Gary Vaynerchuk at the L2 Innovation 2010 Forum discusses the humanization of business (or rather the re-humanization of business). It’s a few months old, but it is as relevant today as it was back in November. (Hat tip to Robert Lavigne for digging it up.) Everyone in marketing and consumer-facing roles should watch this video. It’s only 8 minutes long, so it can serve as a smokeless smoke break if need be.
What Gary discusses here is one of the most important side-effect of the dual rise of social media and mobility in respect to business communications, marketing, customer experiences and competitive best practices. Gary looks beyond eyeball shift, the erosion of attention and shiny new object syndrome to shine a light on cultural forces, shifts in customer expectations, and how businesses need to adapt to them in order to stay competitive.
If the video doesn’t play for you, click here.
This might help explain why so many people are buying Gary’s “The Thank You Economy” (which just came out this month) and “Social Media ROI” together that Amazon.com has now started to suggest that more people do the same:
Not a bad pairing. Kind of like… a really smooth Cabernet and a perfectly cellar aged goat Gouda.
If you have been considering buying #smROI and haven’t yet, consider adding Gary’s latest to your cart. (Feed your left brain and your right brain.)
Perfect pairing. I preordered them both a while back. Love SMROI – still waiting for Thank You Economy (can’t wait!)
thanks for the shout out in the post Olivier. Here is Gary himself talking to me about The Thank You Economy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZMcH8Q8oY4
Bundle on its way via Canadian Mules.
That was freaking awesome!!
Holy crap what an awesome video. Guy freaking gets it. And shares it. Wow. I hadn’t seen that either. Love it.
Gary is wrong. His premise: “In a world where word of mouth is going to dominate…”
This is simply common sense. Word of mouth has ALWAYS dominated.
Gary goes on to talk about how technology is now “democratizing influence” (my words) — ie. a socially significant someone/Yenta and a nobody in his basement now have an equal ability to “do damage.” That, too, is just rhetoric.
Gary is a great speaker and entertainer. But he’s getting very caught up in his own guru-dom. He’s smarter than what he’s saying. And his point is spot-on… his thesis. But he’s spinning out of control and not using logical reasoning.
The eyeball shift is simply irrelevant. It’s evolutionary, not revolutionary. What’s exciting is INTERACTIVITY.
To extend the story and collect the data is to miss the point. To merely “market on social media” (mass media style) is not the opportunity. It seems to me that Olivier understands this much.
Driving 70,000 fans in 30 seconds. C’mon, Gary. I know you’re pressed for time… but fans are not “data”. And fans are not inherently valuable. Just as “conversation” is not inherently valuable. Fans are especially not valuable. Here’s why:
Facebook is not a marketing platform and never will be. It’s trying to morph into one — and POORLY.
“Many brands run competitions on social media platforms. You have to ‘Like’ or follow’ that business to enter. So the question is whether they are making connections with advocates of their brand, or with people who simply love competitions. If it’s the latter, then they’re filling their social media interactions and data with noise.”
Who said that? Paul Adams, Facebook’s global brand experience manager.
Gary, you’re talking about these things as if there is certain value in them. There simply is not. “The power of mobile” is also not certain. Gary, take it from Facebook — not me.
As Adams of Facebook says, mobile technology looks like it could be a game-changing technology. Because mobile handsets know who we communicate with the most, who we care about the most, where we are, where we’ve been and probably where we’re going. And in the near future our handsets will know the things we buy.
BUT that’s leading to a lot of hype, speculation and excitement. And he cautions business owners and managers to base their decisions on how a given technology will help people do things they are struggling to DO, today.
“Rather than try and predict which technologies will be dominant, I think the safer bet for businesses is to understand how these technologies will support human behavior and how they will help people do things they are struggling to do today,” says Adams.
Behavior is where it’s at. So why not talk about how CARING connects to behavior. How can we DESIGN social media, Gary, to better serve our businesses.
Answer: YOU, Gary, know the truth. Forget the eyeball shift and playing ping-pong for a moment. And what you know is this:
“Social behavior in humans is as old as our species, so the emergence of an Internet based on social behavior is simply our rudimentary technology catching up with offline life. Thinking about ‘social design’ should be embedded in everything we do, and not thought of in isolation.”
That’s a pretty solid comment, Jeff. We agree on everything. But let me just throw in one little thing: What I am quickly discovering (or… at this point not so much discovering as much as confirming) that we’re way ahead of the curve. Strangely so, IMO, since none of this is really rocket science.
Yet here we are, presenting basic – truly 101 – stuff to masses of executives and managers many of whom receive it as if it were a revelation from the future of 2012. I still can’t figure out why that is. Gary could speak about a lot of things in a lot of ways. What he has learned to do is adjust down. Not because he is “above” his audience, but because he knows what he can convey effectively in 30-45 minutes, and what message will move them forward most efficiently.
He also speaks to fairly large audiences. I’m pretty sure that Gary speaking to a dozen CEOs is a very different thing from Gary speaking to 2,000 people. Know what I mean?
At any rate, yes: You’re right. Everything you said is spot on.
Thanks for your thoughts in response. And on the point of Gary’s audience — I’ll agree to that. To be clear, Gary is genius. I enjoy AND respect him more than it may appear. I just think he’s degrading himself — his very important messages.
Re: audiences. I don’t think he’s adjusting down. I think he’s mixing in his magnetic, unique (refreshingly blunt AND useful) presentation style with rhetoric… rhetoric he was actually late on popularizing. Which makes it even easier for him.
I had an experience recently while speaking — that answers your question, Olivier. I’ll leave names out of this because it’s someone you know, he’s a nice enough guy and it doesn’t serve anyone to name him.
The client was a state “association of association” CEOs and this was a national meeting. And I’m pretty sure I won’t be asked back — but the other guy will be.
I presented the morning keynote and he presented after lunch. During lunch planning committee members made it clear: I lost them. I was, honestly, shocked. It got worse. Our client told me she was very pleased with the other guy’s presentation. Although, she said, we made “essentially the same points.” She was being kind. We did not. But what really struck me was when the 3 of us were talking afterward and he made a string of points. The client turned to me and said, “see… THERE. He just said what YOU are saying — but when he said it I understood him completely.”
Why, Olivier? It took me an overnight to figure it out. Because he used all the words & rhetoric the audience
a) expected him to use
b) have grown to believe should be used by anyone who “gets it” and
c) takes as valid, actionable advice because it conforms to their comfort zone — traditional mass marketing and advertising constructs.
Re: C. What I mean is “broadcasting messages.” And “talking at, not with.” Interaction is simply not a discipline taught outside of the direct response industry. Hence, “joining in the conversation” leads to, “ok, well, how many times to I need to update Twitter and Facebook?” And my favorite, the National Retail Federation/Shop.org’s #1 most urgent question: “What’s a fan worth?” (all the wrong questions — that gurus FEED on, stoke, feed more, etc.)
In the end, these guys (Gary Vee, David Meerman-Scott, et al) are preaching actionable advice in an entertaining way: Keep on doing the same thing and call it something different (be perceived as a leader).
“Engagement” = “branding” (practically speaking, a meaningless term)
Yet what is more important than engagement, Olivier? Understanding it. Measuring it. DOING it.
Upon arriving on the scene, social media had no distinct marketing purpose. Nor did it have obvious, “built in” measures. Being eager to adopt, business folk brought social media into the mix and applied what they know – advertising ideas, metrics and practices.
Just my two cents. Thanks for considering.
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