couldn’t just tell them, hey, make me a website. They’d be like, well, what do you want? Like, well, what do you want to do? Like, well, what do you want on it? Like, you can’t just say that. Like, you have to give me like, you know, what you want. And so it’s just like, well, if I have to give you what I want, I might as well just do it yeah but you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s just like, I just put it in motion template. Forget it, you know? The crazy part though Dan about that. What about that notion? Website is as soon as I threw it up and just like in the contact area I just added like a calendly link, I started to get leads for the first time. This is worse. People come to your website and fill this out. This is crazy so. You know, again, I don’t know everything. You know, like I don’t. I’m trying new stuff I think, but that’s that, that’s why that is, you know, is that just simplified, very easy come find out who we are. And again, still needs some work to be honest. Lots of work, but we’re almost built in a day exactly and i love your fresh perspective, so cool. Thank you for sharing. All right, lightning round, what are your top three YouTube channels, whether it’s marketing or could be anything else?


Cory Henke    51:01 

I’d have to go with paid media pros. Number one, you know Joe Michelle Lex Friedman. He’s got a podcast, brings on some excellent guests, and then, probably Andrew Huberman. You know, would be my top three, right. So two podcast channels and then one, you know, marketing and advertising channel. But there was a ton of marketing advertising channels that I think will, you know, pop up here in the near future.


Danny Gavin    51:26 

And well, let’s do one more. You mentioned that you enjoy UFC, yes? So who are your top three UFC fighters?


Cory Henke    51:33 

That’s tough. Because I really just watched this sport to watch it. But let’s go, you know? Israel adesanya, you know, I really like him, you know, in the middle way, even though he just lost the championship. Let’s go old school. Nate Diaz, you know, gotta love Nate Diaz from California. And then. He’s not a fighter, but you know, I want to say Dana White, you know too. I think he’s one of the most honest you know what? Let’s not go honest. Let’s go character. You know, just the character because we don’t know if he’s, you know, being honest about everything. It’s hard to really tell. But I think he’s a character and I think he just tells it like it is, you know, we don’t know if it’s honest or not. Let’s just say like he tells it like it is. I like him as like the leader of a company I like, you know, what he’s done to bring the UFC to where it is. And the reason why I’ve fallen in love with the UFC is the lack of impact of the referee, I think. American sports, the referee just has too much control. Calls, balls and strikes can take our players out of the game and baseball and basketball. And then in football, you know, being able to throw the flag. There’s so much in between that you’re just like. You know, but that’s why is that like, you have a chance in the UFC not to leave it to a ref. And then also the other part of it about the UFC is that like it’s a world sport. You get to find out, like, who the baddest, you know, man or woman is on the planet. You know, inside of a ring at a certain weight class. So just my cup of tea, I guess you could say.


Danny Gavin    53:07 

I never thought about that ref. It’s like, Oh my gosh, you were so right. There’s something there.


Cory Henke    53:13 

It’s interesting. It’s an interesting one to think about.


Danny Gavin    53:16 

What are you currently working on and what’s your next big project for 2020 Three,


Cory Henke    53:20 

We’re going to need another hour. Let’s go. Currently I’m in the process of launching variable analytics and so away from my media company. This is just being able to build out custom dashboards across all the paid media channels, multi platform reports and then also beginning to dive into areas like IG Shop, pull out that data and then also work in like you know Shopify being able to pull out that data. The program that I use is power BI and it’s like what I call the Photoshop of data is that a lot of people see my stuff. They’re like why don’t you patent it and like my response is like. Why don’t you go download the program like it’s free. This is nothing that I could patent. Like I’m just a nerd in a basement designing, right. And so I like it for, you know, that aspect. But you know, we’re trying to develop these dashboards for clients and like we have a couple of agency clients that use it. We have, you know, tons of brands where we see their data that flows through. But I’m not, you know, selling it, I think as well as I could be because again, I’ve worked at agencies, I haven’t worked at SaaS companies, people like Susan Winograd. Who have worked at task companies have been giving me such amazing insight to like I would have no idea about and it’s just really so helpful you know, to have people around. But yeah, I’m really trying to launch the analytics company and you know, people like Michelle and Joe from paid media pros, they said things like why don’t you do templates? You know, people keep asking you for templates like just create templates, Corey. And so I’m working on it. And so I’m going to come out with templates and we’ll have three areas like templates customized and then you know, just consulting and auditing right and so that’s what I’m working on, you know right now hoping to launch that very soon and it’s going to launch with templates and I’m just going to create templates for Google ads, YouTube, you know, like etcetera that people can just download you know, for a nominal cost just to see if it is useful. And then also we want to make like IG shops, you know a core part of what we do, you know and be able to take brands from just either D to C to multi channel and to social commerce or if they’re already multi channel and they want to learn more about. Social commerce, like being a leader in that area. I think we just have an amazing experience. And what we’ve learned in IG shops is just, you know, made our, you know, Facebook and Instagram, you know, advertising that much better. Those two things in addition to the agency are just kind of like the things that I am working on. But you can see how, you know, they all kind of merge together in a way. But I do want to separate them, you know, to make sure that like when people go to that specific notion website, right, that they’re getting exactly what they’re looking for i feel bad that I didn’t intro you in the podcast as the King of Power BI, but it is true. Corey is the king of Power BI and I’m so excited that you are making your templates available for a fee. It’s about time, and I think everyone’s going to be really excited OK, well, if you’re that excited about it, we should, you know, combine efforts, you know, like a marketing mentor template. Right, well, you’re about to the class totally that would be really cool yeah so quiet. Where can listeners learn more about you and your business?


Cory Henke    56:25 

You guys can just find me on Twitter at Cory Henke CRYHENKE Or you go to the website, you know, variable dot media. But yeah, that’s where you can find me or you know, same name on LinkedIn. Always open a conversation, you know, so feel free to shoot a DM awesome corey, thank you so much for being a guest on the digital marketing mentor and thanks. Listeners for tuning into the digital marketing mentor, look forward to seeing you here again next time.


Cory Henke    56:52 

Thank you so much, Danny. I really appreciate it. To anybody listening. Danny, you’re amazing, bro. 

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