Charlie Grinnell is the CEO of the digital agency firm RightMetric.
Charlie began his career in film/video production with positions at Alterna Films, Voleurz, Poor Boyz Productions and outdoor retailer Arc’teryx. Additionally, he worked as a freelance producer for organizations such as Nike and NBC Sports. His passion for digital marketing soon led him to Invoke- the digital agency behind the creation of Hootsuite.
Following his time at Invoke, Charlie joined the digital marketing team at Red Bull, where he managed the brand’s digital footprint on a national level. After three years, Charlie was tapped to lead Red Bull’s global social media strategy for all sports initiatives at their international headquarters in Salzburg, Austria.
Most recently, Charlie served as Head of Social Media at Aritzia, managing the brand’s strategic presence across social media platforms.
When he’s not working hard at RightMetric, Charlie is sharing his wealth of knowledge as a speaker. He is a frequent guest lecturer at BrainStation, and has presented on the topic of digital strategy at various public and private events.
In your opinion, what is the first step organizations/companies should take in improving their digital strategy?
This may sound simple to some people, but the first step that businesses should take is to have a good grasp of their existing audience/customer by looking at whatever data they have collected. I’m constantly surprised at the number of businesses that don’t do this simple task to help make smarter business decisions. It’s no secret that many business leaders talk about how using data to help make smarter decisions, but in reality, they either only do it sometimes or don’t do it at all. This simple habit of regularly looking at your data – whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly – to uncover insights is a missed opportunity for businesses.
What have you learned from your parents?
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” – this is something that my parents taught me from a young age and I’ve tried my best to act accordingly with this in mind. When I was first looking to get into the marketing industry, there wasn’t a standard way to learn about this stuff, which made it fairly intimidating to learn and find answers to the questions that I had. Over the years, I’ve found great satisfaction in helping advise friends, family, and past/present colleagues on various aspects of their careers. Whether it’s changing professions, interviewing for a new role, or working up the courage to speak to their boss about something – I’ve had many meetings/calls with people who are looking for advice or a nudge in the right direction. The amount of time I have spent (and will continue to spend) taking these meetings is often questioned by both my girlfriend and my business partner, but I feel that I have a responsibility to do so. The reason why I feel obligated to take these meetings is simple, when I was trying to get into the marketing world I reached out to individuals in the industry that I respected and felt I could learn from, and they generously took time out of their day to meet me and share their knowledge. What may have been an insignificant coffee date to them, had a tremendous impact on the course of my career so I feel that it’s the right thing to do to pay it forward.
What did you want to be growing up?
When I graduated high school I planned to go to university to study political science and economics to eventually go to law school. A bad car accident in my first year of school forced me to medically withdraw and once I had some time to sit and think about what I wanted to do, I realized that I was interested in technology. I got my start in video production but as the internet became more mainstream, I become drawn to it which is what led me to what I do today. All of that said, I love heavy machinery and often joke with friends and family about how I can’t wait until I can get a job operating an excavator so that I can listen to podcasts while I work.
Favourite book of 2019?
Best advice you’ve ever received?
“It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” or “The answer is no, 100% of the time that you don’t ask.”
Advice on handling rejection when looking for a job?
Any time I’ve been rejected in life – whether it’s personal or professional, I’ve channelled the energy from that emotional experience to motivate me to improve. Emotions are very powerful and when harnessed correctly, they can act as a nuclear reactor to fuel you. Everyone gets rejected at some point, so it’s important to remember at the moment that while you may not be able to see it, others have been in your position and the best thing that you can do is to use it as motivation. There’s a difference in making decisions based on emotion vs. using the energy from emotion to motivate you – keep than in mind the next time you get rejected.
A place you plan to travel to in 2020?
For business, I’ll be spending time in Toronto, New York, LA, San Fransisco, and London. On a personal note, I’m going to Maui in March for a vacation and I’m very excited about it because Hawaii is such an amazing place with great food, weather, and scenery.