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The Future of Digital Advertising with Benton Crane of Harmon Brothers & Jason Portnoy of JPORT Media

Benton Crane
Benton Crane is the CEO of Harmon Brothers, the advertising agency behind some of the most viral ads in Internet history. The Harmon Brothers team has masterminded advertising campaigns for Poo~Pourri, Squatty Potty, Purple, FiberFix, ChatBooks, and many more. The agency’s advertisements have generated over 1.5 billion views and more than $400 million in revenue.
Jason PortnoyJason Portnoy is the Founder and CEO of JPORT Media, a full-service digital marketing agency that helps businesses unlock their potential online. Jason is also the Host of Perfectly Mentored, a podcast designed to be your in-pocket mentor. He has featured renowned guests such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Daymond John, Grant Cardone, Ryan Deiss, and many other legends.

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

  • Jason Portnoy and Benton Crane discuss their mentors and explain why mentorship is so valuable
  • How to find the right mentor for you and your business
  • The biggest mistake high-growth brands make in the ecommerce industry
  • How to build a brand and generate ROI with ad campaigns
  • Jason predicts the future of paid media
  • Benton talks about preparing your direct response marketing for the arrival of iOS 14
  • How Jason and Benton would approach marketing for an innovative brand such as Tesla
  • Benton shares how advertising is changing and what to expect from Harmon Brothers
  • Jason reveals what is in the pipeline for JPORT Media

In this episode…

What is the biggest mistake that high-growth ecommerce brands are making right now? According to advertising experts Benton Crane and Jason Portnoy, it’s that many brands choose only one of two types of advertising: direct response marketing or traditional branding. Not only is this binary thinking holding you back from success, but it may actually be detrimental to your business in the coming years.

With imminent changes in digital advertising and paid media as a result of iOS 14, Benton and Jason suggest that it may be time to bridge the gap between advertising that generates ROI and advertising that builds your brand. So, what exactly can you expect from the future of marketing, and how can you ensure that you stay in business when it happens?

Discover what the future of digital advertising holds in this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast as Joshua Chin interviews Jason Portnoy, Founder and CEO of JPORT Media, and Benton Crane, CEO of Harmon Brothers. Together, they discuss the importance of mentors when building a business, how to bridge the gap between advertising for ROI and building brand equity, and what to expect from iOS 14 and other changes to paid media. Stay tuned for more!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Special Mentions

Books Mentioned:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts have helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to The eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the eCommerce industry and take an in depth look at their struggles and successes in growing eCommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

Josh Chin here, I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top experts in the eCommerce industry and we go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. Now this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. If you’re a direct to consumer eCommerce brand that’s ready for next level growth and to unlock the optimal lifetime value of your customers through email marketing, Chronos is your company we’ve helped hundreds of brands get over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients get an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts. We’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty, Ally Skin, the Udi and many more. And if you’re interested in finding out more, the next step is just to email us at Sales@Chronos.Agency, or you can find out more at Chronos.Agency. And today we have something that’s really unique and different. We have two amazing guests with me. My first guest Benton Crane is the CEO of Harmon Brothers, whose advertisements are responsible for over 1.5 billion views on the internet and over $400 million dollars in revenue generated. In fact, you’ve probably seen most of their advertisements. Harmon Brothers are the masterminds behind advertise advertise as advertising campaigns for Lumi Deodorant. One of your recent successes, Poo~Pourri, Squatty-Potty, Purple mattress, Fiberfix, ChatBooks, and many, many more. And my second guest today, Jason Portnoy is the Founder and CEO of JPORT Media, a full service digital marketing agency, helping businesses unlock their potential online. Now Jason is also the host of one of my most favorite podcasts, Perfectly Mentored, a podcast designed to be your in-pocket mentor. He has featured amazing guests such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Daymond John Grant Cardone and Ryan Deiss, among many, many other legends, guys, welcome to the show.

Benton Crane 2:22

Happy to be here. Thanks for having us.

Jason Portnoy 2:24

Thanks for having me. Yeah, I think there’s a mistake. I listened to Benton’s bio, and then listened to mine after i think i think he should be on here. Oh, boy himself. I’m here to listen to him now.

Joshua Chin 2:34

No, absolutely not. So Jason’s just being super humble here. But I think you guys are doing some incredible work in the in the space. And personally, I look up to both of you on a lot of the things that you do. Jason, you’re a great host, and Benton, you have built an amazing agency and business. And I love to learn a little bit more about what has gotten you guys here. And I think the path to success is often built upon, well, obviously, the shoulders of giants. And so my question to you guys is, Who are your mentors? Who are your key mentors that you attribute the most, most of your success to? And this goes out to both of you guys. Jason can start first and then Benton?

Jason Portnoy 3:23

Great question. Yeah, look, I think mentorships extremely important. That’s why I have a podcast called Perfectly Mentored, because I believe that everyone should have access to a mentor. And I try to bring picking pick the brains of some of the smartest people on the planet and bring it to everyone. I’m fortunate enough that when I started my clothing brand, I had an amazing mentor in Daymond John, who I became super close with him friends with that’s, that’s a lot of luck. To get him your first mentor be someone like that, who saved me tons of money mistakes. He’s someone I, you know, I look up to him and have just so much respect for I’ve seen him behind the scenes, and I’ve seen them on the show. The guy has an incredible work ethic. I don’t know if I have at each level or each crossroad that I get to, it’s always I’m always looking for someone else that could help me in a different way. So I I’m not tied down to one mentor. I learn a lot from different people. I learn a lot from you. I learn a lot from Benton and what he does with his company. There’s just so many people I pick and choose from. But obviously i think i think number one would be you know, it sounds like a cheesy answer. But my parents right because they’ve they’ve always been my biggest fan they’ve they’ve recognized that I’m marched to a different beat and to the to the beat of my own drum. And they’ve always maybe not always they fought me in the beginning. But I think now they’ve they’ve they’ve always tried to give me that space. And let me figure things out on my own. But yeah, I don’t think there’s one in particular, I keep Keep learning every single day. And I’m a sponge.

Joshua Chin 5:04

I love that. What about you Benton.

Benton Crane 5:06

You know, I love reading, I read a lot of books. And so oftentimes, I feel like my best mentors are our authors. You know, a couple of that popped into my head, Simon Sinek, who wrote Start With Why, that had a massive impact on our company, Ed Catmull, Co Founder of Pixar wrote Creativity Inc, that impacted us deeply in, in how we think about creativity and how we do things at Harmon Brothers and then, you know, a personal mentor of mine is, Paul Allen, he actually goes by Paul Allen, the lesser, because it’s not the Microsoft, Paul Allen, it’s the Ancestry.com. Paul Allen. So he’s the co founder of Ancestry. And, and he, he’s one of those guys who, you know, has a wealth of experience and a lot of successes under his belt, and he, you know, he doesn’t mind a phone call from me here and there, so that I can pick his brain and, and, you know, throw some hard problems at him. And, and if he doesn’t have the answers, he can usually point me to someone who does. So it’s nice to have a guy like that in your in your court.

Joshua Chin 6:20

Now, here comes a really typical question, how do you find a mentor in the first place? Now? Is it Do you think it’s more by chance? Or is it kind of true, a methodological process? or something else? Right? It kind of backs you up there.

Benton Crane 6:40

Go ahead, Jason, it sounds like you’re, you’re you have a little more expertise and background and mentorship.

Jason Portnoy 6:48

I mean, look, I think everyone wants the big name people as mentors. And I’ll tell you this much that a lot of times, they’re the wrong mentors for the people what they’re going through. A lot of times, what people say are not relatable to depending on where you’re at in your business. You know, someone who’s doing nine figures a year, doesn’t really maybe doesn’t really remember as much or doesn’t know what it takes to really start from scratch, right? Like right now, they can tell you about their story and help. But you may want to find someone who’s just a level above you. Same way, when you’re looking for a business coach or coach in anything you want someone who’s, you know, the level above you or you know, can grow with you, and keep getting there, or otherwise, you have to keep finding a new coach. But I think you’d have to start with, I would start local, I find someone that you know, in your network who has done something that you’ve achieved, and these people usually don’t get hit up a lot for mentorships, right? Because they’re local, they’re not a big name, and reach out to them. But I think you have to go into mentorship. To find a mentor, you have to go into it with what value can you bring them as well, if you’re just Hey, can I just borrow? Can I just have this or steal an hour of your time many people won’t want that, right? We’re very, people are very busy these days. They don’t want to just give an hour. So find what way you could offer value, whether it’s helping out find a way to learn from them. Sometimes you have the right, if you’re an employee, sometimes you get the most amazing mentor right in your boss and you don’t even realize it right? You’re looking for external, but you have it right under your nose. Sometimes it could be a family member, I would just don’t it sounds great to be like, Oh, I have Daymond John as a mentor. It was great. I, it’s lucky, you know, I there was a lot of stars that that aligned for that to happen. But if starting again, I probably find someone and I’ve had amazing mentors, local that were in the clothing business that took me under their wing when Daymond John was too busy, right? And I’m not going to bother him every every 10 minutes that took me under their wing that knew the industry just as well. So that’s number one, I would sit there and say, Look who in my local market is doing exactly what I want to be doing, and how can I get in front of them?

Joshua Chin 9:03

That makes so much sense.

Benton Crane 9:05

The one thing I would add is mentorship doesn’t need to be formal, you know, you don’t need to go to someone and say, Hey, will you be my mentor? And you know, make it sound like some big commitment or something? Because it’s not just if you have a question, ask the question. And as a general rule, entrepreneurs are more than happy to share the lessons that they’ve learned. And when somebody asks for help or advice, people are usually happy to give it so just keep it low key, keep it informal. And in fact, usually you don’t even realize you’re in a mentor relationship until later. You’re looking back at it. You’re like, Oh, yeah, they mentored me on this. But at the time, you don’t even think of it that way.

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