Basic Info

Denise Kohnke
Contributor Status:
Native AdVert
Initial Contribution Date:

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Marketing / Advertising, Writing
Personal Career Headline:
Author: "All Of The Other Marketing Books Are Crap" & CEO, House United LLC Strategy + Creative

My Native AdVert

Career Snapshot:

She describes her book, All Of The Marketing Books Are Crap, as “Self-help for cynics. Academic comedy on how to think through solutions by consensus.” Founder of House United (, a strategy and creative consultancy, she draws upon decades of agency and brand-side experience, to “say what needs to be said” about the business, and process, of marketing and communications.

As a two-time agency founder, EVP of Strategy and brand-side CMO, she’s worked with hundreds of marketing departments and has directed hundreds of omni-channel campaigns. Her work spans start-ups to Fortune 50s, and her awards vary from international strategy, to effectiveness, to creative accolades.

As a business/marketing planner, she takes broad, disparate professional teams through a day-long process that builds a foundation for brand/business, elevates their knowledge, and is entertaining. It’s then synthesized and made actionable for the C-suite. She also offers training for in-house marketing teams in creative, strategy, infrastructure and tactical execution, and pitch/presentation training for agencies.

What Else To Know

My Goal of the Day:

Trust. If I believe we ride a surfboard through life – and I do – I personally need to give up trying to manage water. That does not preclude action or initiative; it precludes getting obsessed with why things didn’t happen when they logically should have. I’ve come to believe in tiers of logic. There are some equations where you just don’t know, and will never know, the variables. Playing defense wins championships, Hail Mary’s put you in the Hall of Fame, and you need both in today’s world just to be able to effectively play. (FYI “goal” is a number, “objective” is a state of being. Nails on my chalkboard.)

My Thought of the Day:

You will never remember tomorrow what stressed you out just now. So just let it go.

My Action of the Day:

Learn something, teach something, create something.

My Deed of the Day:

Open an unsolicited marketing inquiry, because whomever sent it thinks they have something you may need, and maybe they’re right. Also, give money to people who don’t ask for it.

My Tip of the Day:

Smile at people when you walk down the street.

My Pic of the Day:
Tell Us More:

My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special)


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? 

Milwaukee is the biggest little city in the country, or, the littlest big city in the country. It has sanity, in that you can park and not pay a lot, get comfort food to go, drive anywhere in 20 minutes, and pop 90 miles down to Chicago for perspective. There’s still a lot of authentic kitsch. I grew up here. Of the 25 or so friends who left for college and for work, 23 came back. We lose retirees to Colorado. For business, it’s unfortunately reclusive, but the secret is that businesses here a remarkable professional value. Clients who fly here to meet are surprised, really love it, and don’t want to leave.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? 

I don’t eat breakfast, but when I do, it’s tough to beat a McDonald’s egg and cheese biscuit smothered in ketchup.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping, always.

10:00 AM –

Emptying my brain of all the stuff I saw while sleeping, because sleeping’s not really sleeping.

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?  

Cottage cheese and potato chips.

7:00 PM –

Cooking while stepping over dogs, because they just won’t leave me alone. They will likely make me go up in flames via gas burner one day. That will be my death.

11:00 PM –

Steven Colbert (central time). Everyone makes fun of me because I was a mime. Now I can do my mime moves in conversation and not get picked on so much. Thank you, Steven.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? 

Every year, my New Year’s resolution is to drink more alcohol. It seems like such fun when everyone else does it. Not really much of a drinker, but tequila tastes like it might be healthy, so I do that sometimes. I don’t hold it well. Caffeine is my drug of choice.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?   … one of the dogs who is trying to kill me…

What should everyone try at least once?

A nude beach.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

WWII In Color (all of them) or Rocky (all of them). Reading is wonderful, but I’m a book snob. I collect them but rarely finish them. The art form of writing is dying.

Primary Location

Are you sure you want to manually enter your location? Have you tried typing the first few letters?

SUBMIT your location My Location is Not Listed (enter manually) clear location