Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2023: Parker Kump’s Tuff Media makes big money for small businesses

Tuff Media focuses on affordable digital advertising

It’s tricky to run a successful company without great advertising—but for many small businesses, hiring a professional agency doesn’t feel within reach. Parker Kump, founder of Vancouver-based Tuff Media, explains that competitors in his industry can charge tens of thousands of dollars per month for digital advertising… and results may vary. “A lot of agencies use advertising as a complementary service, and it’s getting more and more difficult to see profitable returns,” says Kump. “If you’re not specializing, you can waste a lot of people’s money.”

Tuff Media’s primary focus is affordable digital advertising: the company takes on small business clients for as little as a few thousand dollars per month. The founder notes that while other agencies might toss their less-lucrative accounts on the desk of a junior staff member, that’s not the case at Tuff—every member of the team has four to 10 years of experience. “We go above and beyond for each client,” says Kump. “We don’t just focus on what’s inside the ad account, we look at the business as a whole and all the opportunities to scale up.”

The numbers speak for themselves. In early 2023, Tuff grew the ecommerce business of Quebec automotive detailing retailer Morice Shop by 645 percent in three months. A 2022 Black Friday campaign for Smash + Tess increased the Vancouver fashion brand’s return by 400 percent compared to the previous year. And within 30 days of working with Surrey footwear and orthotics company Kintec, Tuff Media had increased return on ad spend by 240 percent.

Tuff’s retainer may be affordable, but Kump is determined to make services even more accessible for businesses working with smaller budgets—his short-term goals include launching a community portal with a low-cost subscription fee and starting a venture arm to strategically partner with startups and help them grow. “I just love working with different entrepreneurs—hearing their story and what they’re struggling with and hopefully being a solution,” says Kump.