Keynote address – Gary Vaynerchuk
Thurs. morning's Keynote speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk founded a multi-million dollar wine business on line and lived to tell about it. Not only did he live to tell about it, but he's written two how to best-sellers about social media.
His rapid-fire speaking style, peppered with profanities, can be a bit off-putting, but Varnerchuk's message was direct and powerful. Quit focusing your marketing efforts on traditional media because customers are no longer paying attention. Today's marketing is about engaging and communicating with customers in a way that is meaningful to them, and not about pushing out a message about your product or service.
Vaynerchuk spoke passionately about the importance of customer retention and vs. customer acquisition. His view is that companies must truly understand the lifetime value of a customer and commit to building a business around their customers rather than seeking customers to fit their business. Today's customers need to opt-in, and will do so only if you are part of their world. That's where social media comes in he says. Because of social media “Word of Mouth is now on steroids.” Vaynerchuk claims customers spend more time texting while driving than they do reading your billboards – a scary thought indeed. In the end, if you're not engaged with social media you can't tune in to your customer and vice versa.
We'll blog more about Vaynerchuk and his views, but first I've got to read his latest book.