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Jeff Hastedt is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Brkthru, which helps other organizations harness the selling power behind digital advertising. Before founding Brkthru, Jeff worked in mass media for companies such as CBS, Clear Channel, and Powerhitz. He’s also assisted brands and led digital campaigns for Ford, Indian Motorcycles, Lennox, and more.

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

  • Jeff Hastedt talks about Brkthru and its services
  • How Brkthru differentiates itself in the digital advertising industry
  • Jeff’s entrepreneurial journey to founding Brkthru 
  • The key elements to becoming the best salesperson 
  • Jeff discusses the “Brkthru You” program and why it’s in-person
  • How to build company culture in a remote environment  
  • The evolution of Brkthru 
  • Jeff shares Brkthru’s customer success stories

In this episode…

How can you thrive and grow in the digital space? 

Many companies struggle in the digital landscape. Why? Because it’s moving at an accelerated pace, making it seem overwhelming, complicated, and confusing. According to Jeff Hastedt, brands need to hire experts in this space to help them successfully run digital media campaigns. Today, Jeff is sharing his entrepreneurial journey in founding Brkthru to help brands thrive in the digital environment. 

Tune in to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he welcomes the Co-founder and Managing Director of Brkthru, Jeff Hastedt. Jeff talks about Brkthru and how it helps brands grow in a digital environment, how it differentiates itself from competitors, tips to build company culture, and Brkthru’s customer success stories.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01 

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

Jeremy Weisz 0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of Inspired Insider, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Today, I’m here with Jeff Hastedt, of Brkthru. And before I formally introduce you, Jeff, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast and a couple since this is kind of the part of the agency series I had Jason Swenk, who I had on, he built his company up to over eight figures and sold it and then they’re acquiring companies. So he talks about how he evaluates them. And then I Todd Taskey also talks about kind of pairs agencies with private equity companies, and how that process works. And he has a Second Bite Podcast, which is, those companies getting a second bite and sometimes making more than what they sold it for originally. So check those out, and other episodes on And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we are an easy button for you to help launch and run your podcast we do accountability, strategy and full execution of a podcast. For me, Jeff, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And honestly, I’ve found no better way over the past decade to profile the people in 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 And feel free to message us and happy to answer any questions. So I’m excited we have Jeff Hastedt today. He’s the Managing Director and Co-founder. But what’s interesting, Jeff has a title you prefer is CPO, which is chief pizza officer. I mean, you would think you’d be from Chicago with that type of title. But you’re from Michigan.

Jeff Hastedt 2:12 

So remember Detroit’s a big pizza town as well. It’s getting more of a name now. Natives have known that forever, but it’s just getting its do in the national media now.

Jeremy Weisz 2:26 

There you go. So who knew? Yeah, I guess we’re a little bit more egocentric in Chicago we think we’re the only pizza place.

Jeff Hastedt 2:36 

All pizzas good. I don’t discriminate love Chicago pizza as well.

Jeremy Weisz 2:41 

From the pizza officer. Of course you’re going to say that. All pizza is good. But Jeff helps companies and his company helps companies harness the selling power behind digital advertising. he co-founded Brkthru in 2017. But as digital experience, and expertise dates back all the way to 2000. He’s worked at companies like CBS Corporation and radio stations. And so we’re gonna dig into that a little bit too. He also brings over a decade experience in the mass media, CBS, Clear Channel, Powerhitz. Assisting brands and leading international digital campaigns for clients like Ford, Indian Motorcycles, Lennox, among others, and you could check them out at That’s And, Jeff, thanks for joining me.

Jeff Hastedt 2:41 

Thank you.

Jeremy Weisz 2:44 

So tell people a little bit more about Brkthru and what you do.

Jeff Hastedt 3:08 

Yeah, Brkthru is first and foremost a service company. And from what I understand that’s a very odd thing to say in the digital advertising industry, where everything is focused heavily on technology. But the reason why we are a service company in the ad tech world is because that is what the market has told me over the past, really not really my whole career, but heavily over the past eight to 10 years, when let’s say an advertising agency, or an app or a brand themselves, is trying to traverse their way through any type of digital advertising, whether it be search ads, display ads, programmatic advertising, they have a lot of questions, and they don’t want to just wait for a help desk to maybe get back to them with a wrong answer in three days. They want to talk to someone today they want to they want to text someone today and frankly, they have another job to do which is run their business and so we handle the media execution for them for brands of agencies and also brands direct that need that assistance and Brkthru broke through that noise by offering that and also offering it with no minimums. A lot of times in order to have a service like we offer, companies feel that there needs to be a minimum spend in order for them to make it worth it for us. And we don’t believe in that we don’t do business that way. We believe that every dollar counts, and every advertiser counts. And we start with Yes.

Jeremy Weisz 5:30 

When I was looking through your website, you go against the grain in the industry in a lot of respects, and you just mentioned one of them, which is if you’re listening in the audio, you can watch the video too. But you can see here any size campaign last minute needs fixed budgets, unique audiences, tough challenges. Yes, right. You start with Yes. And not everyone be like that way. Last minute needs no, like we need to plan, right, you have a bud, we only do a certain type of client that has over a certain budget. So talk about some of the way you thought about structuring your company, because of the day as it goes against the grain.

Jeff Hastedt 6:13 

So a lot of it does come from my industry, working in the industry and my experience and hearing from clients what their needs are. So part of it is that, but a good portion of it is that, but really what I thought about was I don’t want to do business with anyone, whether it’s a doctor or a dentist, or a pizza place, or a plumber, that just tells me no and doesn’t offer me any other solutions. I would never want to do business with somebody like that. And so when the digital advertising industry, especially the ones that focus on programmatic service, were giving clients rule all these rules, there’s a new order to work with us, here’s our list of rules do you fit into our parameters, who wants to give money to a company that doesn’t really want to do business with them.

Jeremy Weisz 7:11 

What are some of the common rules that you see in the industry that you know?

Jeff Hastedt 7:15 

The minimums are one of the most popular ones. Someone will say we need $10,000 a month in order to do it. And so a lot of times, it’s not just $10,000, it might be oh, and then in order to say okay, you meet you hit the first minimum, now there’s a second one, there’s a line item minimum, you need to spend at least $5,000 per line items. So that means you can only use a total of two, that doesn’t make any sense for a for your typical advertiser, especially those who are in regional businesses. They might be a small business, those types of things I can understand maybe for the fortune 100 company, but for everyone else out there, they need to test the waters, they need to see what you can do. And he needs to just trust you. Why should anyone give us money if they don’t trust us? And so that’s why we focus so heavily on that. The other one is, and you have it showing up on your screen on our website, where it says we’re yes, people and we say yes, I just can’t get over how many times I have heard our now clients will tell us well, everyone else has told us No. And I’m like, yeah, well, we’re not we’re telling you yes. Or in my ad sales career. I would go around and say yeah, sure, I can do that. And they were just so shocked to hear that word yes. And then I started to think again, going back to what I just said about who wants to do business with someone that all they do is tell them no. It’s just don’t, that’s where a lot of it came from. And so we centered our entire business model on that service element.

Jeremy Weisz 9:07 

Talk about, another thing that I found was cool on your website was this right here, this upper right hand corner? I don’t know, what is your thought behind it, but when you click on it, I was like, okay, I’m going to learn a little more on the company and this navigation does a little bit something different than what I’m used to. So talk about your thought, how you decided on this because I like oh great, it’s got the contact information, got the Contact Us it just functions a little bit differently from what I’ve seen.

Jeff Hastedt 9:43 

So the whole point and reason behind this is that when you log on to a site of a company that similar to us, just assume similar or same work as us, or may work at target the same type of prospects, you’d log on to their website, and it’s all about them. It’s everything that they do. It’s nothing that really is of any interest to the prospective client. And so the thought behind that was yes, of course, we’re going to have that information. But we’re not going to lead off with that information. We’ll tell you who we are, what our teams are, will tell you about open career opportunities, we will tell you about things like that. But we will not just sit there and only focus on that. The other thing that you don’t see is tons of tech jargon, of long of acronyms, and run on sentences of things that just have just word salad that don’t make any sense. But somebody thought that they sounded smart, putting it on the website, and that nauseates us, so we also decided not to do that. So when you log on, it’s solely about how we can help you being the prospective client. And those are through our research, the top items that people would want to know when they’re learning about Brkthru.

Jeremy Weisz 11:16 

Yeah, because I like how it works is you meet the team, and you get thinking, and you have things that are that make it happen, and then fine tune it and break it down. And then the other thing I want to talk about is, how did you end up starting the company? How did that come about?

Jeff Hastedt 11:35 

Yeah. Do you want the short version or the long version?

Jeremy Weisz 11:42 

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