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Sunday Musings #34

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(That’s me and the nephews getting some coloring work in.)

Can ineffective digital advertising destroy Facebook and Twitter? Hell, let’s throw Instagram in there, as its first ad hit the masses recently. Well-respected research firm, Forrester, recently penned a letter to Zuckerberg, claiming that “Facebook is failing marketers“. This, of course, was backed by a new study regarding the industry’s view of the social behemoth as a marketing channel. (In all fairness, here’s a pretty damn good rebuttal.) Around the same time I saw that article, I was shown a theoretical paper about “Peak Advertising“. Julien Smith explains the concept much better than I could: Users are becoming more sophisticated and clicking on ads less than before. Ads are less effective, and are plagued by click fraud, driving prices downward. This will eventually becoming such a problem that it will threaten entire businesses (Twitter, FB, whatever else) we have come to take for granted. Are web companies, built on the backs of advertising as their main monetization play, doomed? Will we see a repeat of what happened to the television industry?

Gary Vaynerchuk isn’t special. Sure, he’s been wildly successful in the wine sales game, in business consulting, as a social media maven, and as a public speaker. But what jumped out at me from this NYT article on both his personal brand and his new book is the lack of insider trading type secret knowledge, of copyrighted algorithm, of special sauce. The article recounts a story of Gary reading through tweets about a recent speaking gig:

As the taxi rolled uptown, Mr. Vaynerchuk wrote back, “That means a lot to me man.”

Naturally, this brief acknowledgment was strategic.

“I’ll literally jab, jab, jab, right-hook this guy,” Mr. Vaynerchuk explained. “I gave him good information, he then responded to it, I appreciated him saying something nice about me. I later will ask if he has pre-ordered the book, and he’ll say, ‘No, but I’m going to do it right now.’ ”

I spent my Saturday night producing a detailed marketing plan for my newest venture, Collabo. As I reviewed and reviewed…and reviewed it, I recognized just how much of its success relies on the same kind of hustle and effort and basic human interaction Gary V. churns out on a daily basis. I guess the big question here is, can this type of output scale effectively?

Opportunities are everywhere. Usually, it’s the overlooked little spaces we pass by every single day that offer the greatest impact. Here’s what I’m talking about:


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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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