InBound 2016: Google Killed Branding, FaceBook Brought It Back

InBound 2016: Google Killed Branding, FaceBook Brought It Back

Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are the Channels Seven, Nine and Ten of today and the mobile phone is the new TV and TV is the new radio, potty-mouthed entrepreneur, social media guru and all-round raconteur Gary Vaynerchuk has told the 14,000 strong audience of HubSpot’s Inbound conference in Boston this evening.

David Hovenden
Posted by David Hovenden

In a wide-ranging address on the evening before the first full day of the marketing technology conference, which will include Alec Baldwin, Serena Williams and Anna Kendrick among its speakers, Gary Vee (as he is widely known) set the bar for ensuing three days with humour, candour and crassness.

Apart from describing social media platforms as the new TV channels, Vaynerchuk said that the winners in this new paradigm would be the people making the equivalent of MASH, Seinfield and Neighbours. In other words, content despite changing form factors remains the key ingredient in gaining the ultimate prize of consumer’s attention.

He also said Google through AdWords destroyed branding because we all became blue, but now FaceBook is bringing it back thanks to video advertising. He said the marketing world was divided between the maths and science of Google and the art and creative of FaceBook video and Instagram stills. To succeed, marketers must embrace both aspects he said.

Vaynerchuk also described marketers as being responsible for “fucking everything up . . . as soon as marketers saw that little ghost (Snapchat) they said: oh I’m going to fuck that up,” he said.

What Gary Vee is inferring is marketers pursued attention and in the process killed the thing that caught people’s attention.

Similarly, he said bulk emails via LinkedIn were the work of the devil and went so far as to make all B2B marketers present during his speech promise to cease sending such campaigns. Also getting a thumbs down from Vaynerchuk was Twitter, which he said was overcharging for its ads given the sheer volume you could buy and the subsequent lack of attention they garnered. He said “this pained him, as Twitter was what made him”.

Speaking of what made him, Vaynerchuk is relatively famous in the US, but remains pretty much unknown in Australia.

His back story is this.

“Gary Vaynerchuk builds businesses. Fresh out of college he took his family wine business and grew it from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years. Now he runs VaynerMedia, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies. Along the way he became a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Birchbox before eventually co-founding VaynerRSE, a $25M investment fund.

Gary also currently hosts The #AskGaryVee Show, a way of providing as much value as possible by taking questions about social media, entrepreneurship, startups, and family businesses and giving his answers based on a lifetime of building successful, multi-million dollar companies. The show is also available as a podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.”

In his own words on stage, ‘Gary Vee’ says he bought the word “wine” on Google Ad Words in the 1990s for five cents a thousand. Now that same word costs more than $30 per thousand and then some.

However it was his willingness to invest advertising at the fringe which gave him “the greatest arbitrage in the world”.

He said Facebook currently represented the greatest arbitrage in the world. He said you can buy Facebook advertising for five cents a thousand but predicted in 36 months you could expect the very same advertising to cost more like $30 per thousand. “Start doing FaceBook ads now!”

Despite the inexorable shift to social media, The Super Bowl still remained the greatest bang for buck for advertisers. “Yes it will cost you $6 million for 30 seconds, but the entire country watches it,” said Vaynerchuk. “Second, is Facebook.”