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Lessons Learned from Gary Vaynerchuk

gary_vaynerchukThis morning I watched a keynote by marketing force, Gary Vaynerchuk being given at Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. Gary is an inspiration to thousands of marketers because he’s raw, he’s unfiltered, he swears too much, and he seems to be at the cusp of every emerging digital marketing platform. I don’t know when this guy sleeps, honestly. He produces content non-stop.

I read his book “The Thank You Economy” recently as well, in which he basically boils it down that the companies who care the most are the ones who will win in the long run. Companies must care about their customers at a level that they used to, back when customers were fiercely loyal to the local butcher, for example. Social media has connected customers in a similar way, and so successful companies must encourage that open communication and care as much as possible about interacting. Leaders must be authentic, honest, and humble.

Another interesting tidbit learned from The Thank You Economy was about the ROI of social media. ROI is a business term for ‘Return on Investment’, and many people’s careers depend on ROI. If a company invests $100, they’d like to make sure that they made a distinct profit. HOWEVER – What Gary says in his book, is that ROI on Social Media is very hard to track, and so is the ROI of treating people well. Businesses that focus too much on ROI, and less so on providing a warm and welcoming experience, may suffer from customers going elsewhere in the long-term.

A few other points that stuck with me, that Gary mentions in his books, but also in his keynote today that I’d like to reflect on:

  • “People are inconvenienced by incoming phone calls!”
    • This is something that I’ve thought about for a while, as it’s true, that we are currently in an attention economy, where our attention is worth more than anything else… and where it’s common to be doing multiple things at once (not that I recommend this)… and when someone calls you, you’d most often prefer to just communicate over a text, get in, get out, and get on with your life. Phone calls feel old, archaic, a waste of time, UNLESS it’s when YOU want to talk on the phone.This makes me think there’s an opportunity for some kind of app or functionality where someone requests a call, and the other person then engages the call when he/she wants to. If the original person is still available, they will connect, otherwise, the 2nd person will now be waiting for the call to start. Might have to think that one through a bit, but wanted to just write it out, anyhow. 😉
  • “NOBODY wants to watch commercials, ever. When a pop-up appears on your cell phone, and you have to try and find the little “x” to close out, and you accidentally click the ad, it enrages you. When you can’t skip through a commercial on HULU, or on a TV show, you disengage, you don’t feel like watching it.”
    • This means to me that ads will be more and more niche, where you will only be seeing what is targeted for you specifically. So for example, if you were thinking of traveling to Italy, and you were researching Milan, you would see a brief ad about ‘What to See in Milan’, and it would then interest you. Otherwise, you would just skip. HOWEVER – This is counterintuitive to the old-school method of advertising, which is to expose a viewer multiple times, until there is brand recognition. You might not have been wanting to view such an ad, but now you believe that Acura is a luxury car, because you’ve seen luxury-looking ads for it, many times over. I’m not sure how we will have a future advertisement that achieves both…
  • “People who are worried that they have nothing to share on storytelling social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram stories – the future is in DOCUMENTING your struggles, your experience.”
    • Gary is someone who is constantly documenting his day. He’s constantly interacting with his fans, answering questions, and he hustles like he’s got nitro coffee in his veins 24/7. I think he’s a rare entrepreneur who can function like this, and that’s what makes him so spectacular. There are others like him, such as the popular sales maven Grant Cardone, for example. They are both hitting social media every day of the week. My skepticism here though, is that many people don’t have the interesting day-to-day that these guys have. Do people really want to watch me reading e-mails and having Skype meetings? You’d have to have a gifted storytelling mind to be able to shape the average day in the office into something that people want to consume… Perhaps if you are focusing on your struggles and wins, and you edit it nice and tight, and finish off with Q+A, then you’ve got something there, but that requires a storytelling gene that I think most people don’t have, or need to work on. It’s not intuitive.

Gary V vloggingAnyway – I’m thankful that a guy like Gary exists. He is a content-producing animal. He produces so much content in fact, that I’ll go weeks of ignoring him, and then click again weeks later, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

And also – I recommend his audio books. Good stuff there, I intend to listen to Jab, Jab, and also Crush It, in the near future. His energy is fun to listen to, and he often goes off-script.

Categories: Marketing