Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz  15:10 

What should someone’s budget look like if they want to, and maybe there’s a starting budget. And obviously, as I see it works, those two questions, we could address them separately. But I’m wondering what a call to action, a good call to action would be on what you’ve seen people do. Because, again, you’re not just about branding, right? Usually, Coca Cola commercial comes on, I’m not like texting or trying to buy it. Right. It’s a branding thing. So from a direct response standpoint, I’m curious a call to action, then I’m curious about the budget, maybe start with the offer or the call to action on something like this.

Geoff Crain  15:48 

Great question like, yeah, you’re not going to see the Coca Cola commercial, and then jump on Amazon and buy a couple of cases, you may but typically not. So back in the day, like pure direct response was call now. And if you call the next 30 seconds, we’re gonna give you 20% off, or we’re gonna give you this free, nobody really calls phones anymore. That is kind of a way that people used to, I would say, back in the day, let’s say, 10 years ago, we had a phone number on the spot, out of all the visits or orders for that day, 50% of them would have come to the phone. Now, it’s probably about 10%. Most people go to the website, or if it’s a product, they’re gonna go to Amazon, they have Amazon Prime, they’re like, I know that if I don’t like this product, it’s going to be returned, I can get it shipped to me in one day. So the best CTA that we see is, visit our website, people are adding a QR code now, everybody’s having these smart TVs where you can just pause the commercial once you’re watching. So if you can’t capture it within that 30 seconds, you pause it, you can scan the QR code. So that would be one thing where someone would say, scan this unique QR code now we’re giving 10% off for the next 30 minutes. That would be a way that people are driving CTA otherwise, it’s just your traditional, available on Amazon or available on our website. That’s the typical way. In terms of pricing. Now what you’re saying to get on TV.

Jeremy Weisz  17:11 

Real quick on that, Geoff, is there some incentives that you see work? Or is it more just like if this looks interesting to you, and you qualify? Are you finding like in that, I guess you could say the employment company are they giving any type of incentives at all to take an action or?

Geoff Crain  17:35 

Yeah, great question. typical incentives would be some sort of sale or deal. That is limited time. So let’s just say, for the month of September, we are offering 10% off for all employers who sign up and list their jobs on our site. That is typically a limited time or time limit would be the best incentive.

Jeremy Weisz  17:57 

Got it? Yeah, that makes sense. So most people are going to the website and in some kind of time limited offer. So it creates some type of urgency for them to take an action. And so what about what should budget expectations be?

Geoff Crain  18:13 

Yes, I think a lot of people are like, oh, if I need to get on TV, it’s so expensive. I got to spend all this money on a commercial that’s going to cost me so much about the media. We just says last week, and we’ve done it every single month, I would say this year, we’ve had a new advertiser who’s never been on TV before. And we have a production team. And we can create a 30 second commercial that’s very high quality ready for broadcast for under $20,000.Canadian and for US audience that’s like, five bucks. I’m kidding. It’s very, it’s only $100. So $20,000 Canadian for the commercial. And then to test the media, we typically like to do either a two week test on TV or a four week test. And you can test with a $5,000 Canadian budget a week. So think about this, if you wanted to do a two week test and get on TV, you could get do it all for in the budget range of $30 grand, and that’s Canadian, and you’re gonna really see a measured response. You’re gonna own all the creative, you’re gonna get on high profile channels, you’re gonna get in sporting events that you think football games, hockey games here, baseball, you’re getting really premium content, and you’re gonna put your brand up next to those heavy hitters like the GMs and Fords

Jeremy Weisz  19:29 

Do you work with US-based companies?

Geoff Crain  19:32 

I wouldn’t say Dr. Weisz that slide 50% of our clients are US. I would say 50% are US, 25% European, maybe 20% Canadian and the rest from all over the world.

Jeremy Weisz  19:48 

Was there any other traditional media you recommended for this online employment marketplace or?

Geoff Crain  19:55 

Radio was huge for them. So they had seen a lot of success with traditional radio in the US, and they saw a ton of success with traditional radio in Canada, because think about it for the employer agency, people are driving home from the office business owners, they’re listening to the radio, what’s a better spot to hit them when they’re maybe frustrated at work with some employees? Or they’re trying to expand and it was a great avenue to hit them?

Jeremy Weisz  20:20 

And is it, I don’t know, is it called terrestrial radio versus online radio? Is that what they, or were they doing online radio as well.

Geoff Crain  20:30 

So they would do online radio, a lot of Spotify and then they would do podcasts sponsorships. The problem with a lot of podcast sponsorships for Canada anyways, is there’s not that many podcasts that have a big Canadian only audience, the top podcasts in the world, like if you think like a Joe Rogan kind of podcast, that’s a US based podcast, 90% of the audience is probably from the US. So if you’re a Canadian brand, trying to sponsor a podcast, you’re gonna find it challenging to find one that’s like a pure Canadian audience, if you can only serve as Canada, if you can serve as both markets great, but a lot of brands can only serve as one or two markets, and they don’t want to pay that premium to spend impressions on US when they can’t even sell them.

Jeremy Weisz  21:15 

Are you seeing an uptick in people using podcasting like this is for sponsorships or is still not mainstream?

Geoff Crain  21:25 

I definitely have seen an uptick in it, there’s no doubt that we have seen an uptick. I think that the question that we’re having now is really how to measure the performance, we find it really difficult since we’re a pure performance agency, more or less 90% of our clients. They come to us with a budget and say, I expect X amount of ROI for this investment. And we’re like…

Jeremy Weisz  21:50 

Let’s go work with Johnson and Johnson again.

Geoff Crain  21:52 

Exactly, like podcasts are built for more brands and awareness, that is really what they’re built for. And I think they’ll always be able to serve that. Because a lot of podcasts are great, because they’re targeting a really niche audience of people. Like, okay, I know this type of person is listening to this podcast. And if I serve them an ad, I’m going to engage them. So it’s really good for that. I think from a pure performance play, it’s a little bit challenging given the pricing.

Jeremy Weisz  22:17 

From a radio ad, it could be the podcast or terrestrial radio. Do you recommend a similar call to action like a website? Or would you defer that based TV versus radio?

Geoff Crain  22:30 

Yeah, good question. So I think that for radio, what we have seen work would be like an offer code. Because obviously, it’s not as visual or visual at all, when compared to TV, something that those jingles, everybody has those jingles radio stations that they listen to as a kid that they still remember and can recite. Because it was such a good jingle that was effective. So I think it’s like an offer code or a jingle that really sticks in your mind and is repetitive that you will remember the next time you hear or talk about that brand.

Jeremy Weisz  23:00 

And you produce the radio spots too for people?

Geoff Crain  23:04 

Yes, we do. So we actually have a recording studio in our office. And that’s recording a radio spot, you can get talent script and production for $3,000 Canadian, and we do that, you know, every month, again, with advertisers looking to launch on radio. And you can take those spots, a lot of podcasts mine that we’ve done is kind of run a network. And it’s through programmatic. So I’ll take that 30 second ad that we’re running on radio, I’ll throw it into the programmatic targeting digital audio, you can use that same spot for digital audio and certain podcasts.

Jeremy Weisz  23:37 

What should people consider as a budget for the podcast ads?

Geoff Crain  23:45 

Yeah, so I think, Dr. Weisz for the sponsorships, that’s like a set, you can spend hundreds of $1,000 if you tried to sponsor Joe Rogan’s podcasts, for instance, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, if you just want to do digital ad insertion, so any podcasts that just would run like a standard 30 second ad, you can test the budget in the $2,500 range per week, and really target efficiently your demo and see efficiencies, saying that from a media budget makes sense.

Jeremy Weisz  24:16 

Interesting. What about, there was a company work with Digital Maturity Group, and what did you do with them?

Geoff Crain  24:24 

Yeah, so that was a pure b2b play. So currently in Canada, there is a government grant called SeedUp. So the goal of this SeedUp grant is to help businesses like let’s just take your traditional real estate agent or mortgage broker, they maybe have a website, but it’s kind of old school, they don’t have the internal capabilities to transition their brand to make it more digitally focused. So that’s what the SeedUp grant does. You work with an approved SeedUp advisor can serve as a previous SeedUp advisor there’s, you know, probably 50 other Canadian companies that are approved SeedUp advisors, you get a plan written from the SeedUp advisor, and the government will give you $15,000 to pay the SeedUp advisor, you don’t have to repay it, it’s just a grant, they’ll write you a plan to fully transition your business to make it more digitally focused. From there, once you get that, then you’re approved for a up to $100,000 loan from the Government of Canada with zero interest. So you get the 15k for free, they show you how to change your business and make it more digital…

Jeremy Weisz  25:30 

Should we start a Canadian branch or Rise25 of them and get that grant or what?

Geoff Crain  25:35 

You can do it. And so the Digital Maturity Group they’re a company that actually promotes these advisors, and helps grow these advisors. And they’re looking for companies that are looking to take advantage of this SeedUp grant. So they had never been on TV before we did a TV spot for them, we actually created in-house for a very low price is actually under 15,000 30-second spot. And we’re running it on Canadian TV currently. And they’ve been seeing great results, that one has a QR code. And it also has a URL at the bottom. And we’ve been able to track results from both.

Jeremy Weisz  26:08 

It’s interesting is that more just like people aren’t educated, it just seems like a no brainer offer. What’s the object? Or what are people’s objections to that offer? It seems like free money. So if your building is too good to be true or something and they don’t believe it.

Geoff Crain  26:25 

I think it’s twofold. So you’re absolutely right. It’s a no brainer. If you’re a business and I think you had to have 250,000 revenue in the last one or two years. So it’s a relatively decent amount. But so many visitors qualify for I think they said there’s like 500,000 Canadian businesses that just based on their revenue would qualify for him. I think the problem is that the Canadian government has done no advertising themselves to promote it. And maybe there’s reasons why that they have done that. But nobody knows about it. And like you said, maybe it’s a little bit complicated, and people don’t fully understand it. So Digital Maturity Group was trying to raise awareness about this grant. And then it’s available for Canadians to take access, or take advantage of.

Jeremy Weisz  27:10 

So let’s say I have a Canadian business owner, listen to this, or on where if they’re interested in that particular offer, where should we send them?

Geoff Crain  27:21 

Send them to us go to, fill out our contact form, we’ll approve SeedUp advisors we’ll get you that 15k free grant will write the digital plan for you. And then once you have that, you will be approved for the 100k free business model. So how does the interest work on that? There’s no interest.

Jeremy Weisz  27:42 

You could just take it out and invest it in like a CD and just make money off of it. Maybe there’s stipulations there.

Geoff Crain  27:47 

Yeah, I’m sure there’s stipulations on what they can invest. The idea of the loan would be to use it to actually plan that the SeedUp advisor proposed for you or do a Media Buy with Google with Facebook, you have to use it within some sort of marketing channel. That’s the intention anyway.

Jeremy Weisz  28:09 

I could see people using so with them, they did TV, what else do they use? Because I can see from a US standpoint, I get all these messages, Geoff about the employee retention, credit thing, and it’s basically the same similar concept. So I think there’s a lot of these type of offers that are similar to this, that it’s kind of just in awareness. And so how else did they get exposure for this?

Geoff Crain  28:41 

Yeah, so they run their own digital channels, they’ll run on meta Facebook, and they’ll do their paid search. And then now they’ve done television with us, but just your traditional digital channels was how they were gonna get before.

Jeremy Weisz  28:56 

Got it? Geoff, I’m curious lessons from, it seems like you’ve been around the agency space for a long time, obviously, even from a young age, what are some lessons you learned from your dad?

Geoff Crain  29:11 

Yes, I think some lessons I learned is patience. When I was younger, working there during the summers in between university, I would hear him on the phone because I was close to his office. And sometimes these people on the line were screaming, they were so angry and so frustrated, and he would be able to remain level headed, he would never raise his voice. And he would always remain very calm. So I think that taught me just it’s not really into agency. It’s really any business. You’re always going to work with either a client, a colleague or somebody that their emotions sometimes get the best of them. And they’re really gonna go on tangents scream, yell and say things that they don’t really mean. But if you’re able to remain calm during those situations, you’re winning automatically one because you’re thinking logically and with thought As opposed to with emotion, so I think that’s definitely one thing I learned from him. He’s very patient, and calm, even in sometimes the most stressful moments.

Jeremy Weisz  30:09 

It must not have been a Canadian based company because Canadians are too nice to scream at people.

Geoff Crain  30:16 

Exactly. A lot of the companies that we work with are from New York. They’re very hard hitters, and they expect a lot.

Jeremy Weisz  30:24 

The last question, Geoff, and just thanks for sharing your journey. I want to encourage people to check out What are some of your favorite resources books that you’ve looked at over the years that you’ve seen your colleagues recommend?

Geoff Crain  30:43 

Yeah, so I think in terms of resources for me, I know it sounds hacky, but I on LinkedIn, I follow a lot of what I would say are like marketing influencers. And there’s a couple of really small ones just, located here in Toronto that I follow, there’s different podcasts for b2b, or just marketing in general. And I’m just really like a consumer of content, some of the LinkedIn people. There’s a guy named Sean Hurley, he’s a, we’ll call it a pseudo LinkedIn influencer. He has a lot of his kind of own content that he’ll write and talk about. And then there’s a few other ones. The name is escaping me now. But I am constantly bombarded with some content on LinkedIn, I usually spend half an hour a day there, kind of cruising, reading new trends. And I always find like, that’s the best way because people are looking to expose new avenues to improve marketing efficiency. They’re looking for new content, and there’s lots of contribution. And it’s a good community there. So I’m always on LinkedIn, to use it and Chris Walker is another CEO of Refined Labs. He has his own podcast and he posts a lot on LinkedIn and he’s very into b2b sales and he’s someone that I follow religiously.

Jeremy Weisz  32:09 

Awesome any other podcasts that you enjoy?

Geoff Crain  32:13 

Yeah, podcasts that I enjoy. I listen to music while I work a lot if I have like a project that I’m doing one or two hours I need to get it done and I don’t want any distractions I’ll put on my headphones and I typically like to listen to house music. So this sounds like a TSO or Don Diablo, there’s no words there’s just a lot of music and I can really lock in and finish the project that I need to so those are the podcasts I really speaking podcasts, but listen to you. And other than that, I’ll listen to Joe Rogan from time to time.

Jeremy Weisz  32:40 

Awesome. Geoff, thank you so much, everyone, check out and more episodes of the podcast and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, Jeff.

Geoff Crain  32:49 

Thank you.