The Power of Social Media Marketing in 2019 | Gary Vaynerchuk – Imagine Keynote, Las Vegas

– Everybody who's talking about AI, it's so bad, and all this. These articles were written
about machinery around farming. We just knew that we were all farming. We went on to do other shit. And by the way, I don't
feel bad for a truck driver who isn't reading headlines for 20 years, that autonomous trucks are coming. We gave 'em 20 fuckin' years. (audience laughs) When they cry in 2039, like, "Oh, the fuckin'
autonomous trucks took me out!", I'm gonna be like, dick, you had 20 years! (audience laughs) You couldn't have learned another skill along the way, asshole? (audience cheers) (electronic music) You got your perspective. (audience roaring) I just want to be happy,
don't you want to be happy? What up?
(upbeat music) (audience roaring) Thank you, thank you. (sighs) The Knicks didn't get Zion, so I'm dead. So, energy's gonna be down
at least one solid notch. Thanks for having me, I've
been really looking forward to this event for a lot
of different reasons.

Really took note of the merger, or the acquisition, a year ago. As some of you may know, I started my career in
the liquor business. I was an immigrant, born
in the former Soviet Union. Kind of cliche story. My dad was a stock boy in a liquor store, and after not spending
any money for a decade, eventually he bought a small store. And in 1996, I launched one of the first e-commerce
wine businesses in America. So, this is a space that
I'm really excited about. Over the last decade, I've
been running a company my brother AJ and I
started, called VaynerMedia, where we've been working
with Fortune 5,000 companies around their marketing behaviors. And I think it's a really interesting time to be here today for a
lot of different reasons, whether you're a service
provider, an agency, or a retailer, the mix of
the people in this room, you know, when I speak, I think one thing that's really helped me
have a speaking career is I try to reverse engineer the room, try to bring the most value. I have no clue what I'm about
to talk about for 45 minutes.

It's really a stream of consciousness of what's actually happening, and if I understand
the makeup of the room, how do I bring the most value? And that's what's really worked for me, and that's what I'm gonna do here now, because I think what's
super interesting is, for a lot of people in this room, as I kind of take a look at it, we're at this really
interesting inflection point where Internet and consumer behavior is at complete and utter scale. And what that means is, we're really into a
new era of opportunity. You know, to me, the white space that technology continues
to create, and always will, is really a thing that most businesses and people struggle with, because, the reality is, is that most
people think about things based on what has already happened, instead of being able to
understand what's about to happen.

Which is ironic, because
what's about to happen already happened in
history, many times over. It's just, you have to understand
the pattern recognition and deploy it against the current state. And so for me, if you
understood that jargon, for me, what is really interesting is that no matter who you
are in this room today, the one thing I know we can talk about is attention of the person
you're trying to reach. My entire career, I've come to realize, has been pretty simple. I've been chasing the attention of who I'm trying to reach, and that has worked for me
since I was six years old. Probably my favorite
entrepreneurial story, from me, about me, to
myself, in my own head, is, when I started my lemonade stand business, I convinced, manipulated, my friends to work the lemonade stands themselves. I kind of scoured the streets
of Edison, New Jersey. And if you think about
how sick, or interesting, what I'm about to say is,
it was interesting to me, it was fun for me, to stand on the grassy
knoll or on the corner and spend hours watching cars drive by to try to figure out
which tree, or which pole, was the best one for me
to put my lemonade sign on to sell more lemonade.

That was intriguing to me. That was exciting for me. And, 37 years later, I
stand here in front of you in the same place, which is, where is the attention of
who I'm trying to reach. I've now lived, you know,
two hardcore careers that really map this room. The first 15 years of my career was hardcore consumer, right? Brick and mortar store,
Internet business at scale. You know, I built Wine
Library on the back of email, how many people here have
done or do email marketing in their careers, just raise your hands. Just high, please. This is just gonna be fun for me to say, in 1996, I had a 300,000
person email newsletter that had 93% open rates.

(audience murmurs) And, I built my dad's
business from a three to a $60 million business
in a seven year period, with no cash infusion, no
VC, not even a credit line, and it was because I made
every penny work like a dollar. And in 1996, that was
actually having a website when everybody else was
sending catalogs in the mail, that was having an
email newsletter, which, for the kids in the room,
you have to understand, people thought the whole
Internet was a fad, let alone email marketing, right? And then later, the one
that really scaled me, which was, the day Google Adwords started, I bought ads at five cents a click and owned every fuckin'
wine term in the world. (audience laughs) And it's really interesting, what I'm, at some point I'm gonna mention this. I would argue that one of the things that drives me tremendously is the great miss of my career, during the great success of my career. I was so right about Google Adwords, but I had never been through a pattern of buying very under-priced
attention at scale, that I didn't spend enough
money on Google Adwords.

When I, some of you,
and I know some of you that I know well, when
you hear three to 60, I'm very proud of that, but, genuinely, I know I left 100 million
in revenue on the table, because I did too much direct mail, radio, television,
outdoor, a mix of media, when I, you know, it's
funny to say this in Vegas, I don't play poker, but there's something that's very easy to understand.

When you have the best hand
and you know it, you go all-in. I knew I had the best hand with Adwords, I just didn't, let me rephrase, in hindsight, I had the best hand. I knew it was great. I just didn't know how great it was. And so as you can imagine, when consumer, mobile,
social, Internet came along, the pattern recognition
that I learned about email, which then became about Google Adwords, then I started the first, legitimately, one of the first 10
long-form YouTube shows in the first months of YouTube, which was a 20 minute
show of me tasting wine. Yeah, best gig I ever had in my career. (audience laughs) I sat in front of a camera for 25 minutes, trying four bottles of wine, and it completely changed
the course of my career.

(audience laughs) But, that was the first time I learned that organic, non-paid media,
could impact my business. And so it's really been one long game for me to get to this
moment of understanding. It's the same reason
that I'm pot committed, completely obsessed with the tollbooth that the voice devices are gonna be in our society in a decade. The amount of transactions and decisions that will be made through Google Home or Alexa, because it's gonna save us time, and we will always choose convenience. This is a really fun time
for me in our society, where everybody's talking about privacy, and I actually know that you don't give a shit about privacy. (audience laughs) I mean it. Humans prove it every single day. But we care about time,
and we love convenience. And so, (audience laughs) got you, bro. And so, what I really want to try to talk about is a couple things. For my own cadence, to know where I want to go with this talk, how many people here are in B2B? Raise your hands? – [Audience Member] What? – (laughs) Nice shout.

And B2C? All right, okay. So, I'm gonna talk about both. You know, I'll start with B2B. If you're in this room, I'm
extremely excited right now, I am flabbergasted what's transpired over the last six months on LinkedIn, LinkedIn's behavior on
organic reach on content. If nobody follows you, if you've never posted a
piece of content on LinkedIn, your ability, tonight, probably not, 'cause you're gonna go out, but, when you get back home, to put a piece of content, whether in long-form
written word, in video, or uploading an audio file, the amount of organic
reach that post will get, if you have even a couple
hundred connections on LinkedIn, would blow your mind.

It's most similar to 2007, 2009 Twitter. It's most similar, actually, to 2011 to 2013 Facebook. And I couldn't be more
passionate for the whole room, because what's been even
more interesting to me as I've gone deep in the last six months, even non-business content, like if you sell meal plans, posting on LinkedIn right now is remarkable organic reach. And I couldn't be more
passionate, definitely, to push everybody who's
in the B2B world here, because the ROI on acting
like a media company and not an advertiser on LinkedIn, I'll get into that in a minute, is staggering, and genuinely will go away, because it's one big
game of cat and mouse, one big game of cops and robbers.

The organic reach is
through the roof right now. Early adapters like me feel it, we start working it, it
starts getting talked about, this room starts doing it. It's just supply and demand of attention. It starts growing, ads start penetrating in,
ad prices start going up, and then the marketplace becomes proper, like Google Adwords is
today, compared to 2002. It's really, probably,
the most exciting thing that's happened to a B2B company. It's very difficult, when you're in B2B, to not be a sales-driven organization. It's very difficult. And so the ability to
not be completely sales, and to be in actual marketing is a remarkable opportunity. And so, instead of the cliche, overspending at
conferences for your booth, for print advertising in the B2B magazine, for all the cliche dumb
shit that B2B marketers do, to have a moment where
you can get to scale.

And what I mean by scale is, the great misunderstanding of
today's marketing landscape is that the breakthrough is the ability to produce creative at scale that is contextual to the decision maker that you're trying to reach. The number one shortcoming of the consumer product marketers in here, and the B2B marketers, is
there's not enough volume of different creative that is contextual to who you're trying to reach. People spend so much time in
today's world around the math, and the arbitrage in
our business world today is around the art. The math is so good, the data is so clean, that it becomes commoditized over time. The variable of success for
most people in this room is the content that is
being put into those pipes. And so as an opening kind of call to arms, please get serious about LinkedIn. Please. It will go away, it's
remarkable, and here's the key. When you fill it with content, you must act like a media company, not as an advertiser or salesperson. The only way you will penetrate in a world of this much
content being put out, is by putting out something that brings value to your target audience, not in the form of a sales pitch, which is what 98% of the content that fills these pipes is.

Everybody's putting their pamphlet and their sales pitch in there, and what you need to become is somebody who has the ability to say, "Hey CIO, here are 11
things that are happening "in your world that will save you money," that might not even have anything to do with your SaaS product, but bring so much value to the other person on the other end that it becomes awareness for
what you're actually doing. There has not been a piece
of content that I put out, actually, this is a remarkable story based on the context I've just created. When I started Wine Library TV in 2006, February 21st, 2006, when I sent one of my
stock guys to Best Buy to buy a camera to put up an episode, I literally thought I was gonna do QVC. Like, my hope, I'm a fuckin' wine retailer. I was gonna make videos
and sell people stuff. And so, the camera goes on, and within 30 seconds, you
know, it's funny for me, I actually looked at the
first episode the other day, and, you know, when you know yourself, I could see the moment
where I was like, oh shit.

Maybe I shouldn't just
peddle wine on this. Because I had this crazy thing, I don't know if you guys
remember, if they still do this, Dateline or Nightline, you know, where the guys rolls up on you on a mic, and you're like, oh shit, and they're like, "Did
you?", and I was like, for some reason, while
I was doing this video, I had this weird image of me
being at some cocktail party, and somebody rolling up
on me and being like, "Gary Vee, what do you
think about this wine?", and me tasting it and being like, oh, this is shit, and they'll be like, "You fuckers said it was awesome "on Wine Library TV!"
(audience laughs) So… So, for some reason,
literally in episode one, literally within the first minute, I switched what I'd
been planning for weeks, in theory, and then just kind of acted on, to decide to become America's wine guy instead of selling wine from my store.

It was the greatest thing
that happened to me, because it became foundational
to everything I've become, everything that I see
working in marketing. It's all supply and demand. In a world where everybody's
putting out content, you have to imagine,
the best content wins. This is the cream coffee
analogy, it's very simple. The fact that 99% of people are eliminated from even having a chance of being successful on
social and digital content, because it's selfish creative, it's selfish content, has been a big opportunity,
and a big thing that has really worked for me and others. So, what's amazing about B2B, and one more time, B2B
hands, please, real quick. What's amazing about
B2B is you actually know who the decision maker
is of your business. You know the title,
you know the companies. B2B is, I'll be very frank, I think B2B is easier to sell in.

I mean, it's less decision makers, nothing's easy, I understand that, but when the whole world, potentially, can drink your wine,
or wear your sneakers, or toothbrush, or cereal,
there's a lot of muck in that. There is an incredible advantage to know what your target is. When you actually, actually try
to provide that target value in a world where they're
getting sold to 24/7, 365, you will see remarkable,
remarkable opportunities. And for most of you, you have
a hardcore sales organization. You don't need your
marketing to do more sales, you need your marketing to do more brand to support your sales organization. I know that doesn't play, because most tech and most B2B
companies care about numbers, every fuckin' 90 days, and
everything's so short-term, and everybody burns out their long value out of such short-term goals of, raising more capital for the next round, and what we're really living through now is one big game of financial arbitrage to hit metrics to get
more venture capital, not actually build businesses. I understand that that's what's happening, thank you, it's…

(audience laughs) I got like a hundredth
of a clap from somebody. (audience laughs) And I was like, yes, I'll take it. And I'll tell you why. It was an interesting
point I wanted to make, because there's founders in this room who are literally living their entire life predicated on hitting
metrics for venture capital, not actually building a product
and service for a business, and that will always fail. Everything's easy when there's
a lot of money in the system. When that money stops, the
market behavior takes over, and if you didn't actually
build a business, you lost.

So that's a heed, and hopefully, history can tell you, 'cause this happens every time, and we're very frothy right now. There's lots of money, and
it's been a long time of froth. As a matter of fact, what's really most interesting after these now 11 years of economic boom, if you're an entrepreneur
in today's day and age and you're not doing well, you suck.

(audience laughs) So, anyway. (audience laughs) Anyway, B2B companies, and
there's a lot of you in here, please, start a podcast. It's an owned and operated property, you own the attention. Do enormous amount of
LinkedIn organic marketing, let alone paid, but LinkedIn has a floor, unlike Facebook and Google,
so I do think, sometimes, the ads can be overpriced on its merit, the organic is ridiculous,
(audience member sneezes) bless you, but, the biggest thing that everybody has to leave here with is what you fill the pipes with. The pipes are dumb. The pipes are dumb. My favorite thing right now, in society, is people blaming social
media for anything.

There is no social media. There's just humans
filling it with garbage. (audience laughs) So, it's time for us
to take accountability for social media, we're the ones talking, we're the ones posting. They're just empty pipes. What we fill pipes with is the variable. And so, you know, by the way, real quick, just 'cause this is a
fun social commentary, and I see the demo in this room, the only thing more fun
to me, going on right now, than people blaming social media when we're the ones filling social media, is the people that shit on millennials when they're the parents who created them. (audience laughs) (audience cheers) Thought that might play. It's unbelievable. "These kids are so entitled," you gave them an eighth
place trophy, Nancy. This is what happens.
(audience laughs) This is what happens.

Fuck. America's amazing at blaming
everybody but themselves. Economy collapses,
"It's the banks' fault." Really, Rick? You were making $86,000 a year, you had a $100,000, in college, loan debt, paying double digit interest, and you thought it was a good idea to buy a BMW and a $500,000 home? And this is how I think about everything, which is what leads me to
the consumer marketing, the B2B marketing in this room. The reality is very simple. This is just, pretty
much, very basic math. The attention, on Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, is
grossly under-priced, versus the attention you can buy elsewhere on outdoor, radio, television, you know, it's basic. The reason most people in this room, and in the world, don't succeed in them, is they don't know how to fill it. They don't know how to use it. The ROI of a basketball is
$1 billion, for LeBron James. He knows what to do with it. The ROI of a basketball for me is about -8,000,
(audience laughs) 'cause I've torn both
my meniscuses, right? So, to me, another thing I would
love to leave here with that I think would benefit
a lot of people's businesses is understanding why I'm
giving you that analogy.

Old people that made fun of me about email and Google Adwords then became the people that I surpassed, and everybody, other
sector, did the same, right? Please recognize what's happening. One more time, B2C customers, er, companies, people? Instagram Story ads, let's just get one
quick thing out the way. Instagram Story ads, if you target 15 to 55
year old consumers, at all, are such an uncomfortable deal that it makes me laugh,
how slow the world is to fill the proper marketplace, on the back of media agencies
not wanting to buy that media 'cause they don't make as much margin as they do on programmatic
black box buying, and so we need to take advantage of that.

So, I highly recommend, and again, I don't know the makeup or the remit of every single person in this room, but one of the things that has to happen for any of the things I'm talking about is for you to be educated, not you outsourcing it to somebody else. And for me, communication, and that's what we're talking about. Anybody in this room,
and when I look at it, plenty of career and
years ahead of so many, anybody in this room who
is not a practitioner of the current state of
communication in society is vulnerable.

I believe not knowing
how to produce content for the seven or eight platforms that completely dictate the
opinions of society today, not knowing how to use them,
how to make content for it, how the ad product
works, is a vulnerability in the same of not knowing
how to balance your checkbook. If you do not know how to
communicate, you are vulnerable.

And so, again, especially if you have
ambition in this room, 20 hours of Google work, people are like, "Yeah Gary, how do I place
an Instagram Story ad?" Enter. Free, three minutes, then you know how. The details are a commodity. The strategy around
what's actually happening in our society is the variable. The reason audio is going to
win for the next decade is, I don't know if you
heard, we're busy as shit. And what we love about audio is when you're on the
treadmill, or walking the dog, or flying to this
conference, you can consume. The amount of people who
consume my video content on YouTube now, only in audio form, literally put the phone
down and just listen, passive audio consumption is going to continue to compound in value. The reason I want everybody
here to start a podcast is 'cause you're gonna have the attention of the end consumer, then
what you fill it with will be the variable of your success.

Your podcast sucks, nobody's gonna listen. Your podcast is good,
you're gonna make money. It's not super-complicated. It's always been the same thing. What's happening right this minute, literally, May 2019, is
the scale of the attention is remarkable. The fact that I can run
pre-roll YouTube video ads against what people are searching for in intent, on Google, is remarkable. The fact that you can make videos, you literally can start a video of, "Are you looking for a home in Texas?", and they're literally about
to watch a skiing video, and you're like, "Are you
buying a home in Texas?", and they're like, "Fuck I am!" (audience laughs) This is why people get freaked out, like, "Ah, spying on me!" They put put tape on the fuckin' webcam.

(audience laughs) We're not spying on you, dick, you searched for a home
in Texas on Google. Google owns YouTube, it's basic out here. (audience laughs) This isn't the Russians. (audience laughs) This is the greatest
era of headline reading and non-practitionership. There's an enormous
amount of executives here who control decision making
around these new platforms, and where dollars go, where
they've made a decision based on reading five articles, but have never run an ad
in any of these platforms, have decided that Facebook
can't drive their business, have decided that nobody's
on Snapchat anymore. If you have a consumer business that is trying to reach
15 to 30 year olds, Snapchat is maybe the best
deal in marketing right now. It's so under-priced, 'cause
everybody wrote it off, 'cause its stock is doing poorly. But the amount of attention 15
to 24 is uncomfortably high, and the ad product is
uncomfortably inexpensive.

LinkedIn, Google, search queries, turned into pre-roll YouTube where you can make videos that completely address
who you're trying to reach, Facebook, on and on and on, it's all one game of, the math will get you
in front of every person that you want to get in front of. This game is not a tech stack game, this game is not an analytics game, this game is an
anthropology, human behavior, what video, picture, and audio do you make once you know you're in
front of somebody, game. All this tech is actually
commoditizing the tech. The next decade's frontier
is a battle of art.

The next decade's battle
is actually understanding the psychology of the individual. The commodity of getting in front of somebody is gonna be basic. I love when people, "Big
data, Gary," I'm like, and? Big data means shit, until
you do something with it. And then once you get
in front of somebody, everybody's gonna have
the same first party data. There's too much activity. It's all commodity. And everybody thinks
that's where the game is. And just like six years
ago, when everyone was like, "Gary, I'm gonna make my
kid a coder!" I'm like, she's gonna make no money. "What do you mean?" I'm like, the coders that
make 200,000 a year now, easy, is 'cause they were nerds
when nobody else was doing it.

It was a supply and demand issue. If everybody's on STEM, and a
coder, it becomes a commodity. It's the same thing
humans did with farming, it's the same thing that everybody, it's over, and over,
and over again, and so, my friends, please heed this call. I could be wrong, but this is
one very strong point of view of somebody who's in the trenches
daily, on these platforms. You know, one thing I'm most proud of, for my thousand person agency, is I'm the best practitioner
at the craft that we do. I'm not a CEO that's in an ivory tower, I'm making every day. I'm reading every comment in my community. I do the quant-based, excuse me, qual-based data analyzing, which allows me to then know what the next piece of content should be based on the opinions of the audience. I'm doing that. And what I can tell you right now, is we're living in a golden era, where the reason you see such big brands, especially in e-commerce,
to go right to it, we are seeing brands go from
zero to 100 million revenue on the back of a 100%
influencer marketing play.

I laugh when people are like, guys, we literally, we know this. I mean, I assume a lot of
you know this in the room, there are literally brands
that are going from zero to 30, zero to 50, zero to $70
million in sales in 18 months on a 100% Instagram influencer execution. How much attention do you
think is going on in there to be able to do that? This is the only thing, let me see if I can find it.

This is the only thing that matters. And only thing that matters is such a definitive, absolute statement. It's obviously not fully,
fully true, but Jesus. If you do not know how to
communicate on the eight platforms that dominate the screens of
every one of these devices, you are becoming irrelevant. And so, what excites me is
the moment we sit in today. What excites me is that
we're in this moment, and the reality is, it's actually, stunningly, not difficult. It's more of a religious shift than it is a tactical shift. If you're sitting in this room and you've made decisions
of these platforms, but you've never run ads
on it, to look at it, you need to run ads on it to look at it. And whether that's for your business, or literally, you try to sell something that you buy
in bulk at Five Below, and you list it on your platform, or list it on Facebook marketplace.

I don't care how you do it, understand what's actually happening. And what you'll discover, once
you become a practitioner, not somebody who's just
philosophical about this stuff, what you'll discover is, this is a uncomfortable
time of opportunity, if you know how to fill the pipes. And the way to fill the
pipes is very simple. Unless you're deploying
disproportionate selflessness, or entertainment, you will lose.

pexels photo 6483622

If you look at your apps, if everybody pulled out
their phone right now, and I know a lot of you, if you pull out your phone right now and looked at your home screen, you will see that the apps, which is the clearest
indication, literally, the easiest way for me to know who you are is to grab your phone and
see what your home screen is. It's the insight of the world. Are you anal, and everything's organized? You know, who are you? And what you'll notice, if you
look at your apps right now, is it's either entertainment,
or it's utility. It's bringing you value. You're either, got a sports
app that lets you escape, that you hate your bullshit job, and this is why you
love the fuckin' Knicks, who can never win the fuckin' lottery. (audience laughs) Or it's a calendar, or
a weather app, or Uber, it's utility or entertainment.

How many people here
follow my content, at all? (scattered audience members cheer) Appreciate it, thank
you, Jesus, thank you. So, this will make tons of sense to you. That's all I do. Utility, entertainment. I tend to blend them into one thing, it's utility or entertainment. 95% of the content I see
online is a sales pitch, is a humble brag. Nobody gives a shit that
you got a new watch. (chuckles) So, please,
understand the framework that is working for businesses. For a lot of the consumer people here, another segue that I want to go into, the reason I'm pushing you
so aggressively into the art, the art is the only thing
that's gonna save you as your CAC prices continue to go up, and your CAC and LTV are upside down unless you raise more capital.

If you're a consumer,
if you're a retailer, consumer product in
here, selling in retail, a lot of people have grown
quite a bit because of ads. But the problem is, your cost of acquisition continues to rise as more people figure this out, and your LTV continues to
decline, or stay stable, and the only thing that will stop you, because normally, you'll
become one-dimensional, and you're either dominating on Facebook or dominating on Instagram, the only thing that gets you out of the vicious cycle that has put people out of business in the last two downturns is the ability to understand the art that changes the math
around your CAC and LTV. The amount of people in this room that are continuously
running the same thing 'cause it works for their numbers now, but the number one thing
they should be doing is taking 20% of their marketing spend out of what's working, and continuously trying
to taste new things, is such an unbelievably
non-natural thing for most people, but is absolutely anecdote
to the inevitable downfall of 90% of the brands that
are winning right now, in the marketplace.

And so, I highly recommend that. Actually, here's something interesting, a little bit of a hot take. I think America's ready to be text, at scale, around selling. And I think it's, I'm
super-pumped, because, as a marketer, my goal is
to ruin every platform. (audience laughs) It's what we do. And so, if you haven't started your aggressive text platform, where you're literally selling on text, I think we're ready, and we've been seeing
some platforms emerge. It seems as though the carriers are starting to get ready to play, because they see the advantage of taking some of the attention away from social and other places, and starting to build up your data around your consumer's phone number, with the complete and utter intent to text them products and
services, and offerings, I think is here.

I think for a long time, and
you think about yourselves, we've protected the cell phone number, because we fucked up the
email address, right? (audience laughs) Right? I mean, that's what we did, right? But I've been fascinated
by what's happened over the last 24 months. I think a lot of things got busy, and, you know, just, the evolution
of consumer behavior. And so, I highly recommend,
for a lot of you, to really give that a real consideration. I would also recommend, if
you want to have any prayer, because it is a place where people are a little more tentative, that the first 10 to 15 things you do brings disproportionate
value to the consumers, so that they get comfortable, and see that there is an incredible, you know, for example, Wine Library, we're about to really
roll it out aggressively, on text, everything's free
shipping, every time, always.

It's just a better place to buy from than our email or website. So, that's another kind
of thing that I'm seeing kind of pulse on, that
I'm very excited about. And, just because I've been
doing it for a while now, the open rates and the
conversion rates are email 1997. And that's it, I'm basic. You know, which tree was gonna be better to sell lemonade, right? Which table at a baseball card show was more likely to have the
most foot traffic, you know? The first week, as a 14 year old, working in my dad's liquor store, bagging, at the register, I started
fighting or arguing with my dad that we shouldn't put
minis of alcohol there, because we make 10 cents on
a $1.35 shot of Crown Royal. Let's put something that
people will actually grab. I've always, intuitively, that has been my trait, my DNA, understood attention, what
to put in front of it. And that becomes a very simple game. That's how communication works. There's a very specific reason that when there's a coup d'etat, they go after the media first.

Before they bum rush even
the president's suite, or the dictator's suite, they go after the newspaper and the radio. The media is what controls this world. That's what it is. And so, if you are not pot committed, as an organization, as an individual, as a matter of fact,
actually, let's go individual, while I've got a little bit of time. Nothing, I think, is more important, right now, for everybody in this room, than them sharing their thoughts on their expertise on LinkedIn in blog post form, to create opportunities for themselves and their family, without disrupting where
they currently work. Nothing. You know? Nothing. It is your absolute insurance
policy to your career. I love when people get
mad about personal brand. Words are funny. People get real worked up about words. Personal brand, charlatan, shitty, reputation, amazing, it's the same shit. So, I highly recommend, knowing
the makeup of this room, and people might say, "I'm an introvert," "I don't do that," "I
don't feel comfortable," "Who's gonna care what I think?" To me, producing content
in today's environment is an offensive move for
your life and your reality, and you should very much consider it.

I watch so many people
not share their truths in boardrooms, because
they know what is accepted within the company they work in, and they're navigating those waters for the ability to stay in that company. Yet, I watch so many people,
over the last decade, and what I genuinely
believe is gonna happen within the next decade, then lose, in that same organization, once traditional, wrong
thinking is exposed, and that person didn't
share their actual thoughts. My friends, if you work in a company, let me promise you something. It's a lot more fun to
die on your own sword. And so, you like that one? (audience laughs) It's true. It's true, people don't
understand anymore, how many people here work in marketing? How many people here work in a company, in the marketing department,
raise your hands? I want you to win. And I don't want you to believe something, as a marketer that you don't do because your company
doesn't have reporting that justifies that behavior, which is completely common sense, and the reporting is complete bullshit, and you pander to that reporting, and then in three years,
when the company suffers from pandering to subjective reporting instead of the reality of the marketplace, you take the fall for something you didn't believe in in the first place.

That's what happens. And so, you might not be able to be a dick about it like I am, but what you might be able to do is respectively, respectfully, communicate your point
of view in these rooms, and maybe that doesn't play. What you may be able to do, carefully, is navigate your opinions
on the ecosystem, in your personal blog posts, which doesn't expose where you work, go a little more general,
share your thoughts. And those points of
view become your hedge, to the fact that I know
the majority of this room, when they work in a company, don't always speak their full truth.

And that happens when you
go through a time like this. My first ever public business appearance was a panel at a New Jersey
Chamber of Commerce event that had like, 11 people at it. And it was me, and the guy who sold Yellow Pages. This is real. Sounds like the beginning of a joke. (audience laughs) And the joke was on me. This was 1998 already, 1999, the Internet was real,
but not to everybody. And… There was some back and forth, and this guy tried to clown me heavy. You know, he was like, "Are you gonna believe this kid? "He's trying to sell
wine on the Internet." And the 11 jokers in
the room laughed at me. And it's funny how my life evolved. I haven't told this story in a long time. I remember looking at him and saying, you know, I wish this was recorded, 'cause you are gonna be fantastically, historically incorrect.

(audience laughs) I have not seen a fuckin'
Yellow Pages in five years. (audience laughs) But I want to remind everybody, the reason so many companies in the world are called AAA something, is because hacking the Yellow Pages, in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, meant being the first company listed under a category, and AAA worked. Hacking attention has always played. The place we're in now is remarkable, because of the scale
of the Internet itself. When, not if, when blockchain
scales and does its thing, these dynamics will change. But right now, there are
clearly four to seven to 10 tollbooths of the Internet. The Amazons, the Apples,
the Googles of the world. It is our job in this room to be the best tollbooth collectors. We need to be the next layer. We've seen in many industries,
people built companies that just built another
tollbooth on top of Google. OpenTable, right? HomeAdvisor. Got it? This is what happens. That game's changing because we're going into a much more branding visual world of the places people's attention is now, Facebook, Instagram,
YouTube, audio, podcasting.

But what made a hit show on radio in 1937, Guiding Light, which later
became the hit soap opera on television, still plays today, which is, who can tell the best story, that brings the most value? I believe stories come in two forms: true entertainment, and true utility. But you have to do it for the
audience, not for yourself. This framework that I've
established tonight, to me, is the game. This framework is the absolute variable of the companies that
are winning and losing. The unlock to all of this, to become very practical in this room, almost everybody in this room, including me and my
companies, and my clients, is not in a position
to make enough content to fill the capabilities of these pipes. Content has to come down
in cost, in the collective. The days of spending all that money on one print ad, or one photo layout, or one video that's a 30 second spot, or the singular video
that you play internally, that just doesn't work. We can no longer sell vanilla, in a world where you need
to be Baskin-Robbins.

And so, I'm excited. And this is why I, you
know, actions over words. This is why, three years
ago, I really went all-in and built a 20 person team
around my content so I could, I'm putting out 50 to 100
pieces of content a day. You're so tired of me,
it's fuckin' unbelievable. (audience laughs) Right? I'm one human. You guys are companies,
with infrastructure. It's time we stop wasting money. It's time we stop having wrong strategies that were built for television
and the mail system. Fuck. You know?
(audience laughs) It just seems so crazy to me. And I think the most important part is, I think bad marketing is about to really, really rear its head. I really, really, passionately, as a good Jersey boy who
was obsessed with Toys"R"Us, I passionately walked
into their headquarters, six years ago, and had this conversation. They just didn't do anything about it, and I think that's the
preview, not the anomaly. And I really, really, really believe that. So, I really, really, really hope that people understand
the strategy of the talk.

I know we're about to do some Q&A, I'm thrilled to take some
questions from the audience. I don't know if a structure from that is on this Q&A, but, to be honest, how you fill them is something that everybody understands, should understand, it's very simple. Pictures, videos, audio, written word. It's always been the same. Just make it valuable. Empathy for the actual end
consumer is the unlock. But that's just not the framework that everybody runs in. Everybody's worried about themselves. And, that's why most people lose. That's why most people lose. Thank you. (audience cheers) Thank you. – Whoo! Okay, so, some people in this room know, I've started five podcasts, right? I've built an audience. – Yes. – I'm making some money, right? So I know a little bit about that game, and I think that people out here are probably thinking to themselves, how do you track the ROI
on something like that? Doesn't have a direct line to revenue, how to I quant it, and make sure I'm getting
conversion out of it? How do I know I'm gonna pump
a lot of money into this, it's actually gonna do
something for my business? – You don't.
– Right.

(audience laughs) – Guys, Nike builds a brand. Apple builds a brand. Not everything is quant. Guys, are we really gonna make decisions on last touch attribution when Google disproportionately gets credit for last touch attribution, because of the way people
use Google as their browser? Do you know how many people
actually saw a billboard, but Google got the credit in your home? And what's funny about this is when I say stuff like this, very many people react, 'cause
you're all fuckin' smart, you're just playing bullshit systems. (audience laughs) – I felt that one. – Do you know how many
people here click a banner? None. Zero, zero.
(audience laughs) I actually want to click one, just to see what the fuck is gonna happen. (audience laughs) It's really sad that people don't realize that they're basic salespeople, and they claim to be marketers. When you market, you do a ton of shit that doesn't have black and
white ROI within 30 seconds. That's how you build something meaningful. But the appetite for that
is continuously declining, because there's math around it.

It's the same problem that Google and Facebook
have around video, because they have the math around how many people watch only three seconds, they get penalized. And then big brands buy television, where there's no math around that, but not a human being watches a commercial outside of Super Bowl. Watch this real quick. Just appease me. Please stand up right
now if you mainly watch Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime. Outside of live sports,
you are watching OTT. Stand up. (audience laughs) Stick with me, stick with me, stand up, I'm gonna wait, don't be lazy, all right? Now, for the, keep standing, I want everybody to look around. I want everybody to look at this. For the 8% that's sitting, right, who are the only people
that even have a prayer, even have a prayer, to
see a commercial, right? Every time they get served a commercial, first of all, the ones that are sitting, 80% of them are only watching on DVR, this is outside of live sports, but even when they do
get served a commercial, they immediately go for their phone, they're not actually consuming it.

We spend $70 billion a year in
America doing TV commercials. Look at this. These same people, there's
not a fucker in here who clicked a banner ad. (audience laughs) So this is not about
traditional versus digital. There's bad inventory in both. I think Super Bowl's the single, you can sit, thank you very much. I think Super Bowl is the single best ad in marketing 'cause we all see it. It's a sport to consume it. You get 100% American brand awareness. What you fill it with
becomes the variable. But, yeah man, I, you know… Marketing is very, very,
very, very understood, we're just not doing it in 2019. There's too much math,
and there's too much fear. – Two weeks ago, we did,
to build up to this event, we did a Instagram live takeover, and they let me take
over Magento's Instagram. – That was a good decision.
– Thank you, yep, very good decision. (audience laughs) A lot of the audience in this
room is actually on Twitter, and I got a little pushback, was like, "Why would you push us to Instagram "for content, when your
audience is already on Twitter?" And my reaction was, because that's where
human beings are, right? – Well– – What's your take on sort
of that channel shift, where brands exist? – I pull in the opposite
directions with this.

I think it is our job to create no friction for the consumer. People are always like,
"Gary, you love digital, "why do you write books?" I'm like, 'cause people read 'em. You know, so, to me, I
do think it's important to not become one-dimensional
in one channel that you're not in control of. When Instagram is your, I mean, the amount of people that
are in deep fuckin' shit because they're
completely, only Instagram, and when Instagram's organic reach falls through the ground or
collapses, they're in deep shit. And what's crazy is, we just lived it on Facebook, five minutes ago. It's not like it should be
any big surprise it's coming. But people cry when it happens. So, here's what I would say. A, I do think it's important when you have attention somewhere to amortize it into a lot of places, so that your core audience is, and you, as a business,
is never one-dimensional.

But on the flip side, I
do think creating friction for the consumer to consume
your content is a bad idea. The reason I do written
word, audio, and video, is I have no idea how
you want to consume me, I just want to give you
a chance to consume me. So if you've switched to audio instead of video watching, 'cause now, when you run, that's what you do, I'm gonna be there in podcast form. If you're sitting at your desk for the first hour of each day and reading LinkedIn,
written word, I'm there. So, I'm trying to create zero
friction for consumption. – So, one of the questions that came in over the app earlier today was, "I'm a business, I'm pretty successful, "how do I actually engage my customers "on social if I do B2B? "Are my customers there,
and where do I even begin?" – Obviously, I started my talk with that, 'cause I know a lot of you are in B2B.

I can't, guys, my last
book, "Crushing It," just came out 18 months ago. You're not gonna be able to see it, but maybe you can make it out. Oh, actually, well now it's, in "Crushing It," I don't
even talk about LinkedIn. I'm talking about all these platforms, I talk more about, in a book I wrote 18
months ago, than LinkedIn. Didn't even decide to cover it. Was thinking about it, and I was like, eh. And now I'm sitting here 18 months later, and it was the opening
10 minutes of my talk. This is what's so fun about
day trading attention. You're emotional. I can't wait to be onstage being like, you do social media? Fuck social media! And I mean it!
(audience laughs) I really could care
less about social media. I care about where your attention is, where it's under-priced, and how do I deliver you
value that brings me value? Very basic.

So, you know, LinkedIn's crazy, bro. Honestly. It's at such scale, and such virality, and such vibrance, because there's not… LinkedIn has more attention
than it has content filling it, which is why, this is how it works. You have to get in
there, guys, you have to. So, that and podcasts. I think every B2B player in here needs to think about doing a podcast, minimumly once a month,
preferably once a week, and make a podcast that
actually brings value to the employees of the
companies you're trying to reach.

It doesn't even have to,
it could be about golf, if you think that you industry over index is on loving fucking golf, as executives. It just needs the hit,
the CIO, the CTO, the CFO, bring value, own that. I'm very, very bullish on that. And so I do think, I do believe that you will see the biggest
companies in the world have a editor in chief,
along with a CMO, and a, you know, chief brand
officer, over the next decade. We will absolutely become much more publisher than advertiser, because of consumers'
non-interest in advertising. And when you do advertising, for example, something I'm very proud of, and I think some of you saw it, 'cause, jeez, it really got consumed. Couple weeks ago, at VaynerMedia, we were the agency, creative
lead, and the production house behind that Dwyane Wade
Budweiser spot, right? Where we retired his jersey
and he did the jersey swaps. If you're gonna do advertising today, it needs to be a three minute video that people want to watch, versus a six second pre-roll
that nobody wants to see. And so, that's what I think about it.

– Another question that came in, was, "How do you," and you covered this a little bit earlier, "How do you deal "with entrenched bureaucracy
in an organization? "Is it better to bail?" – [Gary] Yes. – Okay.
(audience laughs) – Quick. (audience cheers) And I'll say why, and I'll say why. And I really believe it. I think the reality is, almost every business cares
about short-term economics. And when you care about
short-term economics, it almost always goes
against what's right. If you were only raising your
child until they were four and they would leave, you
would raise them differently. And unfortunately, we have a lot of, and I don't blame, I used to blame people, but then I'm like, no, this
actually the structure. I can't be mad at this CEO. She's worked for 37 years,
hard, to get into this spot, and she cares about maximizing
short-term economics, because when she leaves, she needs to sell out her options, and she wants it to be as
highly valuable as possible, she doesn't care about that company for the next 50 years anymore. She's an executive.

It's not a family business. You're not gonna change it. Really, you're not. If you work in a company that is required to create short-term economics, whether that is because they're
a publicly traded company, they're a private company looking to sell, so they're trying to maximize EBITDA, or they're an early stage
company trying to raise capital, everything's fucked. So yes, if you do not believe, the beauty of being an
employee is, you get to leave. The lonely part of being an entrepreneur and owning your company
is, it's your fault, and there's nobody else to blame. Right?
(audience cheering) The great part of being an employee is, even if you suck, when you get fired, you're like, "My boss was a dick." (audience laughs) You don't have to take an L, you know? – One question came in,
it sort of appealed to me, I'm kind of a sneakerhead, and– – Yeah, I saw, crazy.

(audience laughs) – And, they were asking why K-Swiss, and I think that kind of, you
did a collab with K-Swiss. You have a number of shoes. And I have to wonder, the
question actually asked, you know, "Did you sell out?" Or is it, the short-term economics is, could you tell that story a little bit? – I sure can. My number one reason
for building my agency is because I thought that
everybody's in big trouble. I mean, I wish I was making video in 2011, when I really made this decision. My basic thought was,
Netflix was gonna win, Facebook was gonna win, you
know, Amazon was gonna win. So I did really well in investing public
companies, private companies, and I thought the best way for me to take advantage of that was to build the best
communication company machine, as I call it, infrastructure, to then buy nostalgic
brands, and reboot them.

I believe that nostalgia is the number one under-priced
thing in human behavior. And so, K-Swiss, for me, was
a really interesting deal. Couple things. They reached out to me, and so, like anything else, you kind of vet that. Number two, K-Swiss meant nothing, in culture, when they reached out
to me, so any uptick, I was gonna get
disproportionate credit for. If I did a deal with Nike or Reebok, it would've been cool, but none of what I'm actually trying to achieve. I don't want to be cool and be and entrepreneur with sneakers, I need to find test cases,
for me to test my thesis, on, am I actually building
an effective machine that's gonna allow me to buy, you know, remember Jams shorts? I don't know why I still want to buy that brand and bring it back.

(audience laughs) For the youngsters, it was like a first version of Zubaz,
but in shorts form. You know, anyway, K-Swiss was one of the best
things that I've ever done. One, it was all upside. It was either gonna work, and
it would've taught me a lot, or it wasn't gonna
work, and all my friends would've made fun of me, for being a dick and thinking I could
make a sneaker, right? – Right.
– So it was like, no risk. No, I don't feel like I sold out on it. – No, there was a mutual
value there, right? – That's right. 100%. And K-Swiss just sold to a Chinese company for a ton of money, way
more that they would've if they didn't do the deal with me. So, I feel good about it, they won, I learned a fuckload for
what I'm gonna do next. I now look at apparel as an
actual category that I may buy when the economy collapses,
instead of just food, which is where I was originally. So I've given myself options, when this next economic decline happens, 'cause that's when I'm
gonna strike like a cobra.

I, literally, I can't wait
for the next bears' turn. (audience laughs) I mean it, I mean it. I think that there's a
lot of bullshit going on. I think there's a lot of D
players, getting A results, but who are being fakely propped up. – So I think we have time
for one more question. This one was sort of heavy, I'd love your take on it. – [Gary] Sure. – Do you think we're in an AI arms race, and where do you think that ends? – You know, one thing I
really am passionate about that's evolved for me,
and I'm thankful for it, is I try not to talk about
shit that I don't know.

So, the answer is I'm not sure. I haven't done enough homework on AI to answer that thoughtfully,
like the other questions. I think it's inevitable,
the technology's inevitable. But I think people grossly
underestimate human beings. We evolve into other shit. I think AI is gonna do a lot of dumb shit that we shouldn't be doing anyway. And it's going to be impactful, but not the way, I don't think this, I think this could be a precursor to the robots killing us. (audience laughs) Which I do think is inevitable. I think we'll miss it, thank God. But I think our grandkids
might be fucked, you know? (audience laughs) But I think what AI is gonna do, is, and if you're talking about an arms race between China and the US, if you're talking about
humans versus robots, technology eliminates commodity.

And I think AI is gonna
eliminate a lot of things that don't bring value, in 2026, and I think those humans
will find other things to do. Listen, I got, first of all, thank you so much, a lot of you do follow me. A lot of you know I was
a really bad student, and I love always posting my
ridiculously bad report card, but there's one really interesting insight that I hope helps everybody here. Besides gym, the one class
that I did well in was history, and I've only now started
to understand why.

I basically use history very heavily to decide what's gonna happen next. Everybody who's talking about,
AI is so bad, and all this, these articles were written
about machinery around farming. We just knew that we were all farming. We went on to do other shit. We're gonna do other shit. And by the way, I don't
feel bad for a truck driver who isn't reading headlines for 20 years, that autonomous trucks are coming. We gave 'em 20 fuckin' years. (audience laughs) When they cry in 2039, like, "Oh, the fuckin'
autonomous trucks took me out!", I'm gonna be like, dick, you had 20 years! (audience laughs) You couldn't have learned another skill along the way, asshole? (audience cheers) I mean this, and I see
some of you clapping, listen, listen.

I'm unbelievably, I have a lot of different thoughts,
but I will say this. We are living in the
golden era of entitlement. And the quicker you can get entitlement out of your body, the better. And so, yeah. Technology happens. I'd much rather be dealing
with the pre-dawn days of AI, than dealing with the Black Plague. (audience laughs) That happened. To humans. They lived during a time where everybody almost fuckin' died. (audience laughs) So, you know, we complain about dumb shit. You know? The Holocaust was recent. Shit happens. I'm not worried about fuckin' AI, meaning, yes, a lot of stuff will happen, but I don't view it as
this negative arms race. I look at it as phenomenal, because AI is gonna do shit that below average humans do poorly. (audience laughs) (audience cheers) And this is where it's really interesting to hear that sentence carefully. It makes me then think that that human could actually then go do something that they do like, and do well. That's not like, you suck,
human, you should, no. It's not some rogue shit.

It's actually understanding
how humans work, which is when you find something you like, and you're good at it,
life is a lot better than when you don't, or
when you just chase money, or when you dwell that
the system's against you. I like the pressure of technology. I think it leads to a lot of
happiness for a lot of people, who can just look at the
other side of the coin.

My friends, you find what
you're looking for in life. You want to think everything's
negative and fucked? You can find that all day, as you know. But if you want to think
there's a ton of opportunity, and this is the greatest era to be alive, you can find that too,
'cause the math supports it. Pick. (audience cheers) Photo? Is that what you're saying, photo? Yeah. No more questions? Am I gonna catch my flight? – [Phillip] Yeah. – Good, good. Yep, got it. (audience laughs) Awesome, you got it.
(audience member laughs) Thank you guys, have a
wonderful conference. (audience cheers) Thanks for having me. – [Phillip] Gary Vee!.

As found on YouTube

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