Brother Thing JT Cory

It's a Brother Thing

“If we don’t kill each other in the first six months, we’ll be OK.”

That was the deal struck in 2015 when Joel Thorsen asked his brother, Cory to join him at his new digital agency, Bliss Search. Thankfully it didn’t end in fratricide. It turned out that their individual capabilities and qualities were an ideal fit.

Joel started Bliss in 2011 originally as an extension of Bliss Media the web-dev company where he was GM and partner. He’d been fascinated by digital marketing since studying for a business marketing degree in 2003. When Google launched the Analytics platform in 2005, it triggered a digital gold rush. Hundreds of SEO “experts” appeared overnight promising to know the secret of how to get on page one of Google. As Joel recalls it – “it was the new wild west and there were just as many cowboys.”

The 2000s was also the decade of social media – Facebook (2004), Youtube (2005), Twitter (2006), and Instagram (2010) – each of them offering an unprecedented opportunity for brands to connect with their customers. By 2010, online ad spend outstripped traditional print advertising in the US for the first time, and Australia was about to experience the same boom in online ad spend.

In the midst of such rapid change and disruption, Joel recognised that many of his clients were struggling to find reliable, professional digital marketing support among the shonks and gimmicks.

His vision was that Bliss Search Agency would deliver integrated multi-channel digital strategies, data-driven campaign effectiveness and improved return on investment – the only metric that really mattered to most businesses.

By 2014, just three years after launch, Bliss Search was growing fast and ready to split from the parent company.

Cory’s path to the land of digital marketing was less strategic but no less valuable. While working on the administration team of Melbourne’s Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Cory took over running the club’s website and discovered his passion for IT and the digital realm. Before long, he knew the site inside out and had become the IT support guy for the club.

In his next role with a national retailer, Cory was deploying e-commerce websites, implementing digital strategies across search and social media channels, and analysing website traffic and behaviour across different platforms and devices. This hands-on skill and experience would be invaluable, especially for someone who was, let’s say, running a new digital marketing agency.

It’s coming up to seven years since the brother’s six-month pact, and Bliss Search has emerged as one of Melbourne’s leading digital agencies and Google Premier Partners. As Director of Digital, Cory heads up a highly-skilled team of passionate marketers, allowing Joel continues to build and manage the agency’s relationships with an enviable client list of local and national brands.

As Australia’s digital marketing industry reaches maturity, Bliss Search has stayed true to its mission of raising the standards of professionalism, technical expertise and performance.