Talk CNY Expert Mini Series: Season 1, Episode 8 Transcript

Andrew Fish 0:06

Welcome to a special expert miniseries for CenterState CEO's podcast, Talk CNY, presented by NBT Bank. In this series, we'll feature experts from across Central New York and beyond to dig into our memberships' most requested topics.

Kate Hammer 0:20

Take a moment right now to subscribe in your listening app for reminders every other Wednesday for our main podcast series and be sure to catch the rest of the expert mini series as well. Today, we are joined by Erick Candelero Griscenco, Senior Agency Development Manager for Google. Eric focuses on digital strategy and digital transformation at Google and is here to talk about the ever changing landscape of digital marketing and what companies can do to be out ahead of these trends.

Andrew Fish 0:49

I'm Andrew Fish, Senior Vice President of Member and Business Experience at CenterState CEO.

Kate Hammer 0:55

And I'm Kate Hammer, business coach and member at CenterState CEO. We are your hosts for Talk CNY.

Andrew Fish 1:01

Erick, thank you so much for joining us today, we're really excited to be talking to you about the transformation that we're seeing in the industry. So welcome.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 1:08

Thank you so much for having me. Absolutely.

Kate Hammer 1:10

Yeah. Erick, would you please tell us a little bit about you and what digital marketing looks like at Google?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 1:17

Yeah, sure. So I'm originally from Brazil, born and raised and lived my entire life over there. And about seven years ago, I moved to the U.S. to work in our Google New York City office and I've been at Google now for about 10 years. And all of that time working with small and medium businesses, advising them on digital marketing strategies. And I think when we're talking about digital marketing, Google is just a huge marketplace for everything that you can imagine on like digital advertising. We have several platforms that people can advertise on. And several small and medium businesses across the U.S. and the world rely on us to do like their day to day marketing, digital marketing needs.

Kate Hammer 2:01


Andrew Fish 2:01

It's great.

Kate Hammer 2:02

It's amazing.

Andrew Fish 2:03

So working with Google for 10 years, originally from Brazil, why don't you tell folks what brought you to Syracuse here today?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 2:09

Yes. So we had this morning, actually an event, pretty cool event brought by CenterState CEO and Digital Hyve and Google to talk about digital marketing. And to talk about the change that is happening in the ecosystem of digital marketing over the past 10 years. It was a really cool conversation around what were the key changes that happened in digital marketing over the past 10 years, with focus on change. And also how can small and medium businesses work on thinking about those changes, and how to prepare for the next wave of change. Because the one certainty we got out of the event, is that like, change is happening all the time. It will keep happening.

Kate Hammer 2:54


Andrew Fish 2:54


Kate Hammer 2:55

Yeah. So actually, in this time of economic uncertainty, what can small businesses do? Or what should they be thinking about in terms of digital marketing?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 3:05

So I think they should be thinking about clearly understanding what they want to get out of digital marketing. And I feel that one thing that happens a lot, and I've been talking to like small and medium businesses for a long time now, is that you're doing digital marketing, because you need more clients, you want to increase your revenue, you need more people walking into the door. But you should spend a little bit more time clearly outlining what are your goals? What is the framework that you're going to use, how you're going to be approaching this, so that you have a framework to analyze what's happening in your digital marketing strategies and how you're tackling that problem instead of just doing it because you feel you should be doing it. Putting a little bit of framework and understanding around how you're going about doing this?

Kate Hammer 3:54

Yeah, you know what that resonates a ton.

Andrew Fish 3:57

Oh, for sure. being strategic about it.

Kate Hammer 3:59

Yeah. Not just checking the box.

Andrew Fish 4:00

Aiming before you pull the trigger. Right. I mean, that that makes a lot of sense.

Kate Hammer 4:03


Andrew Fish 4:03

So one of our members asked the question, "hey, I currently have a digital marketing strategy in place, but it's really not, you know, yielding any good results, you know. How should they look at optimizing that and finding ways to boost that effectiveness?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 4:16

Yeah, I think if I could count the number of times that I've heard something similar from clients, we'd have in the 1000s. I would say that going back to your question about clearly outlining what you're trying to get out of this. So this question would certainly use a few follow up questions, which would be: What was the key KPI, your key goal? What were you thinking about in terms of what you would get out of those campaigns?

Andrew Fish 4:43

Got it.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 4:44

So are you focusing on a specific number of leads that you are going to generate or leads in general, people filling out forms, or phone calls, or people walking into the door? Or what was the goal that you had in mind when putting that key? Being together by having that clear goal in mind, you are able to assess, to reflect on what happened on your campaign so that you can do a comparison and understand exactly where you're going.

Kate Hammer 5:13

Yeah. And the next question is about mistakes that we should really be avoiding when we're building campaigns and outside of, you know, being more planful, what other common mistakes do you see?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 5:25

Oh, so one mistake, which is related to the topic that we had in the conversation today, is not being open to change.

Kate Hammer 5:35


Erick Candelero Griscenco 5:35

The biggest mistake is to think that a strategy that worked in the past, will work right now, for something that you're trying to do. And especially in digital marketing. We were talking today about the advent of mobile, and mobile, of course, is so prevalent now. But we were talking that like when you had the new iPhone coming up, and smartphones coming to the market, everyone was accessing internet, through desktops, through computers. There was a process involved in terms of actually getting online. Yeah, we had a sound bite that like connection sound.

Andrew Fish 6:14

AOL, yeah.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 6:15

And it was actually a process, there was friction there. And now with mobile with like, your own line all the time, but it brought up a bunch of change in terms of how people engage with content online, how many times they're searching for things. So if you followed the same strategy that may made you successful, 10 years ago, you were not going to succeed. So that's certainly like number one in terms of mistakes people make.

Kate Hammer 6:44

Yeah, okay. So we need to be agile.

Andrew Fish 6:46

Yeah, change with the times for sure. So another one of our small business owner members asked this question, and I chuckled a little bit about it. Because you know, when you're an entrepreneur, and you're and you're running your business, you are doing everything. And so they talked about, you know, "hey, how do you juggle monitoring and following up on your marketing strategy, when you're also busy running your business? How do you how do you balance both of those things? And are there resources or tools out there to help with that?"

Erick Candelero Griscenco 7:12

Yeah, another very popular questions when like talking to clients about how they manage their campaigns. In general, the key aspect of that in the question itself, and what I liked the most, is that no one knows your business better than you do. And I feel that it's almost like a shift in perspective. The knowledge you have about your business, how it operates your clients, your overall audience, that's gold, when it comes to information that can be leveraged through digital marketing. So it's all a question of translating all of that knowledge, into your advertising strategies, either doing it yourself, doing it through a partner, but it's all about identifying some of those key aspects of your business, and translating that back into specific campaigns. So for example, if you know your audience better than anyone, you will know how to engage or what's the best message to bring to that specific audience. If you know how you make money, your revenue, profitability, you know, maybe kind of like times of day, or specific days of the week in which you have more business, less business, all of that can be translated back into it, tooo. It's all about finding ways if you're doing it yourself on scaling, automated solutions to help you with that. If not, if you're working with a partner, make sure that that partner clearly understands what are some of those aspects of your business? So you can translate that back into your campaign.

Andrew Fish 8:48

Great, very helpful.

Kate Hammer 8:49

Yeah, absolutely. So our next question is, "For service based businesses in particular, are there any tactics that they should be employing for additional marketing?"

Erick Candelero Griscenco 8:58

I would say that it does not vary that much in terms of the tactics themselves. I think I would go back to the previous question, which is about, okay, I know my business and I don't know how to operate like a marketing strategy. But that that knowledge of the business translating back into the campaigns is something that helps a lot. So these specific tactics, they do not change that much. The most important invaluable aspect is actually understanding that those business goals and translating them back into the campaign. And the reason why I say that is one of the things that we've talked about in the event as well, is the advent of AI in digital marketing. So AI buzzword, everyone's talking about it. But what happens with AI is I'll give a going a little bit tactical here. For example, we have smart bidding solutions on Google Ads platform. That's a smart bidding solution means that you have an algorithm AI powered algorithm that decides how much you're going to be bidding for which customer at which time. And that's done automatically. But then that algorithm can be guided with information and input that you give. So on Google, for example, you might say, "Okay, I accept to pay $20, for this a specific lead". Or you can say, "each lead that I receive out of this Google ads campaign is worth X amount of dollars". But then the question becomes, who knows this X amount of dollars, that that lead is worth? The owner of the business knows that information. So now we came into a point in which those AI powered solutions are extremely powerful in driving value to your business. And the key challenge is how to capture that value, and input into your campaigns. But who knows this information better than the owner of the business share. So in a way, we're in a point in time, in which it might even make it a little bit easier ish, in a way, because it's all about that knowledge in that skew of translating that information back into the platforms.

Andrew Fish 11:18

So giving it your information, giving it your knowledge, and it goes to work for you. It does a lot of that stuff in terms of you know, figuring out the right opportunity, the right time, gives you that information back. So you're not actively trying to make some of those changes. The the algorithm is doing that for you

Erick Candelero Griscenco 11:33

Exactly. What happens in like campaigns in general, and going a little bit more specific into kind of like advertising on Google, you can make the Google campaigns, your digital marketing advertising campaigns on Google to focus on one thing. At first, in the advent of like Google ads, that one thing was clicks, people wanted you to click ads. But click is not as great. People are clicking your ads, but what are they doing after? So then you're going to the next stage of that evolution, where instead of focusing on clicks, you can focus on conversions, and conversions would be leads calls or whatever action you decide that is valuable to your business. But now we're going even further where the conversation that we're having right now, what is the value associated with each one of those conversions, okay? So if you can tell the system to focus on one thing, you can focus on clicks, you can focus on conversions or actions that are important to your business?

Kate Hammer 12:40


Erick Candelero Griscenco 12:40

Or you can focus on value. What are you going to tell the system to focus on? Focus on value. But then it goes back to the conversation that we were having, having the knowledge of the business and how to come up with a value. And that's the next frontier in digital marketing. Whoever is able to find a way to gather that information, assign that value and input that back into the platform so that the platform can work for you will be in a really good spot in digital advertising in the future.

Andrew Fish 13:13

It's great.

Kate Hammer 13:13

Yeah. So it's really about the behavior that you want to get. Do you want somebody to join an email list? I mean, when I think about service based businesses in particular, and what conversion means in that context. Yeah, I love what you're saying. Like you have to know exactly what it is that you want to have happen, then craft your campaign accordingly.

Andrew Fish 13:30

Yeah, we're talking about, you know, you know, clicks and conversions, and all these things. There's a lot of different analytics you can look at. Right? There's a lot of different ways in which you can determine whether that campaign is performing well. What are some of the specific metrics that you feel like are important to keep an eye on recognizing that ultimately, getting to that value and working your way backwards? But are there there are things that you can assess kind of ongoing or as things are happening? What are the metrics that you always suggest that the business owners look at?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 13:56

That's an interesting question, because when I joined Google 10 years ago, the one thing that made me very, like overwhelmed, to be honest, was the amount of metrics that were available.

Andrew Fish 14:06


Erick Candelero Griscenco 14:06

You're literally sitting in a world of information. And for advertising campaigns, you know, everything that's going on, you know, your cost per click your cost per conversion, your cost per lead your cost per day, and all of that stuff. And the more time goes by the more, I appreciate having less metrics, not having less metrics, in terms of not like having that available, you still have that available. But sometimes the amount of numbers that you have available to look at. It's so overwhelming, that you do not focus like we're in like this society where we like we don't pay attention to things because there's too much stuff going on. But this is related to metrics as well. You're looking at so many different things. And then you want to make sure that something very specific, I don't know your cost per click is okay. But then what's the actual goal that you're trying to acheive. Going back to the question, and I think I'm sprinkling that into almost every single answer, because that's what's important right now. Okay? What is the ultimate goal that this campaign or just a strategy is trying to like, what you're trying to get out of that? Focus on that one, even if that is specific metric, or that a specific metric is not as good as you would like, you need to have it very clear, what is the ultimate goal, the key metric that you're going after and align all of your different marketing strategies into that specific goal.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 14:22

Great. So it's actually not necessarily saying, here's some of the specific metrics you need to look for. It's the specific metric is, what are you trying to accomplish? What is the goal? And that's what you need to know.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 15:44

Exactly. And I think this goes back to the question that you've asked about, hey, I'm like, I'm running a business. I don't know. Like, this is stuff that you're talking about. I just want like to keep running my business. But that's the thing. You want to keep running your business. But then you're trying, you're going somewhere with that business, I hope, right? Where are you going? What are you trying to achieve? And then when you're talking, either doing yourself or working with an agency, kind of like that, it's advising you on this, you can talk about that no one I think wants to go into a conversation. And you're like talking about clicks and talking about impressions. You go, like I could couldn't care like less about clicks or impressions, I want more leads, I want more business. I want to sell more whatever. So almost like guiding the conversation to focus on that. So that it keeps kind of like exciting and it keeps moving forward focusing on the right thing.

Kate Hammer 16:41

Erick, you talked a little bit earlier about the rapidness of change, and then also have touched on the importance of understanding your goals and keeping them. Can you speak a little bit more to that and what is happening in the middle?

Erick Candelero Griscenco 16:56

Yes, so first talking about change. And then what we've talked a lot about during the event was that change is a constant in this is like not something new there was even a sentence out there by Heraclitus, from like 2005, 100 years ago, still saying that the only constant is change. Or that was going on a few 1000 years ago. But that's still going on now. But the thing about what's going on now, and especially when it comes to digital advertising, is that is freaking freaking rapid. In the example that we've used about the transition from desktop to mobile, just insane. In a few years, everyone started using the internet on their supercomputers on their pockets, mobile devices. And that completely changed user behavior. And you need to pay attention to the change in user behavior. And going to the second part about kind of like, your goals. And why why it's important to focus is that we also had one kind of like visual representation, that is about what clients or businesses think, when they're doing their digital advertising strategies, which is that there's a trigger, which is an ad that pops up, and people are going to see the ad, click the air in purchase, whatever you're offering. And that never happened. It's true and true, you might think about the last thing that you bought like online or like something like there are several what we call touch points. And before you would have several touch points for things that are expensive, so I don't know, buy a car. So you'd go you would see an ad and then you would like check this check that touch points, you would see like different ads kind of like popping up on this. It would take a while or like your new home and all that stuff. But what's happening now is that that same behavior, we can see that across varied verticals. So even like small stuff, like you're buying, like some like new sunglasses, and you look at different models, you're going to the website, you might even look how they look like in your face with those like AI type of things that show up what happens. You watch YouTube videos, you want to see how other people were like looking like you're going to social media to see that as well. So those touch points are a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot. And then what happens is that if you don't know that beginning, in the end that we were talking about, can you're putting our strategy, but you know, what's the end goal, you will get lost. And then if you focus on intermediary metrics, as we were talking about as well, on focusing on this like the tactical stuff, you're also going to get lost. So you need to know where you're coming from, your goal, your strategy, how you're kind of like grounding your overall strategy. But you need to know where you're going and what is your key goal, because with the changing user behavior, everyone online all the time, several touch points for any product service, service, b2b b2c. There's a lot of noise, what we call the messy middle, it's very messy. If you don't know the beginning and where you're going, you are going to get lost.

Kate Hammer 20:17

Don't get distracted, or you will get lost. Yeah, that seems reasonable.

Andrew Fish 20:21

I mean, it speaks to the keeping your eye on the goal, where are you heading, but also recognizing that you got to navigate to get there.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 20:28

Exactly. And I think this just kind of like closing the loop on this one. In going back to that comment about like being working at Google for a while in people being online all the time. We live our lives here in the kind of like physical world. But even as you're watching right now, you're liking the digital one. Yes. So life is a hybrid of offline, our lives now, and online. But do we spend a lot of time online now, but it's almost as if we treat them differently, as if what happens in like, the online space is something out there that is not connected with like, what's going on, but it's life. It's life online, in this life, offline as well. So kind of like understanding that one example that we used to give at the beginning, like a few years ago. Was that like, for example, with the advent of mobile, right? You had a website that was not mobile friendly?

Kate Hammer 21:24

The worst?

Andrew Fish 21:24


Erick Candelero Griscenco 21:24

Do you remember?

Kate Hammer 21:25

Oh, I do.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 21:28

When, let's say that that was not the case, and the website was mobile friendly, then you would click on anything in a new take, like a minute to load.

Andrew Fish 21:36


Erick Candelero Griscenco 21:36

Because it was not fast enough. That is the same as if, I don't know, you're going to a store and you're asking people to go three floors up, and you don't have an elevator, and your products are hidden. And it like there like it's dropping water everywhere.

Kate Hammer 21:56

That sounds terrible.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 21:57

You wouldn't want to do it in like, offline real life?

Andrew Fish 22:00


Kate Hammer 22:01


Erick Candelero Griscenco 22:01

But then online, people don't think it's kind of the same thing. Of course, it's a different environment. But it's as if you were doing the same thing in like the real world. So you need to start like removing those boundaries and think, the same experience that you would like to provide people when they walk into your store provide them when they're online as well.

Andrew Fish 22:21


Kate Hammer 22:22

I love that visual.

Andrew Fish 22:24

I mean, I don't love the visual, I don't want to go to that store. But I definitely love the the concept that you need to, you need to understand the experience that people are having in your online experience just as much as in your real world experience.

Kate Hammer 22:36

Erick, thank you so much for coming in and talking with us today. We learned a lot.

Erick Candelero Griscenco 22:40

Thank you for having me. It was my pleasure.

Andrew Fish 22:42

Thanks, Erick. CenterState CEO's podcast ,Talk CNY, is presented by NBT Bank. You can find all the expert miniseries episodes on and all major podcast platforms. On Click you can join a discussion about this episode and find additional resources on this topic. Click is CenterState CEO's interactive digital chamber platform where our members connect, learn and receive support from our staff.

Kate Hammer 23:04

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