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Geoff Crain is the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Kingstar Media, Canada’s top performance marketing agency. The agency designs and implements winning media strategies based on each client’s goals. As a seasoned media professional, Geoff has amassed over 12 years of experience in planning, purchasing, and optimizing offline and online media for some of the most distinguished brands in the world. He has a proven track record of successfully executing media buys across all advertising mediums, such as linear TV, radio, DOOH, CTV, SEM, SEO, programmatic, and paid social while managing high-volume media campaigns across Google, Meta, and TikTok.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:10] Geoff Crain talks about Kingstar Media
  • [04:45] Lessons from The Future of TV Advertising Conference
  • [06:42] The experience of working with renowned brands in Canada 
  • [08:03] Geoff explains how he got into the agency world working in a family-owned business
  • [10:48] Thoughts and insights on intrapreneurship
  • [13:05] Kingstar Media’s customer success stories 
  • [15:48] What’s the best call-to-action strategy for infomercials?
  • [18:13] Geoff speaks about TV advertising for businesses with limited budgets
  • [19:55] Radio and podcast advertising 
  • [24:24] The Canadian government grant for digital transformation

In this episode…

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, having a great product or service alone is not enough to guarantee success. To significantly impact your industry, effectively marketing your offerings to your target audience is crucial.

According to performance marketing expert Geoff Crain, this is where media advertising comes in. However, designing and implementing winning media strategies can be complex and time-consuming, especially if you lack the necessary expertise. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a reputable agency that can help you achieve your advertising goals. At a professional media agency, you’ll have access to a team of experienced professionals who can execute successful media buys across all advertising mediums, including linear TV, radio, paid social, and more.

On this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Geoff Crain, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Kingstar Media, to discuss how companies can thrive through media advertising. Geoff talks about Kingstar Media and what it does, The Future of TV Advertising Conference, the best call-to-action strategy for infomercials, TV advertising for businesses with limited budgets, and radio and podcast advertising.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “When you’re working for your parents, everybody that you work with who’s not part of the family is going to think that you get it easier than them.”
  • “Lowering ego, giving somebody trust, that ability to build something on their own, and not being too overbearing at the start is really important to foster growth.”

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:15 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz, your founder where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I’ve Geoff Crain of Kingstar Media and Geoff, before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes of the podcast people should check out. Geoff and I both geek out on direct response marketing. I think it’s really one of the foundations of everything. And so I’ve had some of the top direct response marketers on the podcast I had, you’d appreciate this. I think Geoff, because you guys do advertising across TV, radio programmatic, online, TikTok, you name it, Ron Popeil. I don’t know if you remember Ron Popeil, the infomercial king. He’s unfortunately, not with us anymore. But he shared some incredible stories about his journey and just using direct response on the in TV, to drive sales. And just there’s so many more, I had Rick Cesari, who worked behind some companies like GoPro and Juice Man Juicer and George Foreman Grill with, again, infomercials, and he shared some incredible insights with marketing and direct response. So check those out on And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect their dream 100 relationships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast we do the full strategy, accountability and execution for your podcasts. Geoff, we call ourselves the magic elves that work in the background and make it look easy for the host in the company. So they could just run their business, create great content and develop amazing relationships. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I’ve found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, go to or email [email protected]. And I’m excited to introduce Geoff Crain with Kingstar Media, they have an expertise in performance media, as I mentioned buying across all advertising, mediums, TV radio, yeah, they still radio people are listening to radio, people are still buying from radio. And also not just the normal radio, but online radio, there’s the Spotify of the world and talking on a podcast right now. And there’s advertising on there. And programmatic paid social TikTok, you name it. So check them out. They’re Kingstar Media and their agency started back in 2003. And Geoff, thanks for joining me.

Geoff Crain  3:05 

Thanks, Dr. Weisz. Great to be here.

Jeremy Weisz  3:06 

So talk about Kingstar Media and what you do a little bit more.

Geoff Crain  3:10 

Absolutely. Yeah. So like you mentioned, Kingstar was founded 20 years ago, it was originally built as a direct response production company. So back in the day, when people used to overnight watch 30 minute infomercials to be stuck glued to the TV, and then make that phone call to buy a juicer or a knife for a kitchen set. That’s how the company was built. It really transformed into that media buying companies. So we would produce those shows, then we’re like, okay, why don’t we just buy some media on TV to sell that production. And then it really morphed into short form, which at the time was two minutes spot, we would consider a short form commercial. And then it transitioned now into what we’re doing, which is some shortest 15 seconds. That’s really still a large part of our business is that traditional linear TV buying Canada, the consumption habits, people are still very traditional and old school in their media habits here, people 70% still watch TV every day 75% still listen to traditional radio every day. So still buying a lot of that. But every client we work with has some sort of KPI or performance objective, whether it’s a cost per visit to the site cost per lead cost per sale. We’re trying to buy media to acquire those users, or sales at that target cost and target KPI and we’re doing across like I mentioned linear TV and radio or connected TV programmatic, paid social paid search. It’s really endless, depending on the demo.

Jeremy Weisz  4:35 

Talk about, you are just at a conference called The Future of TV. So what were some of the things that you brought back from that?

Geoff Crain  4:45 

Yeah, so it’s very interesting at The Future of TV, all of the major broadcasters in Canada here spoke so, it was Coors Bell and Rogers, which in the US would be or Fox, CBS and ABC. So really these major players in the media space, and there was a lot of frustration, because on the linear TV side, they’re required by the government to provide a lot of data. Yeah, invest a lot of money into technology, they have third parties that verify their impressions, and the data that they’re reporting, now they’re playing in this connected TV space. And a lot of these international players are cutting into their market share, think of an international player like Samsung, who has based internationally really has no full presence here in Canada, but they’re commanding a large portion of media budgets now for connected TV and streaming, because they own 30 40% of the TVs here in Canada. And they’re not sharing any data. So, you run a campaign with Samsung, they say they delivered 100,000 ad impressions, there’s no third party body to measure or to confirm that that was actually delivered, or that anybody was actually watching any of those impressions. So that was about a big part of the discussion was The Future of TV and where does it go? How do we integrate that same kind of thought we’ll call it restrictions, but governing bodies into connected TV, when there’s so many different players in so many of them International.

Jeremy Weisz  6:13 

We’ll talk about some examples. And all people listening, they may be in the b2b space, and we’re going to talk through some specific examples on how you can and how Geoff got exposure. Their company helped these companies get exposure in the b2b space, but you cut your teeth in the agency world, you started working on big accounts, like Johnson & Johnson, Coca Cola. So I’m wondering, what are some of the things you learned working with those companies? What did you do?

Geoff Crain  6:42 

Yeah, so, it’s a funny question. I was running a school, it was my first job in university, I got placed on the digital team at this big global agency. And my accounts are at Coca Cola, and Johnson and Johnson. At the time, the digital landscape was still the Wild, Wild West, I remember we would do a Facebook media buy, it was the same kind of thing. As I was saying, we would just send a report and said, we spent X amount of dollars, we delivered X amount of impressions, X amount of clicks, and there was never any oh, feedback, how did it do any changes that you make, there was really no kind of fine tooth comb being pulled over the report, they just wanted to be in the digital space.

Jeremy Weisz  7:21 

There was more of like a branding play as opposed to any actionable, some kind of action.

Geoff Crain  7:28 

Exactly. So that’s what he taught me was that these big brands, they’re less concerned with the down funnel metric, their pure goal is eyeballs, frequency and reach, they just want to reach as many people as possible because they know that X amount of people, regardless of the demographic are going to buy their product. So it was really an eye opener to work with these massive brands has their objectives are so much different than some of these small and medium brands that I’m working with today.

Jeremy Weisz  7:54 

That is really interesting. And so did you always know you wanted to be in the agency world?

Geoff Crain  8:03 

Yeah. So I think just your question for me, it’s been a family, business and industry. My father founded this company 20 years ago, he’s the boss, President of Kingstar. And growing up, but he was a producer, he was doing these infomercials and commercials, and I was kind of always involved, I’d be on set with him helping out, I kind of got exposed to advertising, marketing and creative at an early age. So naturally, when I went to university was in business, everybody does, like, their finance, their marketing. And they do these different sections in their first couple of years. And I always did better in marketing. And it was more, I guess, comfortable for me, because it was something that I grew up with. So naturally out of school, I kind of was looking for jobs and advertising since I was comfortable in and understood. And I just kind of fell into it. And I’ve been ever since.

Jeremy Weisz  8:51 

Did you think that you would go work for him with your dad?

Geoff Crain  8:57 

I think I worked with him early in my career. And then I was went away? And I was like, oh, yes, this is so great to be working on my own. And I did build I think what I think is a good name for myself and a lot of confidence in the work that I actually did. But I think if I hadn’t worked for the family company, righto school, and that’s all I did, I think it really would have been a detriment to my career. Just because you don’t really get the opportunity to learn new things where you work for somebody else, obviously, it’s a lot a little bit different of kind of over any reach. But I think a lot of people think that, oh, it’s so easy to work for a family company or for your parents. But you’re gonna think of it like this, when you’re working for your parents. Everybody that you work with who’s not part of the family is going to think that you get it easier than them that you get a longer leash, when in fact, it’s the complete opposite because you got to prove to them that you’re not one of those kids that does nothing and produces nothing but then you also got to show to your father that you’re not being lazy and constantly producing. So, it’s a lot more difficult than maybe people lead on a I think now coming back to the agency, obviously being able to take control of my own silos within, which is a lot the digital team, which I run, manage and have grown from the ground up really nicely, kind of have my autonomy in my ability to try to grow it as I wish.

Jeremy Weisz  10:16 

Because you did start, you worked for companies, and you started your own company to talk about intrapreneurship. I mean, obviously, your dad owns the company right now. And I don’t know what his plan is for succession. But you are an intrapreneur there and talk about how maybe other agencies can cultivate that, because that intrapreneurship using their own company.

Geoff Crain  10:48 

It’s a great, great point. And I think that, think back to Kingstar, apparently they were production company, they were a TV company, they didn’t really have any internal knowledge or expertise in the digital field. So I had come out after working kind of for myself or with other companies for close to 10 years. And I brought that knowledge and things that I learned and help grow. And I think that what Kingstar did well, my father and the executive team there, they really gave me the opportunity and the trust to grow and build my own thing. And they, I think, as you mentioned, what should other agencies do, they really have to just be realistic, and no ego, this is what we do well, this is what we don’t do well, if we want to expand into a new vertical or become experts in a different field, we’re gonna go have to hire those experts, because we don’t have it. And I think lowering that ego, giving somebody that trust, that ability to build something on their own, and not being too overbearing at the start is really important to foster that growth.

Jeremy Weisz  11:50 

Where are you going? And maybe you felt comfortable, but more comfortable than most. But how did you approach them on, hey, I want to start this new division or service?

Geoff Crain  12:02 

Yeah, so it really was like I had been, as you mentioned, kind of have my own business for the years prior. And I said, okay, well, I take these clients, and we’ll bring them on and say, why don’t I do what I’m doing for them for you, and you have so many amazing brands? And currently, you’re only buying their traditional media? What if we were able to kind of cross sell, and offer them other services to help expand the revenue. And I think the route was really an easy sell. They just needed us, me and my team to get to the point where they were comfortable putting us on the call with some of these massive brands that have trusted them for years.

Jeremy Weisz  12:36 

Yeah, let’s talk about that for a second. So if you’re watching or listening, you see we’re at And I was just poking around here, obviously the different services you offer. And then this is kind of the digital piece that you’ve helped build out. And let’s talk about a b2b example. There was a company to help that does employment. What did you do with them?

Geoff Crain  13:05 

Yeah, so they were a digitally native brand, online employment company where you can go look for jobs, etc. Their goal was to target employers who wanted to be listed on their website, and promote jobs that they’re within their company to hire people. So that was really that b2b play where our goal was to find those Canadian business owners that were looking to hire stuff. And we’re looking to list on this site. And for digitally native brands, a lot of the time, they’ve built their company from Facebook, Google, they have that internal expertise. That’s how they got to where they are someone on their stuff. One of their founders was very knowledgeable in the digital landscape. That’s how they grew their company. Typically, that is the way so a lot of the times we work with these digitally native brands, and we’re not going to offer them paid social or paid services because that’s how they built their brand. What we’re going to do is really offer them traditional media services. Digital Media is an extremely competitive landscape, especially in the US and Canada. There’s a lot of advertisers competing for those same eyeballs. So naturally CPMs are higher costs are higher, and that pushes down the funnel to a really high cost per liter acquisition. Traditional television is still priced very well there’s still a large audience there. If your commercials are in the middle of Ford and Coca Cola, you’re really promoting validity that okay, this brand’s legit, as opposed to you’ve seen them on your Instagram feed with someone selling socks or pans that looks sketchy from Alibaba. So it provides that legitimacy. It’s affordable and it drives response. We can measure the impact it has the down funnel and it also fuels growth in digital because think about it. Let’s say that 1000 people go to your website, only 10 people Maybe buy the product, you got 990 people now that you can retarget on Facebook retarget on Google, that would have never came to your website unless they saw it on television.

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