All posts tagged Gary Vaynerchuk

The end is nigh! Sigh.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Last week, I was speaking to a group of people in Ottawa about “Building your brand in the digital age”. It wasn’t a keynote on social media (Mitch Joel and Gary Vaynerchuk already do that splendidly) but I certainly covered the implications that social media can have on one’s personal brand.

One of the participants asked about the speed of social media and Dave Hale, President and Founder of Soshal Group, told a quick tale about looking for office space. He tweeted a real estate agent, gave him 15 minutes to respond and seeing none, Dave tweeted another agent, got an immediate reply and signed a lease later that day.

Some of the group were borderline appalled and thought it was unprofessional to only give someone 15 minutes to respond. “What if he was with another client?” they asked. “It would have been unprofessional for the agent to focus his attention on Twitter opposed to the person who sat in front of him.”

Well, they certainly weren’t wrong. But it does bring up an interesting point.

Clearly, some of us are “all in” on social media. Speakers (myself included) can make it seem like those who aren’t dialed into Twitter 24/7 face imminent career death. Worse, we look down on them like they were carriers of an analog epidemic that combines mad cow disease with the bodily sounds of a Speak-n-Spell transmitted by the Pony Express.

Here’s the thing:

People want to do business with brands that share their values.

And there are a hell of a lot of people who simply don’t value the type of interactions that the rest of us do. They actually want to do business the old-fashioned way and will spend their dollars with those who act accordingly. There’s an actual market of technophobes and I’d be willing to bet that in some categories, it’s pretty damn big.

It’s just that it’s getting smaller. Quickly.

Striking fear and panic into the hearts of people is wrong and it’s probably what creates the mad rush of people jumping into something that they don’t really understand. Next thing you know, we’re clicking “Like” buttons for no apparent reason and desperately asking people to follow us even though we have no idea what it means when they do.

Speakers: Stop screaming “the end is nigh!” and we’ll have more time to do it right.

Listeners: Look at the numbers, believe the trends, and pursue a course of action that’s good for your business, good for your career, and consistent with your values.

Your customers today and tomorrow will appreciate it. 


Ka-ching! Why the Internet is like a cash register.


Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been lucky enough to host 8 of the past 10 One Awards for Moneris Solutions, the company that makes a lot of POS payment devices that link to Visa, Interac, Mastercard, etc. They’re wonderful people and wildly successful (as they should be). It’s interesting to look at their business.

The first cash register was patented in 1883 by the Ritty brothers. It was improved just over a year later when the National Cash Register Company added a roll of paper for record keeping. An electric motor was added in 1906 and then from there through the years, tiny adjustments were made and before long, training manuals for the part-time staff at Athletes World were created. I’m not sure when the phrase, “Let me get my Manager…” was first uttered.

Cash Chaos

When credit cards were introduced, suddenly the cash register wasn’t sufficient anymore. They had to add a “thing” to the process – that sha-shunk slider where, according to Louis CK, “…they had to call the President to see if you had any money”. As we increased the sophistication of our payment process, we increased the complexity of devices that were layered on top of the cash register. We added debit. That needed a new machine. Then we added tap-n-go. That required another device. Then self service through a touch screen thing. Now, consumers are at the cash register with a number of options left like wandering fools waiting for the cashier to say those magic words, “the black strip should be facing you.”

I think our media channels are a lot like the cash register.

Eventually, they’ll all be integrated into one device but for now, we have to live with a collection of wires and confusion around the check out. There’s a lot of talk about the merits of TV vs the Internet even though we know that eventually, they’ll be the same thing. They’ll be integrated all into one register (and those with Apple TV know what I’m talking about). Will we still access it from our phones? Sure, but that’ll be like adding a second cash register for shoppers with 12 items or less.

As we weave through this complex world of multiple marketing environments, it’s comforting to know that someone, somewhere is working on making it easier. I certainly know Moneris is.

I’ll be hosting the Art of Marketing at the Metro Toronto Convention in Toronto March 7th.  You should check it out. Featured speakers include Guy Kawasaki, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Gary Vaynerchuk, Dr. Sheena Iyengar, and Avinash Kaushik