057: Mastering Google Ads: Secrets to Success in Search, Speaking, and Strategy

C: Podcast

Join Susan Wenograd as she shares her journey in digital marketing, blending creativity with practicality. Explore mentorship insights and the evolving landscape of Google Ads and new strategies to optimize in a post-cookie world! 

Key Points + Topics

  • [01:23] Susan Wenograd has always been a hybrid personality of being both practical and creative (like many of our guests on The Digital Marketing Mentor). When deciding what to major in for university studies, she originally leaned towards film. Ultimately, she majored in Communications. A few years after getting her bachelor’s degree, she decided to get her MBA through an online program. The MBA program offered some courses that came very easily to her, and others that were very challenging. But all of it she finds herself putting to use daily in her present role. 
  • [05:53] To Susan, a mentor isn’t necessarily a teacher. They’re someone who holistically guides you. A mentor is multifaceted and helps you with more than just what it might seem is their “job” to do. You can go to a mentor for advice on EVERYTHING. Their experiences help them share the possible routes you can take. 
  • [06:45] One of her most influential mentors is Mike King. They met at a small conference in Raleigh, NC in 2014. After connecting, they decided to grab dinner as colleagues and really hit it off as friends. They’ve kept up with each other ever since. He told her he was very impressed with her presentation, which was great for Susan to hear as she was fairly new to the public speaking world. He told her if there was any conference in the future she wanted to speak at, he would be her foothold and vouch for me if she needed it. He fulfilled that offer first with a speaking opportunity at PubCon. He’s very creative while being incredibly smart technically. 
  • [10:01] Later in her career, Susan met Jeremy Bloom while working at Marpipe. She was sought out by their headhunter and had a thirty-minute meeting with Jeremy where they ultimately talked about business for an hour and a half. He has taught Susan a lot, especially when it comes to the nuts and bolts of selling to enterprise-level clients. He’s a very good person who is bound by his principles (which isn’t always the case in the field of salespeople). 
  • [11:45] These days Susan jokingly calls herself “the fossil of paid media,” as she’s been in the industry for so long. She’s mentoring Sam Tomlinson. They also met at a conference and discovered they were both very sarcastic individuals who were adept at having the hard conversations often necessitated by business. He’s so bright and it’s been an honor for Susan to be able to pass on her knowledge and experience to others. 
  • [15:52] Google Ads is kind of in its awkward teenage phase. Some things it does very well on its own, others it very much needs a human involved. And it can be hard to tell which is which. There was a time when operating on Google Ads became a bit of a commodity. You discovered your formula and worked on your blueprint. You didn’t necessarily need to have a deep skillset in paid ads. This was at the same time Facebook Ads was becoming the golden child of paid media. The targeting options, creative demand, and audience led to many people moving their advertising budgets to Facebook. It’s been interesting watching the pendulum swing back to paid search ads in recent years. 
  • [18:00] Her consulting work in paid ads today has her recommending things she never would have in the past. She’s educating clients a lot more these days. It’s like a big bundle of yarn you’re trying to untangle to find the problem. It’s not always obvious. The day-to-day management may have gotten easier, but the offline work and analysis pieces require a lot more work. 
  • [18:50] Paid ads specialists were very intentional with keyword match types in years past. These days there aren’t truly match types; it’s more about finding those pockets of keywords and letting Google go crazy (with guardrails). With so many different levers to pull in a given campaign, you have to decide what you want to control and let go of everything else. You can’t control all of it. This looks different in different scenarios. 
  • [24:28] One of the ways Susan has updated her bidding strategies is to shift away from manual bidding for things other than branding. Brand campaigns are more of a business decision whether or not you want to defend your digital turf in that way. Outside of brand campaigns, Susan realizes Google knows the decisions people are going to make better than she does. They have access to historical behaviors and customer data she doesn’t; it’s kind of creepy. She tends to rely on target CPA for lead gen campaigns.
  • [28:27] One of Google’s first real targeting options was location. Susan recalls the days you could target within a mile around a specific address. You can’t do that anymore. Ultimately this comes back to her strategy of “pick what you control.” For a hyper-specific business that shouldn’t advertise nationwide, she left their geo-targeting but switched their keyword match types to all broad, and their cost was halved. She also very strategically uses geographic targeting paired with free shipping offers. People want an option of free shipping – period. Even though some heavier items can be very costly to ship. So, you can use geographies relative to your shipping origin locations and adjust free shipping to better account for the different costs across the nation. 
  • [32:25] Google’s internet browser, Chrome, is phasing out third-party cookies by the end of the year. This feels a lot like Facebook Ads and the introduction of iOS14, which meant iPhone users had to opt into allowing apps and websites to see their user data. Susan knows a big piece of good data strategy for a business is owning your own data. Some businesses have been good about collecting data but haven’t effectively utilized it. It’s a new habit businesses will have to get used to, though they’ve been given ample warning. Non-e-commerce businesses are more challenged than e-commerce when it comes to data collection. These businesses need to start thinking a few steps before the sale. You need to build a very robust content strategy and give users access to SOME of it (it shouldn’t be completely gated), and offer other, equally as valuable, content through something like a newsletter so you can get customer information. 
  • [39:50] Many advertising platforms appear to be pushing advertisers to video-first strategies. However, Susan has seen where video doesn’t always perform the best, especially in the B2B world. She finds video can be most effective for top and mid-funnel customers when discussing brand awareness and education. Many creative firms don’t create videos with those users in mind, instead focusing too much on owning the conversion. B2B companies can also forget they need to make video content for humans. Yes, they may be selling to other businesses, but it’s a person watching the video and making the purchase decisions. 
  • [43:47] When it comes to AI and Google’s generated recommendations, Susan turns off auto-apply in all of her campaigns. Google’s auto-generated headlines are not good. AI can be helpful for writing headlines and other short copy. It helps give you a new way to say something you’ve hit writer’s block on. Some of the data outputs and insights Google gives can be quite accurate and helpful, and she will implement those as needed. 
  • [45:25] Outside of her work in paid ads, Susan runs her own one-woman-candle-making shop. The names, scents, and branding are spot-on for her target market. She started this business in 2021, which may have been the most challenging year of her life with a lot of loss and struggle. She quit her (toxic) job and took some time to herself. And found herself needing a creative outlet, so she took herself to Michael’s one evening. She decided to get a candle-making kit, and ultimately, she loved the creativity of candle-making, and her friends loved the candles she produced and offered to pay her for them, and thus, Can’tdles was born. She enjoys the blending of creativity and business management work. She found this sarcastic subset of the “bookish community” that wasn’t being targeted much with merchandise, and it turns out, those are her people.

Guest + Episode Links

Full Episode Transcript

Danny Gavin  Host  00:05

Hello everyone, I’m Danny Gavin , founder of Optige, marketing Professor and the host  of the Digital Marketing Mentor. Today we have a very special guest ,Susan Wenegrad, owner of Spark Spark Marketing. Susan has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing and just about every corner of the digital world she could occupy. She has experience in email marketing, paid search marketing, paid social, team management, in-house marketing, consulting, writing, speaking and more. If it’s related to digital marketing, Susan probably has experience in it. Today she’s a fractional CMO head of paid media and runs her own candle in HomeGood Store and co-Host s the Market Baby podcast. Today we’re going to talk about mentorship and Google ads over the years. How are you, susan?

Susan Wenograd Guest 01:02

I’m good. How are you, Danny?

Danny Gavin Host 01:04

Doing really, really great. It’s so nice to have you here. I heard you a couple months ago at Bright 10 SEO and it’s a real privilege to have you on the Digital Marketing Mentor.

Susan Wenograd Guest 01:13

Thank you and thanks for coming to my session.

Danny Gavin Host 01:14

My pleasure. As you know, I’ll always come to your sessions.

Susan Wenograd Guest 01:19

At least I know there will always be someone there, so that’s good.

Danny Gavin Host 01:22

So let’s jump right in. Let’s talk about where you went to school and what you studied.

Susan Wenograd Guest 01:25

I was always kind of a hybrid of being very practical and direct but also creative at the same time. I actually wanted to be a film major, given how the world is going with AI, I’m kind of glad that I was dissuaded from that. But I decided to take the creativity and try and put it to something applicable. So I majored in communications at Drexel University in Philadelphia and then a few years later I got my MBA. To get just a little more well-rounded understanding of finance and all the things that were very clear why I didn’t major in them I got an MBA in, so I haven’t had to use them much, which is good, but it’s definitely helped me in the business world.

Danny Gavin Host 02:01

And you’ve mentioned to me in the past that when you took your MBA, it was pretty much the early days of online schooling. I know my wife. She got her business degree through University of Phoenix and I know an SNL that always had jokes like University of Phoenix but honestly, it was really difficult. So what was your experience? Being like the trailblazer with online education?

Susan Wenograd Guest 02:17

Yeah, this was in 2004, 2005. I don’t remember. I should know the year. I don’t know I’d have to look at the diploma. But I did Walden University’s program and the thing that was kind of nice for me is that there are certain parts of it that were very easy and came naturally to me. So I appreciated not having to travel to a campus and sit there and sit through things that I knew I could do really quickly. But it was very challenging for things that I am not good at, like wrapping my head around accounting or economics. I am just not naturally wired from my brain to grasp that stuff easily, so trying to do that on my own was way more challenging than it probably would have been if I was in a traditional classroom.

Danny Gavin Host 02:58

And I think it’s so smart that you got that MBA because I’m sure now that you run your own business and we’ll talk about that a little bit I’m sure a lot of those things that you learned like you’re putting to use now.

Susan Wenograd Guest 03:08

Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot of things. Even when I started to notice, when I was taking my MBA and then working, there were certain things. I was working in the Ecommerce division of Circuit City at the time and so you’d sit in these big planning meetings with store people and they’d be talking about profit per square foot and there were just concepts I noticed that started to make more sense to me almost by osmosis, I guess there were things like kind of grass, but I just started to have a better idea of the ripple effects of the business decisions that were being made. So that was the other part that I thought was nice about doing it while you work is that you’re a little better at picking and choosing what’s actually going to be useful to you and what stuff you’ll probably never use.

Danny Gavin Host 03:45

So, when you look back at your time, whether it’s at Drexel or Walden, are there any experiences that happened inside or outside the classroom that were impactful in directing your path?

Susan Wenograd Guest 03:54

I mean, part of the reason that I picked Drexel was their co-op work program, so you would go to classes for two semesters and then work for a semester, and there was part of the reason why I picked them. I’d always preferred to be a hands-on kind of person. I didn’t really want to sit in a classroom and learn this stuff in theory. I actually interned at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau and I did that for both my co-op experiences there and it was really helpful to understand.


I worked in the sales department so just understanding how to take the sales piece but then also marry it to things that were more data and event planning driven, so to understand like what’s their budget, you know what are the bids from hotels we should get, you know what are the tourism opportunities that would make sense for the size of group they have. So it was kind of fun because it melded that creativity and then the numbering analytical part and I think it’s really fun to do both, which is rare. So that really I think honed that skill for me where I’ve realized that there were positions where you could think creatively but then also, you know, do kind of the more businessy thing like numbers and contracts and stuff.

Danny Gavin Host 04:56

Yeah, we talk a lot about on the podcast, about the importance of when you are doing college or even if you’re not in college, but getting that real life experience. So it’s so awesome that you got that and it just I think it irons out the fact like you could be learning theoretical stuff at school but if you’re not actually implementing it, you’re missing a lot.

Susan Wenograd Guest 05:14

I felt much more prepared when I graduated than most of my friends, and when I graduated it was 2002, it was like six months after 9-11. So the job market had imploded and I worked retail for a while but I managed to get like my first quote-unquote real W2 job a little faster than most of my peers that didn’t have that. They just kind of like waited to and I waited tables during the summer and stuff too, don’t get me wrong and they didn’t do any internships or like real life work and it seemed to take them longer to get a foothold, just because companies wanted to see that you’d function that environment, you could handle yourself, you could be an adult. So I think that I had a little bit of an advantage because I had that.

Danny Gavin Host 05:51

So, susan, how would you define a mentor?

Susan Wenograd Guest 05:53

I think for me, you know that a mentor is not I’ve never really thought about it as a teacher.


I feel like it’s someone to me that holistically helps guide you. You know people look at it and say, oh, I had this boss that was good and taught me this one thing or this other thing. For me, a mentor is someone that’s multifaceted. You know it’s someone that they don’t just teach you the one thing or help you with the one thing that it might be their job to do. It’s that you have someone that you feel comfortable going to for all aspects of things. Whether you know, when you look at digital marketing, something like it’s not just the media questions, but also if you have a horrible client that’s being abusive, just having someone you can go to be like I don’t, how do I handle this? You know it’s someone that’s kind of been there, done that, that just has the wisdom to be able to say hear your options, not like telling you what to do, but helping you see the possibilities of which path you could take so that you can make the choice that’s best for you.

Danny Gavin Host 06:44

So I’d love to talk about some of the mentors in your life. I know you’ve mentioned Mike King, Jeremy Bloom. We’d love to know more about them.

Susan Wenograd Guest 06:51

Yeah. So most people that are in SEO probably know Mike. I always joke that like Mike and I probably look like the odd couple as far as best friends are concerned because I don’t think on the surface. I mean I am like an exhausted mom and I joke all the time Like I want him to be my personal shopper because he’s like the best dresser on the planet.

Danny Gavin Host 07:10

I agree.

Susan Wenograd Guest 07:12

Okay, we met at this random.


It was this little itty-bitty conference. It was like Raleigh of all places. I mean, this was back in 2014, 2015, and we just happened to be at the same place. We knew a mutual person there and there was said yeah, let’s go get dinner. For whatever reason, he and I just immediately hit it off. I mean, we joke, it’s because we’re both from the Philadelphia area, so we don’t get easily offended. We have the same sense of humor. But it was just interesting. From that day on we just kept in touch. We would DM each other all the time and we joke around all the time.


He was blazing his way already. He spoke at Moscon. He was really, really well-known. He had told me that he was really impressed with what I presented, which was a really nice compliment because I hadn’t been doing it long and I didn’t know anybody in the audience. He said if there’s any conference you’re trying to get into, if you can’t get a foothold, let me know. I’m happy to put in a good word for you, because I’ve seen you speak. He did that for me for a pubcon. I’d applied a couple of times and I hadn’t really ever heard anything. And so he reached out to me and just said look, I know she doesn’t have a lot of speaking stuff on there yet, but I saw her speaking. She’s really really good. So that got me the green light, which really opened up doors for pretty much everything else. Once I had that on there, I was able to get speaking slots a lot more places and then it just took on in a life of its own, and so I really credit.


Micah has always been willing to stick his neck out for someone that he believes in. He’s referred me a lot of business. We’ve worked together on stuff and he’s highly creative, but he’s also so, so, so smart technically, and I think that’s one of the things that we enjoy about each other is that we can make jokes about being creative and trivets in one hand, and then the second hand, he’ll be shooting me questions about Google Ads, I’ll shoot him questions about SEO. So we’ve always had this very easy synergy and I’ve always just looked up to him. He’s just, he’s a very good person.


I mean, he’s been a wonderful friend to me. He’s very loyal. He’s always been there if I had a question. He’s been there as a friend, and it’s just amazing what he’s built with IPOL rank. I remember when he was working out of his bedroom still we were kind of he was like, yeah, I just decided to do an agency and I’m just going to do it, and so it’s just it’s awesome to see what it’s grown into and all the opportunities that have opened up for him, because I don’t I know few people that are as deserving as he is.

Danny Gavin Host 09:30

Love it, and I think it also stresses the fact that as much as he is a colleague, but he’s also a mentor, and I think those two things are interchangeable really, especially in this case.

Susan Wenograd Guest 09:39

It makes it so you feel comfortable going to them on a level that you wouldn’t if it was just a business relationship mentor. It’s like you can really open up about like I’m struggling with this, or my business isn’t growing that way, or this engagement isn’t going the way I thought I would, and it’s totally okay to just be frustrated or upset. Or it’s like it gives you a different level of freedom that I think you’d have with just purely a business mentor.

Danny Gavin Host 10:00

Love it. All right, let’s talk about Jeremy.

Susan Wenograd Guest 10:01

Yeah, so Jeremy, I met Jeremy because he hired me, so when I worked at Mar-Pipe they had just raised their series A and he had very deep tech background as far as ad serving was concerned, and so the headhunter at the company found me and he and I talked and from the minute I spoke with him we were supposed to talk for like 30 minutes. I think we spoke for an hour and a half. We just immediately got along and we had been on very different sides of the advertising world, like he knew the tech, programmatic world, youtube, all that kind of stuff. He knew all that really really well, and I was much more on the direct response side, and one of the things that I really learned a lot about from him was just selling to enterprise level clients was not something I’d really done.


I was either at an agency where someone else was doing the selling and I wasn’t involved in it, or it was like I was handed an account to work on or it’s like they were an existing client.


It wasn’t something where I really understood the nuts and bolts about selling through to those type of companies, and he has a lot of relationships with really large companies like that. So it was really interesting and helpful to see how that side of the world functions, just to understand what are the types of things that help them make their decisions about their ad tech. What influences that? And Jeremy’s also just he’s a very good person. I mean, he’s a really, really good person. So I think the other part that made that so enlightening for me is that he’s very bound by his principles, and I’ve certainly worked with some salespeople that aren’t in the past, so it was nice to see someone that would stay true to what was right but still do the right thing for the clients too. So it was really really an honor and a privilege to work with him, and he’s just a great human being.

Danny Gavin Host 11:44

So who do you mentor in your current position?

Susan Wenograd Guest 11:47

I fly solo these days, but I’ve made a lot of friendships. I kind of joke that it’s like the next generation of paid media people. My colleagues lovingly refer to me as the paid media fossil because I’ve been around for so long. So but I would say you know, one of the relationships that I’ve really enjoyed, probably over the past year, has been with Sam Tomlinson. He and I met at SMX Munich through Aaron Levy, and Sam and I had been friends on Twitter for a while but we’d never like directly interacted and we just got along so well. We’re both deeply sarcastic individuals but we both have a lot of passion around doing what’s right for the client, a lot of passion around delivering good service and having the hard conversations.


I think that a lot of media managers shy away from, which I did when I was younger too. It’s not a criticism, it’s. It’s something you just get more confident with at time. But he’s so bright and he’s really, really good at media and he just stuff gets under his skin the same way it does mine. So it’s been so fun just to have someone that thinks very similarly to me, so that we just have someone to rant to.


But then also because I’ve kind of been there, done that, I’ve had the privilege of being the person that he might come to and be like hey, what would you do if this was going on? Or have you ever had this type of situation? And it’s kind of funny to see yourself all of a sudden you realize you are a mentor and it wasn’t something that you chose, it just kind of happened right and it’s, and it’s with someone that you would just think is great. So it’s, it’s such an honor to be able to be like well, I definitely don’t know everything, but here’s what my experience has taught me works best, you know, and it’s it’s nice to be able to pass that on to someone else, because you spend so much of your early career kind of earning your stripes and then at the end of it you’re like OK, I’ve become a better business person, I’m better at what I do, but like, what else could I do with that, you know?


So it’s, it’s nice when those opportunities come up. So I feel like, you know, sam and I have developed a really great relationship that way and he knows he can come to me for anything and I feel the same way. It’s like you know, even if it’s not necessarily a dual mentorship, he’s become a really good friend and he is someone that if I get stuck on something and I’m like just help me think through how I should structure this, it’s just he’s so smart, he’ll think of things that I haven’t thought of. So it’s really nice. It’s really nice symbiotic relationship we’ve developed.

Danny Gavin Host 13:59

That’s awesome, and I’m going to throw one other thing in there, but the fact that you speak at conferences and you’re a bit of an influencer. I’m sure that you are mentoring people all over the globe, even without you knowing it.

Susan Wenograd Guest 14:09

So yeah, that’s kind of the weird part is like you’ll, you’ll be at a conference and someone will come up and be like oh, I tried the thing that you wrote about and blah, blah, blah and it’s. It’s funny, like it’s just easy to forget that people are watching and reading. It’s kind of like as the person doing it. You create stuff when you put it out and then you just kind of move on to the next thing, right, Like you’re just you’re so wrapped up in the production of stuff and whether it’s like a course for CXL, or if I’m writing a paper, you know like a white paper for someone, or if I’m writing an article or you know a conference stack, it’s like you’re just focused on that in the moment.


Then you’re focused on delivering it, and then there’s always 50 other things that come after that. So you kind of forget how much you’ve produced, until someone’s like oh, I followed you on Twitter for four years and I’m like, oh, my God, I forget that I’ve even been on there that long. You know it’s. It’s very strange when you have those, those realizations that you’re like wow, there’s all these people that learn stuff for me and I don’t even know it, and there’s, there’s people I’ll never know that have learned stuff for me.

Danny Gavin Host 15:02

I also think it’s hard because people don’t always reach out and like give that feedback. So in a conference you’ll have that opportunity. But sometimes it’s like you know you’re hustling, you do the podcast, you do this, but no one actually says so. I think you know, sometimes you’re lucky to get like a message like hey, by the way, I follow you, oh yeah it’s.

Susan Wenograd Guest 15:17

I mean I’ll get randomly like on LinkedIn, I’ll get the nicest notes from people. I mean I did. I’ve done courses for CXL for the past few years and you know they’re asynchronous, so people will take them whenever. And so a course that I did a year ago, you know, 10 months later I’ll just get a really nice note in my, my inbox saying I’m so glad you explained it that way, because I didn’t understand until you taught it the way you taught it, and it’s just nice to know that like that stuff is still out there helping people. I might have done it a year ago, but you know it’s now. Someone’s not wasting thousands of dollars in the media because of it.

Danny Gavin Host 15:48

All right, so pivoting into Google ads. So you first began working in Google ads when it was Google AdWords and they began offering truly in-depth targeting options for advertisers. How was it trying to keep up with the wave of changes as they were being released, especially in the early days?

Susan Wenograd Guest 16:02

The thing that I’ve said for really the past year especially is Google is in an awkward teenage phase. It has some things that it does very well on its own and then it has other things that without a human it just doesn’t really ever do as well as it could. The biggest challenge with that is figuring out which one is which, and it’s not the same in every account. You know, I think for many years it was interesting to watch how things changed because Google ads kind of became a commodity, because there really wasn’t a whole lot of change. They didn’t do a whole lot for many years. I mean, they made some really poor decisions, like you couldn’t control devices. That was fun. So they made some poor decisions throughout the years, but other than that it didn’t change very much. So you kind of knew what structure would work. It would change by business, but you sort of had a blueprint that would work. The problem that happened then is it just kind of became commoditized so you didn’t really necessarily have to have a deep skill set once. You sort of had a formula figured out. At the same time that was happening, facebook became the golden child because it was like all about they had targeting that no one had ever done before. The algorithm was amazing. You know you had all these different creative types. It wasn’t as boring as trying to fit, you know, 30 characters in a headline. So there was a lot of demand and creativity in a lot of places, removing some of their funds from Google ads over to Facebook.


What’s been interesting to see is how that’s kind of swung back now. So, because Google’s had so many changes the past two years, I have done more audits than I did, like the previous 10, because everybody was using the blueprint that worked and now it doesn’t work. So you know they’ll be like we ran. We have run this the same way for eight years and our results are eroding. We don’t know what to do. There’s all these changes but we’re not sure what we’re supposed to change.


So I think we’re in this interesting period where you know the norms are changing. Like it’s strange to me still for some of the audits I deliver because I recommend doing things I never would have said to do three years ago ever, I mean. It’s just things that I were not best practice. So it’s a lot more education, I think, and there’s not an easy answer, whereas before I felt like the answers were a little easier.


You know, something wasn’t working. You’re like go to this thing, check this data. Now it’s like the whole thing’s not working and so you’re having to sort of. I feel like it’s kind of like this great big ball of yarn that you’re trying to untangle to figure out what’s causing the snare, and it’s just not as evident as it used to be because there’s a lot more black box stuff going on. So you have to pull like six different reports and kind of piece together what’s happening to make a recommendation. So in some ways, I think it’s the day to day management has gotten easier just because Google handles more stuff. But the off platform work has gotten a lot more in depth, a lot more data crunching, a lot more offline data integration stuff. It’s just where we spend our time that has changed.

Danny Gavin Host 18:49

Can you give an example of one of those things which you wouldn’t have recommended three years ago, but something you would do now there?

Susan Wenograd Guest 18:54

really is no such thing as match types anymore. I mean, I think you know, aside from you know, broad is still very broad, but phrase and exact are practically interchangeable at this point. So you know we used to be very intentional with match types. They’d go into their own ad groups because Google, just it wasn’t smart enough to figure out what you were trying to do. Now it’s gotten smarter. I wouldn’t say that it’s the smartest At this point now. It’s kind of like we just start. You know more is kind of better. You know you kind of have to start lumping this stuff together a little more. So a lot of times you’ll see a lot of phrases and exact words together.


The other thing I never used to use was broad, because it was terrible and it’s still not great for nuanced industries but for things like e-com or more commodity type products. One of my favorite things to do has been to just set up filtered audiences and run broad matches to them and the save the cost savings is usually just ridiculously amazing. It’s like and it you get waste, but it’s so much cheaper than phrase and exact that it doesn’t really matter. It’s kind of like well, we’ll insert the negative keywords. I’m not too worried about the media waste because it still winds up being cheaper. So it’s about finding those pockets of like where can I let Google kind of go crazy, but where can I put in some guard reels to make sure it doesn’t go too crazy?

Danny Gavin Host 20:07

By the way, one of my paid search analysts was actually at the conference and you spoke about that he was so inspired by that. He’s like, oh, that’s such a cool idea. So he went back and tried it on a couple of counts and it’s actually working quite well. So I think it works really well.

Susan Wenograd Guest 20:20

The thing that I tell people, the biggest thing you have to do right now is you can’t. We used to have to control everything. That was just we had to because Google had this great big world, which is great, but it didn’t have a lot of smarts to figure out how to use it. So what I tell people these days is you have to decide what you want to control. You can’t control all of it. So pick one, maybe two things that you are going to tightly control and then let Google do the rest. And what that looks like is different for different places.


It’s not always necessarily an audience filter, but you kind of pick, like what’s that thing that I want to control? And then when am I? Okay, just kind of seeing what Google does and that tends to work best right now, because you’ll find that, like certain things, you’re like, hey, if I control this part and leave the rest to Google, it does amazing. But the second I take off that control, the whole thing falls apart. Then you start to kind of learn these are the things I need to keep my fingers on and these are the things I can just leave up to Google.

Danny Gavin Host 21:10

And I think that follows well into Pmax just in general, like that campaign type where a lot of control we don’t have but there are things we can.

Susan Wenograd Guest 21:17

So being okay with, like Google controlling some things but then being aware of what we can control, I think that’s the right thing, yeah, and that’s the part that I’m seeing people struggle with is pretty much every account that I audit, it is still set up very granularly and they don’t, and you know the brand will be like we don’t know why it’s not working. I’m like it’s because you have your data in like 50 different campaigns and Google wants you to have it in five. That’s basically what it is, and so then it just becomes that question of what five campaigns make sense in that example. Right, it’s kind of like what makes sense, knowing we have to consolidate. How do we want to approach that? So it’s been a lot of.


I think I’ve used the experiments section more than I ever have in the past, so it’s a lot of experiments and then really a lot of account. Restructures these days are a lot more than I used to have to do. A lot of times before it was kind of like there was a restructure, but again, like I said, it was very prescriptive. It was like really it’ll do better if it’s set up like this. It always does. It’s not that way now. It’s kind of like I got to look at 50 different reports and then present like okay, so based on what I see, this is. This is how I would probably control this and it never looks like someone else’s. So audits take a lot longer than they used to.

Danny Gavin Host 22:24

This is kind of left field, but I want to get your perspective. So, as you know, Google ads is changing all the time. Specifically, when it came to COVID, there were some big changes in general. I remember we started with a client. They had diving masks. We literally started the campaign like two or three weeks before COVID.

Susan Wenograd Guest 22:40

Oh, wow.

Danny Gavin Host 22:41

And like oh, it was great, it was going well, suddenly hit like masks, suddenly sorry.

Susan Wenograd Guest 22:46


Danny Gavin Host 22:46

Your ads can’t show any funny stories or I don’t know funny, but any stories like that any changes that you had to go through during that time.

Susan Wenograd Guest 22:54

I think the biggest thing you know what I ran into during that time was more so. It wasn’t so much things getting disapproved, but it’s that everyone was home and no one had planned for inventory.

Danny Gavin Host 23:07


Susan Wenograd Guest 23:07

That everyone would be at home with nothing to do. You know what I mean. So that was one of the things that we noticed was things that had a pretty reliable sales cycle became completely unreliable. So it’s like you know, normally there were some places where their stuff would be really down during springtime and it was just going crazy because everyone was at home with nothing to do. And then apparel was kind of the same way, where no one was buying outfits because no one was going anywhere. So it was a struggle for a while, because I worked with one company that was a lingerie company and they’re just like, no one cares, they’re all at home in their yoga pants all day, no one’s going on dates, no one’s doing anything.


So it was more like you know, the seasonality that you’re used to seeing in industries like e-commerce no longer applied, but places couldn’t respond quick enough, and then, when they tried to respond faster, we saw what happened with the shipping. So then it became like a shipping crisis, because everyone was trying to do everything at once and we just were not prepared for that. So it was more. So that was what we noticed is we’re like, wow, we’re selling out of everything. So like every day I was getting notes from clients being like we have to pause this one, don’t you know? Turn the word. We have to amend the feed. This is out of stock. We don’t know when it’s going to be here. There was just a lot of watching that. It was just a lot of flipping switches that we normally. We had everything all planned out and the plans just went to hell.

Danny Gavin Host 24:24

So, with movement more to automatic bid strategies, how do you look back at manual bidding and then automatic bidding today? What’s your favorite automatic bid type? I know there’s a lot of people who still want to do manual bidding. What’s your opinion on that?

Susan Wenograd Guest 24:39

I still do manual bidding for brand just because brand intent is so widely varied. I really you know a lot of people are like, well, they would click on our brand anyway. When it comes to brand, I’m like that’s a business decision if you want to defend that turf or not. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been a very declarative statement person. I’m a huge believer there are a million shades of gray in life. That’s usually what I teach. And brand is one of those things where you’ll have people kind of declaratively say we should always do it or we shouldn’t. It really depends on the company. I mean some companies. They have competitors with really deep pockets that are just trying to steal their traffic no matter what. So that’s one of those situations where you know whether they should do it or not. If they do do it, I usually recommend that you cap the bids, just because it will get more expensive than it probably needs to be for the fact that it’s brand, because you know Google’s just it’s going to do what you tell it to do, right. So I’ll still use manual bidding for that.


I really don’t use it much anywhere else. Reason being Google knows better than me what people are likely to do, which is creepy, but it’s the truth. So they can make, you know, millisecond decisions on costs and bids that I can’t possibly make as a human being. They know everything this person has done in the past three months. I have no clue. So their value to me as a marketer is in their likelihood to purchase or likelihood to be a good customer. It’s not necessarily it’s because they search for this thing. They’re going to be a great prospect, right?


So I think we’ve finally gotten away from that, which, as a marketer, kind of makes me happy, because I feel like it was just getting so nitpicky with that stuff that I was like we’re really getting away from marketing at this point. I tend to rely on the bidding strategies and I usually am pretty much a fan of, when it comes to lead gen, figuring out a target CPA that’s going to work, just because it’s really easy for it to be quadruple what you want if you’re not careful With ROAS. I kind of find that if I tell it to maximize ROAS, that almost always works better. I just I don’t find that it works as well on conversions for some reason. It might just be my experience, but I’m a pretty big fan of target ROAS, assuming that they’re e-com that with a wide variety of product costs. So at this point that’s pretty much what I rely on is going to be either automated with a target for CPA and then automated maximize ROAS and then obviously manual bidding for brand still.

Danny Gavin Host 26:54

Will you start off with the max clicks or do you go straight to the automatic for a new account?

Susan Wenograd Guest 26:59

I usually go straight to automatic. But what I will usually do first is, if it’s conversions, I’ll try maximize conversions first, just to kind of see what’s it doing and where’s it coming in. Because you can have the opposite problem if you’re like I want my CPA to be $10 and if it’s never going to get below 80, it just won’t spend anything. So what I’ll usually do is I’ll usually kind of warn the brand, say look, this might come in higher. But we’re doing this on purpose because we want to understand what does it look like out there? Like how much are these clicks? How likely is it we can even reach the CPA, because within a couple of bucks of it we can do it right.


But if we’re like $50 off, we got to figure out is it the click-through rate, is it the cost, is it the conversion? You’re like what the metrics that we can control? Is there anything we can do to fix that? So that’s usually where I start off. And then with ROAS, if they’ve had, you know if it’s been connected to Google Analytics or God sorry, ga4, and it has, you know historic data that it’s been pulling in, I find it doesn’t take it that long to follow in line pretty quick with getting a decent ROAS if it has the data that it needs.

Danny Gavin Host 28:04

I think it’s a good point I don’t think people think that when you connect it to GA4, Google Ads actually gets that data.

Susan Wenograd Guest 28:10

Yeah, I feel like it responds faster with ROAS than it does with CPA. I’m sure that some technical geek can tell me why. That’s just my marketing brain’s observation has been that it tends to respond faster to a good ROAS than it does CPA.

Danny Gavin Host 28:25

So one of the first major targeting options to be introduced was location targeting back in 2011, which feels like years ago. It became increasingly important as businesses began to return to normal operation in recent years. How have you utilized location-specific targeting? That may differ from how you used it years ago.

Susan Wenograd Guest 28:41

I still remember back in the day in Facebook where you could target a mile around a specific address. Can’t do that. That’s one thing we can’t do anymore. We used to do that for conferences and sales and all that kind of stuff. I think one of the things that I’m coming up to a lot on the geography side has been as a control mechanism. So, like I said before, where it’s like you can choose one thing to control hyper-local businesses, like I’ve recently worked with a business that had like 200-something locations but it didn’t make sense for them to run nationwide right, because people aren’t going to travel more than you know X number of miles. When I looked at how they were set up, they had you know a radius around the location but then they were still really heavily relying on phrase and exact. And that’s when I was like we’re only picking one folks, we’re not picking, we’re not picking both because the costs just we’re not working for them in some locations. That was one of the ones where I said, okay, we’re going to run a test and I’m going to take all these keywords and we’re going to run them as broad, but we’re going to keep the same geotargeting and their costs like dropped in half.


Geography has been one of those things that I found. When we talk about what’s the one thing you want to control, I’ve run into that. It’s also come in handy because e-commerce has exploded so much and there’s so much commerce online now there’s also been so much downward pressure on retailers to offer some type of free shipping option. And that’s really hard, and I can speak from personal experience because what I sell is not light. The cost to ship heavier items makes free shipping a very tough thing to overcome when you are not Amazon, but they have conditioned everyone to believe that they should at least have that option at a certain payment. So the other thing that I found with geography that we’ve started doing more and more, because there is just this consumer expectation is figuring out where, logistically, where are things shipping from and do we need to have different ROAS targets because of that shipping cost?


At what point does freight become a problem? When we start thinking Because ideally, yes, you would set your free shipping threshold to not worry about that, but I work with companies that sell things large pieces like furniture, things like that where it’s one big purchase you can’t really, they kind of are going to have to offer free shipping to everybody. So it becomes a question then of all right, so how do we fix that on our end? And that’s become things like instead of running nationwide, let’s divide this up into shipping zones and set different return on spend targets so that we’re not losing money or hoping we sell enough in a cheaper to ship to place to make up for the large ones. So that’s been the other way that I’ve seen geography start to play more of a part in ways that it probably didn’t used to. I mean, we used to run nationwide a lot more, but freight costs and just e-commerce in general has really changed that dynamic.

Danny Gavin Host 31:28

I love that example, and I think that shows also the value of having the correct PPC partner, where it’s not just someone who’s looking at the data and optimizing, but it’s like let’s think about the business as a whole and how can we actually leverage that data more.

Susan Wenograd Guest 31:40

It’s hard, though, because some clients don’t share that with you, and that’s that’s the part that I’ve gotten to. As far as clients I’ll work with are the ones that you know we’ll partner up on that stuff because I can only help you. But so much if all I see what’s in the platform. If you’re comfortable with that, that’s fine, but I think what a lot of us run into is that when the numbers aren’t working for them and they come and they’re like what are you doing wrong with the media, it’s like I only have half the story. I cannot control everything else. I don’t have any insight into what happens after they buy. What did you? I don’t know if you have high a bit a minute your checkout. I don’t have any access to that business intelligence and so I prefer partnering with places on the Ecom level at this point anyway that are willing to share that information so I can help them better.

Danny Gavin Host 32:23

So Google plans to phase out third party cookies from Chrome by the end of 2024. It’s already begun the rollout of an update to 1% of users, which is about 30 million people. How should advertisers react to this major change to the marketing landscape?

Susan Wenograd Guest 32:35

The good part is they’re doing it at a time where I think most places have been conditioned to understand they have to own their data. I think if they had done this back in the day, before, that was really such a focus, it would be scarier In a way. I mean them doing this is kind of like phase two of what we experienced with Facebook ads and iOS 14, because a lot of places didn’t build a business, they were just essential, they thought they had an e-commerce business and then once Facebook couldn’t find those users because it lost 60% to 80% of the data it was used to having, they couldn’t fix the algorithm that quickly. So I think a lot of places learn the lesson of there are certain things that are going to change and we have to own what we own, and part of being a responsible business is having diversification, and part of that diversification is data that you own. So I think the good part is places have been pretty diligent about understanding that they have to collect that data.


I think the part that most places don’t necessarily do effectively all the time is utilize it. So I see a lot of places that connect data but they don’t feed it back to Google so that it can learn a little bit more, especially with offline sales. I just did an audit on a company that they have both e-commerce but then they also have consultations and offline sales and they import back the revenue, which is not. They’re one of the first companies I’ve seen actually do that when they have e-commerce. A lot of places just were like, oh, we have e-com and then we have stuff that happens offline but we don’t really account for that. So I think more places are having to get savvier about understanding that their data is a big asset. They’ve only have really thought about it as it being an asset for their business internally. I don’t think many places have been trained to think of their data as an asset on the ad platforms as much beyond retargeting.


So I think that that’s just kind of a new habit places have to get into and I feel like they’ve been given ample warning to do it. So I’m not really freaking out about it that much, just because at least the clients I’ve worked with they know it’s coming, they know they have the data. Most of it’s just a question of how should they be using it. It’s like they’re looking for advice of like if I import it back in Google. Should I change the conversions? It’s optimizing too. It’s more technical questions like that as opposed to like, oh my God, I haven’t been doing anything. I really don’t run into that. So I think we’re in an okay position. I mean, no marketer wants to see this stuff go away, but you can’t give us nice things. We cannot have nice things because there’s always bad apples that ruin it. So this was not a surprise that this is happening.

Danny Gavin Host 35:03

So, let’s say, smaller business owners or smaller marketers, given that they’re so used to third party cookies, what’s the first step you think they can take in order to get ready for these changes?

Susan Wenograd Guest 35:15

So one of the things that I’ve encouraged a lot of places to do, especially, and I feel like this actually it’s not even necessarily small business, but it’s kind of the non-ecom world that I think it’s tougher. You know what I mean, because when someone buys something, you automatically have data right.

Danny Gavin Host 35:30

You have all their information.

Susan Wenograd Guest 35:31

Exactly, but, like in long-term B2B enterprise sales, or it’s like lead gen stuff or the stuff that doesn’t transact on the site or it doesn’t have a dollar value assigned to it. Those are the things that I’ve been advising Start figuring out ways that you can capture data that would make sense For B2B SaaS. One of the things that I was just on a call with a founder this morning and they’re about to close in their first series and he’s like we’ve done no marketing. I don’t know what to do, and so I said the first thing you do is I’m like you have to start for their product, especially because they have to cut through a lot of noise. As I said, you need to come up with a really solid content strategy and, as quickly as possible, you need to make sure you reserve some of that content for email updates and get people on your email as quickly as possible, so they have to retrain themselves.


To start thinking from micro conversion standpoint, because so many people spend money, they dump money into these platforms and they’re like I want a conversion. Yes, that’s always the ultimate goal, but at this point you have to start thinking a few steps back of what are other things you can own other than just the sale. That will prepare you to be able to say okay, hey, google, here’s all the people that have created a lead or they’ve signed up on the site. Like feed that through GA4 to get it back there. So you have to figure out what are those other signals that show that someone is a good prospect, that you want to feedback.


Once people think through it, they’re like oh, that’s not so hard, but it’s like we’ve just been conditioned forever to be like, even in Facebook. It’s like set it up, optimize for sales, optimize for conversions, and you didn’t have to think about that middle part. So we’re having to pay a lot more attention to that middle piece of marketing and a lot of places might be lacking that part of it if they’re not e-com. So those are the ones where I say you need to figure out a reason to capture people’s email, but it has to be a good one. They’re not going to just fork over their email address and phone number because you’re like help me, I’m losing my data. You need to come up with something in exchange for that. So that’s sometimes it requires a little creative thought.

Danny Gavin Host 37:24

I know that in the B2B space a lot of people push to ungate content, which means that you could just go and read the content, but it sounds like we might need to gait a little bit more, or I mean push people to a newsletter because that’s the only content they get. Any thoughts on that gated versus ungated?

Susan Wenograd Guest 37:38

Yeah, I’m a fan of ungated. The reason for that is that if your ungated content is amazing, they will damn sure sign up for your newsletter. So that’s why I always tell people don’t save the best stuff and dangle it in front of them, because they’re going to use a bogus email. They’re not going to. Don’t force them to opt into stuff. If you deliver a boatload of value, they will willingly hand over their email address. You’re not going to have to convince them.


So a lot of places, I think, really focus on making these amazing pieces of content that then are hidden. And my thing is it’s like if you make one great piece of content, divide it in half, give them the first half and then, if they want the rest of it, have them opt in. You do some things that they know what they’re getting. It’s like you don’t have to give it all away, but you need to give away a really good chunk, like they need to know what they’re signing up for. So finding that balance, I think, is really key, because most people, as soon as they see it’s gated, they’re like no, I’m out. Unless it’s something amazingly compelling, they’re not going to want to give it up because we already get. I mean, I have like 400 emails today. I don’t even know what they are, and they’re in my inbox, so it’s like you got to really stand out from that.

Danny Gavin Host 38:43

So one other option Google is offering is our enhanced conversions. This is supposed to improve tracking accuracy with greater privacy. Do you have any thoughts on that solution?

Susan Wenograd Guest 38:52

Yeah, I mean to be honest, I haven’t enabled for my clients. But I’m not sure that starts getting into the really techie side for me and I’m kind of like I’m sure it does something. And that’s where it’s like I know my lane right, like I look at it and I was like you know, I do know logically that more data is better, so there’s no reason why I wouldn’t do it. But I am definitely not a techno geek person when it comes to that. So I’m like I assume it’s doing something but I don’t really have anything to compare it to. It’s not like I really have any clients where I have like a before, after or you know what I mean. So it’s like we advise they do it, especially to your point with cookies going away. It’s like this is just one more tool in the arsenal so you might as well do it. So I usually just advise to do it, but beyond that I don’t have. I’m not really the guru insight person for for us conversions.

Danny Gavin Host 39:42

That’s totally fair and I think, if you’re going to do it, I think the main point is make sure you set it up correctly.

Susan Wenograd Guest 39:46

Yes, yeah, for sure.

Danny Gavin Host 39:49

So it feels like Google and the rest of the Internet has been pushing us first to text ads, then imagery and now to video. How do you approach the video? First mentality, especially as it applies, I guess, to BDB marketing or to BDC.

Susan Wenograd Guest 40:00

What’s interesting about video is there is this perception that it’s always the best performing thing. And I actually just ran into this on a call I had earlier today where we’re not running any video yet. On Facebook they had static images and like let’s just get started with that and they’re really like we’re trying to get the video and I’m like it’s OK. I very frequently have accounts where we end up like not hardly running any video because static images does it for them. So it’s really, I think, that there’s so much pressure places feel to have like a million pieces of video. I don’t know that it’s always necessary. You know what I mean, I think and it’s with good reason, because it’s the thing that everybody makes a big deal about. It’s how a lot of creative shops make their money, and I get it. But it is surprising sometimes to see how thoroughly unsexy creative can sometimes do way better than something that’s really really slick. So a lot of times with the video approach, so much of that, I feel like, really lends itself to a lot of brand awareness and education, because there’s a longer explanation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to lead to more sales right away. Right, it’s kind of like static and they’re like oh, it’s this, this is how much it is, I’m going to get it. Whereas with video you’re usually teaching something or explaining something. A lot of times with brands, what I advise is it’s like, whenever videos we decide to make, understand that these might not drive the conversion’s top of funnel, which is why I think YouTube is so hard for people to understand, because they’re like but it’s Google, and I’m like, but it’s not. It’s not no, like we’re not fulfilling demand that they’ve asked for necessarily Right. So I think video just has to be approached differently and I still think there’s so many places like we have to put it in there, the static ads for conversions, and I’m like yes, it might convert well, but it’s also it’s way more crucial for your kind of top and mid funnel audiences, and a lot of places don’t create it for that. They kind of, they’re still very like we have to convert the sale.


I think in the B2B world too, a lot of times B2B, they really struggle with what to put in the video. I think, and I believe the reason for that is that you know the rate at which we’re creating really amazing things. It’s in the SAS world, is rapid and sometimes it’s actually kind of hard to explain. It’s one of those things like if someone just logs in and they try the program, like, oh, this is genius, I totally get what it does. Trying to explain it like this is what he rated to at Marpite, because everyone’s like, oh, it’s an ABE testing platform. I’m like, no, no, it’s multivariate. That’s not the same thing, it’s a multivariate tester. Having to explain what that meant was very hard. It was not easy to do in a you know a 10 second video to be like take this headline, run it in 50 different creative versions and it’ll aggregate that data to tell you how that headline does. Trying to explain that is really tough.


So I think B2B struggles with video because it’s it’s still so product marketing dominant that it winds up being very dry. It winds up being very features driven or they just don’t make video at all because they’re like who would talk about it? There’s not a face of the company. There’s not you know what I mean that B2B is having dawning awareness that their company has to have a personality. They can’t all be like IBM. That’s something you come as much more comfortable with right, like they’re very comfortable with having a brand and they look, going to feel and B2B starting to understand they need that and they’re trying.


I just I think it is harder because they tend to forget they’re selling to people. So they keep wanting to sell to a business and I’m like it’s a person watching it. It’s still a human being, so I think that’s where video becomes difficult for them. Is that one? There’s always this propensity to want to focus on the features that will help the business instead of what’s going to help the person, and then that bleeds into the creative part, where it’s they don’t know what to say because they don’t understand who they’re talking to. So that’s usually where I see that creative divide happen between B2C and B2B.

Danny Gavin Host 43:46

So how is AI, or chat, you PT, impacted your work with Google ads in recent years? Do you utilize it at all? If so, in what way? And if not, how do you avoid Google from basically forcing its recommendations and AI on your campaigns?

Susan Wenograd Guest 43:58

So I turn off auto apply recommendation stuff. I am not a fan of auto generated headlines. They’re terrible. I have used chat GPT though. I mean sometimes when you do a product for so long, you’re like I don’t know how else to say this in 30 characters for a headline. Like it does a really good job of coming up with short, snappy text. When I get stuck it’s really helpful for writer’s block because a lot of times with ads you’re not saying something completely different, you’re just saying the same thing eight different ways. I can get through about three to four and then I’m like I’m out of ideas. I don’t know.


I’ve used it for that for sure. Just not for longer form copy because it sounds like AI. But short, snappy, attention getting stuff. It’s actually pretty good for you know it’s really good at making alliterations. It can make some really cute puns. It can make some stuff that would stand out and add headlines. So I’ve definitely used it for that purpose. Other than that, I don’t use it a ton Other like then I said, you’re like with Google’s on. Google just scrape stuff on your site and sometimes it’ll pull the weirdest metadata as a headline. I’m like that’s not a headline. So I don’t really use Google’s that much, at least for a creative perspective. I do like kind of the automated insights they give in the account. That’s actually helpful, like when you look in performance max and it’s like insights and it tells you how audiences are indexing. I like the data output that they give you from the AI side to help guide the decision making, but I don’t necessarily implement many things using it, aside from bidding like we discussed.

Danny Gavin Host 45:22

So pivoting away from Google ads. The person helps me write the script for the podcast. She wanted me to mention that she checked out candles and the name and packaging and products themselves based on the descriptions were absolutely wonderful. She said, from one book nerd to another, she actually loved it.

Susan Wenograd Guest 45:41

I’m coming out with a third book, scented candle. So just let her know that I’m waiting on one of the fragrance oils to arrive.

Danny Gavin Host 45:47

So my question to you is man, being this PVC influencer and Google ad strategist, and knowing marketing, where did you see the need or desire or want to create your own business?

Susan Wenograd Guest 45:59

Always been entrepreneurial, like always, I just my brain never stops. I tend to see possibility and opportunity in everything out there. I’m kind of an abundance mentality person at this point in my life and I didn’t originally set out to make a company I had. 2021 was probably one of the hardest years of my life. I lost a very dear friend suddenly to a heart attack. I was in a very toxic work environment. I had a cat that I had, you know, bottle fed, that suddenly had a neurological problem that they couldn’t diagnose. All of these things happened within about three to four months and I was just done. I was exhausted. I was so burned out I quit my job and I was like I just need time, like I just I need to take a breather, I need to reset. So I needed a creative outlet because especially the job I’d been in was not creative. It was 100% paid search, it was very politically toxic and it was just all data and I was just kind of getting the crap beat out of me every day and I was like I need to create.


I’m a creative person by nature and I was like I haven’t done anything creative in years. I mean this, it’s wasting away. So my husband was out of town one night and I went to Michael’s and I was wandering around I was like you know, I’m always burning candles. Why don’t I just get a kit and I’ll make one? And I loved it. It was like the perfect balance of figuring out the science piece but having the creativity part. So I got really good at making them. I had friends that are like I’ll kick you some money if you make me some, and I was like, hmm, that kind of sounds like a business. You know, I really liked how it fed my creative side, but it also let me do the business parts that I really enjoyed, like just figuring out how can I get my margins better, sourcing suppliers like most people hate that stuff. I love it. I have so much fun negotiating with people overseas for my jars and like it’s just it’s been fun. So it really feeds the creative side. I like that.


I can kind of test and try whatever I want. There’s no one to tell me no. So you know I kind of just get to learn trial by fire. I really noticed that there was kind of this very bookishly sarcastic subset of the population that was very underserved, and so it’s just funny because when I do a show like I immediately know who my people are like, they immediately come over and they’re like oh my God, I want everything and I’m like you’re my people. So it’s just funny because everyone’s like, oh, define your ICP. I’m like I just know who they are Like. I don’t even know that I could define them, because it’s not always, it’s largely women, but not always, you know. And it’s like I’ve learned. But I’ve learned even more about them now that I sell to them, which has been interesting because I am my target market. But I’ve actually learned things that I like more than I realized I did, because they like them.


So it’s been kind of interesting to be, like the ICP, but also the person that makes it. It’s just been really fun. I mean, the maker community is such an awesome subset of the population that you see it fair as you never think anything of, and they’re the nicest, funniest, most creative, just like anti-establishment people you’ve ever met in your life, like they’re just bucking the trend and making their stuff. So it’s been great. I’ve made so many new friends and it’s just been a blast. I’ve had a great time doing it.

Danny Gavin Host 48:59

What a wonderful renaissance to have in your life, right yeah, so it’s time for a lightning round. I know you are a big animal lover, so I’d love to know your top three moments with your animals.

Susan Wenograd Guest 49:09

The most recent one is we have, I’ll say I’ll say my top two moments, because they’re kind of tied I guess. But we’ve never had small dogs before. I grew up with Labrador retrievers, you know, big slobbery shed everywhere, you know, and my husband was the same way. We’d never had small dogs and at the time we were living in Dallas and we had a large dog that we boarded at a family run facility where they had like an open range for the dogs to play on, fenced in. But it was a converted ranch so we used to board him there because he was a German pointer and dude had so much energy. We were like, whenever I’d go away, we’re like this is great because he stays there for a week and he sleeps for a month. It’s the time he’s tired.


They started rescuing mill dogs so they would go to auctions and they would rescue these dogs that were basically bred into within an inch of their life. I mean, they had no, you know, these dogs were not taken care of, they were kept in a cage and I learned a lot about that whole system. But one day they rescued this really amusing looking little Chihuahua, mixed with something we don’t know, but she has these absolutely enormous ears and great big alien eyes, and they had rescued her from a she was an animal hoarding situation. That’s all we know. We don’t know the rest of the background. But she and her baby, she actually gave birth, which Chihuahua’s normally can’t. Somehow she survived it. And she was in a shelter and they had rescued her and my husband was like I don’t know what, I can’t stop thinking about her and I don’t know why. Like he saw the picture on their page and he’s like just let me know when she’s adopted, because he’s like I really liked her. Three months later she’s not adopted, and I was like she’s still at the foster family. He’s like, damn it, right, we have to go get her. So I think having a small dog for the first time was like a whole new world for my husband and I, because we just absolutely fell in love with her.


She is the funniest, quirky, most loving little thing, and so then of course, they wound up with another one, because you can’t just have one. So the other one that we got is she’s actually a pure bed Chihuahua that was rescued from a mill. She’s four and a half pounds, and what was funny is my husband went down to Texas to fly back with her. So he’s the one that rescued her. But the moment she saw me it was like when they talk about how geese imprint on their person. The second she saw me she decided I was her person and that was it.


Like she does not let me out of her sight. We call her the shadow. She is always by my feet. I’ve never had a dog with soil in my life and it’s just funny because I look at her and I’m like she’s four pounds. She doesn’t look like she could do anything, but she is so focused on like what I’m doing. Where I am, she wants to sit on me, she wants to bathe me, like it’s just. It’s the most magical little dog relationship I think I’ve ever had in my life. So she’s she’s a dad like totally attached to me. And then the first one we got is totally attached to my husband. So we have our little fur children.

Danny Gavin Host 51:45

I love that, Susan. Where can listeners learn more about you and your businesses?

Susan Wenograd Guest 51:49

I have a simple little website, susanwenagradcom, and then I’m on Twitter an awful lot at Susan E Dubb, and then I’m also on LinkedIn quite a fair amount too, so any of those places are probably the best place to find me.

Danny Gavin Host 52:02

Lovely. Well, this has really been awesome. Thank you for all your amazing insights. Like, my head was like ooh, those are so good, so I everyone’s going to love it. I really appreciate it. I always joke.

Susan Wenograd Guest 52:12

I like people to benefit from all the, all the failures and mistakes I’ve made. If I, if I’m presenting something that works, I’m like it’s, I try, it’s like that, saying but I, you know, I failed a hundred times to find the one way that work. It’s like that’s pretty much what it is. So if I can save somebody that I’m happy.

Danny Gavin Host 52:25

But I’m glad you say that because sometimes, like I call them, like the digital marketing influencers, you think they’re perfect and they know everything. But it’s because they’ve done work, they’ve done the hard work, they’ve, you know, like you said, made those mistakes and therefore they’re able to to get that experience.

Susan Wenograd Guest 52:41

Yeah, it’s good to remind everyone that they might not want to share how, but they learned somehow, so that’s very fair.

Danny Gavin Host 52:48

All right, susan, thank you for being a Guest  on the digital marketing mentor and thank you, listeners, for tuning into the digital marketing mentor. We’ll speak with you next time. Thank you for listening to the digital marketing mentor podcast. Be sure to check us out online at thedmmentorcom and at the DM mentor on Instagram, and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts for more marketing mentor magic. See you next time.

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