Gary Vaynerchuk on The Thank You Economy

Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy, is about answering all your e-mails, replying to all your tweets, it’s engaging on Facebook fan pages instead of just pushing out blasting e-mails, blasting direct mail, blasting radio, billboards, television, whatever…it’s been push, push, push and I think the world of marketing is going to pull. Instead of the friend that calls you with all of their headaches, it’s going to be the friend that’s been taken for granted, the one that you call. Those are two very different people. It’s the difference between being a service and being a salesman.

I think it’s important to be proud of what you sell, but even if you’re 100 percent proud of what you sell, you have to understand the game’s changing. Nobody likes to hear what I have to say, by the way, because whether you’re a marketer or whether you are a brand manager of a multi- hundred-million dollar consumer brand product, I’m talking about one on one marketing. Truly engaging and truly making phone calls, writing letters, answering their questions, like full pledged customer service 2.0 in a way that we’ve never seen before. For the big companies, that are brand managers and things of that nature, it’s hard. It’s hard because they like buying commercials and billboards and radio and being done with it. For the little guys, they like building lists, sending an offer and watching it come in. I just have bad news. The world is going to look a lot different in five years and the conversions are going to collapse even more. You’re going to look at what you are doing today, the same way you look at somebody right now, who is buying full page ads in the yellow pages.

I’m talking about revolutionizing industries. The world has shifted…it’s becoming strategy over tactic. This is where the business world is going. I want to do business with every single person that I ever engage with 45 years from now, and that’s how I make every decision. Period, end of story. The only way I think that’s going to happen is if I pay forward. If I care first, if I give first, if I do right first, then I can win and that’s it. I don’t know any other way. I want to execute, I want to build long term businesses. If you are building real businesses, meaningful businesses, that really matters. Small entrepreneurs, sole entrepreneurs, marketers, they just want to make money. At the end of the day, that’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with that. They’ve got to pay bills, they’ve got college loans, they want a better life, they want to make money. Corporate America is about climbing the ladder. They are in the politics business, not the sales business, and so I’ve learned that’s why things break down in a corporation because Stevie wants to become CMO, and this is a conservative company, so when we talk about social, that’s too dangerous for Stevie so he won’t support it. He will bottleneck it and that will be that.

Some people might have a list and it’s great. They make a million dollars a year or 500 thousand dollars a year and they like it. They like the freedom and they want to spend time with their kids and families, and I get it. The only thing I’m scared about is that they are going to wake up and it’s going to be gone, and they’re going to be in a tough pickle. Other than that, I think people moving forward, who want to be effective in the future, need to audit their business. You have to think about what you’re doing and what is the most valuable thing you could be doing. Don’t hire a 22 year old kid to do Twitter and Facebook stuff, because they can leave. You need to know it for yourself. I did not grow up with a computer. I’m 35 and maybe you’ve heard me say this, you didn’t know how to drive and you learned that too. You need to learn this stuff because it’s going to be the foundation of our world. I would recommend that people start reading and learning and understanding where things are going. You’ve got to take one step backwards to take two steps forward…and that’s probably the most difficult thing for entrepreneurs to do. I’m not asking you to abandon your list. If you feel proud of what you are doing, knock yourself out, but if you don’t innovate you’re going to die. You need to look at yourself as a politician, because that’s the kind of microscope we’re all under now. If you’re not actually providing value to your end user, if you’re just trying to get value for yourself from your end user, you’re going to wake up in five years and say, “what the heck just happened?”.

Bring small town values back to the modern world. I’ve started running this race five years ago, so that’s why I’m so far ahead. Other people are starting now and they are a little bit behind. If you start in five years, you’re just never going to catch up. Social media is unlike any other media. It’s a continuing conversation. It’s the difference between marrying somebody and having a one night stand. Too many people are treating social media as a tactic. All they’re doing is taking e-mail principles and push principles into social media and it is not working. It’s doing more damage than they think. Please, please, please don’t be stubborn. Don’t be this kid who doesn’t know our business…who doesn’t get it. I don’t want to get an email from you in five years saying, “I should have listened”, because I’m starting to get those e-mails already from different people from years ago. Don’t put yourself in that position and not go all in. Just crawl before you run, but you’ve got to start the process.

For the full episode, check out The one with Gary Vaynerchuk.