Gary Vaynerchuck: From Wine Critic to Media Maestro

Gary Vaynerchuck is one of the most sought after public speakers in the business world, offering his insights on entrepreneurship and the digital media landscape at the helm of his company, VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients.

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Gary is accompanied throughout the entire day by his personal videographer David Rock, nicknamed D-Rock, who films his boss during meetings with staff and clients, as well as guests including famous athletes, actors and social media stars.

The serial entrepreneur, author, speaker and Internet personality who launched his career tasting wine for years online, has a popular Ted Talk titled “Do what you love (no excuses!)”. In the 90’s, Vaynerchuck rose to prominence after establishing one of the first e-commerce wine sites, called WineLibrary, where he helped grow his family business from $4 to $460MM in sales.

As the digital advertising landscape booms and evolves, the venture capitalist, four time New York Times bestselling author and early investor in high-flying tech firms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo and Uber, must navigate his company through the disruption, or risk being beaten out by next-gen software providers.

According to market research firm Statista, global spending on digital advertising is expected to reach $336 billion by 2020, up from $229 billion in 2017. At the same time, some of the world’s largest brands are looking to trim down their digital advertising budgets, demanding more out of their efforts by putting pressure on platforms and asking more out of agencies. A recent story published on AdWeek noted that last year, consumer behemoth P&G cut $200 million in spend to reinvest into areas with “media reach” including TV, audio and e-commerce. P&G reportedly reduced spending with “several big ad players” by 20% to 50%, helping reduce 20% of ineffective marketing and increase reach by 10%.

The pressure on advertising agencies to offer up more tangible results and introduce a new level of transparency has spurred digital technology innovation. Last year, VaynerMedia made its first attempt to sell ad-tech software to brands with a new tool called Greenman, which was used internally by the agency for two years before the company decided to offer it directly to clients. The Greenman dashboard tracks clients’ social spend and pulls together campaign analytics across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google and Snapchat. Greenman plugs into each platform's API and integrates with digital measurement vendor Moat.

While brands still rely heavily on VaynerMedia for ad buying, new ad-tech should appeal to a growing number of advertisers seeking control and insight into where, and how effectively, their money is being spent.