“He will challenge your foundation on everything we think we know about marketing,” said DMA president Jane Berzan as she introduced Gary Vaynerchuk, the final keynote speaker of Integrated Marketing Week (IMW).
Over the last thirty years, Gary Vaynerchuk has witnessed the evolution of effective marketing techniques, from marketing his lemonade stand empire in the 1980s, his ecommerce wine business in the 1990s, and his current clients for his social media and branding company VaynerMedia. Vaynerchuk also has a wide investment portfolio that includes brands such as Uber, Birchbox, and Twitter.
The key to his success? Staying current.
Vaynerchuk encouraged marketers to adapt to a modern audience—an audience that will use their smartphones as they drive, fast-forward through TV commercials by using Netflix or DVR, and delete unwanted emails without a second thought. He emphasized the Internet, especially social media, as the biggest opportunity in marketing.
“The Internet has created the second Industrial Revolution,” said Vaynerchuk.
Even within Internet marketing, Vaynerchuk stressed the importance of staying current and understanding consumer behaviors. As an example, Vaynerchuk described his success with email marketing in the late 1990s, when email was still new and click-through rates were over 50%. In 2014, Vaynerchuk said, click-through rates are often below 1%.
“Since when is 0.1% of anything considered good?” Vaynerchuk asked.
According to Vaynerchuk, marketing is a combination of “strategy and foresight, and putting in the work to be a practitioner.” That means understanding the ins and outs of the most current marketing platforms (especially Internet and social media), how to use them, and who is using them.
Vaynerchuk closed by challenging his listeners to ask themselves: “Do you actually know your craft?”