CalTravel Member Spotlight: Garry Sage - JNS Next

Garry SageGarry Sage, President and CEO of JNS Next and CalTravel Board Director, was interviewed by Mary Jo Ginther, Director of Tourism, Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

I see on your website that your firm just named one of the Top 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies” by Inc. Magazine – congrats on this! Any tips on how to handle the growing pains from a family-run business into a larger-scale organization? 

The growing pains are primarily managed by strategically selecting personnel who will continue propelling the company forward. We are still considered a boutique agency, and everyone wears multiple hats. Finding people with multiple skill sets who compliment the overall group is always a challenge. We are also mindful of growing at a rate that is sustainable and won’t jeopardize our level of service or core values.

You have branched out from ad media buying into branding strategy, digital distribution, creative development, social media, and more. As you develop and expand into these areas, which do you find the most challenging? 

The biggest challenge has been overcoming the “media buying” label that was our core business since the beginning. Some of our longstanding clients only tap into that area of our agency not realizing that the expert staff that we have acquired these past few years bring with them decades of big market experience on the creative, digital, and strategic planning side.

The most rewarding?

When we are able to demonstrate our abilities and share record-breaking results with our clients.

Are there areas that you plan to expand in the future? 

We are a digital-forward agency, so we may delve deeper into that arena. We are constantly educating ourselves on the next big development and pride ourselves on bringing those ideas to our clients ahead of their competitors.

What are 2-3 top technology developments that have rocked your world, industry-wise? 

Connected TV is a game changer which enables us to target consumers based on their demographics, geo-targets, behaviors, and specific habits based on the information these Connected TV devices are collecting when a user simply signs into their device. Exact audience segmentations allow for targeting brand-receptive audiences with relevant messages, bringing more value to the brand. Cord-cutters are on the rise, so we need to find a way to stay connected with those folks.

As a CalTravel board member (and I have heard, one of the geniuses behind this year’s awesome auction) what do you see as the driving force for you to be so involved in CalTravel? 

Travel and tourism is the pulse of our agency, and being involved with CalTravel at the board level ingrains me at a much deeper level. There are many issues affecting tourism and destinations throughout the state, and I want to help usher positive change. Homelessness is an issue that I am very passionate about. Knowing that my contributions help CalTravel work on this issue and countless others, energizes me to keep pushing forward to give as much as I can of my time and connections.

To learn more about CalTravel, click here.