Note: Upon her indictment on federal money laundering charges and her arrest February 8, 2022, Inc. dismissed Heather Morgan as a contributing columnist. As is our practice, we do not unpublish editorial content, and rather have added this note for full transparency.
That's obviously not likely to happen, but most companies in this space could stand to give their sales and marketing approaches a makeover. For all the talk around "disruption" and "innovation," most either practice bad sales and marketing or cling to a format that only works with Fortune 1000 brands. Either way, many tech startups selling to other businesses fail to take advantage of the faster, low-cost software and more-efficient processes out there, and their brands suffer as a result.
Vaynerchuk wants to change all of that. His full service digital-marketing agency, VaynerMedia, already helps Fortune 500 brands capture consumer attention across established and emerging digital platforms. The company's newest division, VaynerBeta, will do the same for smaller businesses.
He's been an advocate of entrepreneurship and small business since his days as a kid selling baseball cards. Thanks to his early adoption of YouTube, Google Adwords, and viral marketing, Vaynerchuk was able to grow the family-owned Wine Library from a $4 million business to a $60 million one. Meanwhile, he plans to use VaynerBeta to help other startups and entrepreneurs overcome some of the marketing obstacles many small companies face early on.
Vaynerchuk discussed this and much more in his keynote talk for this week's Align 2017 virtual conference. Here are three steps he recommends business-to-business companies take in 2017 to push their sales and marketing departments into the future:
1. Align and understand one another
In most companies, there's significant friction between the sales and marketing departments because each has a different objective--sales needs to make numbers, marketing has to to build credibility and presence. Vaynerchuk uses a very simple metaphor for this situation: offense hates the defense and vice versa.
That needs to change. The heads of sales and marketing departments must do this by "deploying empathy." In other words, the two groups should work to learn one another's positions, goals, and obstacles in order to make them a strong cohesive unit. According to Vaynerchuk, this alignment matters more than anything else right now when it comes to sales and marketing.
2. Make Facebook video commercials
For B2B tech companies, this is currently the biggest area for potential growth. In fact, if Vaynerchuk had his way, every B2B software company in the world would make a $150,000 Facebook video that mimics a scene from "The Office" or paints a picture of a dream scenario a la ESPN's "SportsCenter." (Watch the full keynote for more on how he imagines companies could do this.)
Facebook videos are to 2017 what Google AdWords were to the beginning of this century: a cheap, accessible, and fun way to market a brand. This is especially important for smaller brands who lack big budgets but can afford to add humor and personality to their message.
3. Do right by the universe
In other words, karma matters, whether it's solving a potential client's problem before they buy anything or living the simple mantra of "do the right thing" on a daily basis. Vaynerchuk is so emphatic about this that he spent the entire first portion of the Align 2017 keynote explaining how small, generous actions speak volumes about another person's worldview, and ultimately make them a connection others want to have.
Hear more of his thoughts on sales, marketing, and the business-to-business space by watching Vaynerchuk's keynote at Aligned 2017.