Gary Vaynerchuk said there was only one skill that made him successful. "The only thing I do well is market in the year we actually live in," Vaynerchuk said. His experience includes starting a neighborhood chain of lemonade stands before he was 10, earning $40,000 as a 14-year-old selling baseball cards, and launching the $45 million e-commerce business winelibrary.com in his early 20s.
Marketing is taking place on new media such as Twitter, Snapchat, and targeted Facebook ads, Vaynerchuk said, and at a time when the number of messages vying for consumers' attention is greater than ever. The way the Internet has changed people's lives is on par with the Industrial Revolution. "This is the single biggest cultural shift of all time."
CUs can't afford to worry about alienating existing members as a reason for not innovating, said Vaynerchuk. The culture is getting younger. "Do you know what the fastest growing sector of selfies is? It's 42-year-old females," he said.
As a cautionary tale he mentioned Blockbuster, who declined to buy Netflix for $50 million because it believed people liked the customer-service experience of browsing movie titles in a local store. "Do not be romantic about how you make your money," Vaynerchuk said.