600: How This COO Turns Gary Vaynerchuk's Vision Into Reality w/ James Orsini

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to James Orsini, COO at VaynerMedia.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-orsini-4b1aaa7/

A relationship with the right referral partnercould be a game changer for any BBB company. So what if you couldreverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referralpartners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster thanever? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the B tob growthshow, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth.Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come tothe right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get intothe show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here todaywith James or seeny. He is the chief operating officer at Vaner media.James, how you doing today? I'm great, James. Thanks so muchfor giving me the time. I appreciate you chatting with me today. James. We're going to be talking about something that I think is going to befascinating for myself and for the folks listening, with you being the CEO at theInter Media Obviously, Gary Vanyard truck being the the CEO. They're sucha visionary leader. We're going to be talking about, you know, howdo you take ideas from someone who is a legendary of visionary and actually distilledthem into kind of tangible plans and action? But before we do that, forfor that maybe handful of that are not familiar with vainter media. James, could you explain? You know, what is vener media? What areyou guys up to up there? Yeah, we are a full service digital agencywith really a social edits core and its roots. But the Gary isnow created a holding company and Vainer X, which includes a traditional agency model,if you will, with account and creative and planners. We have afull service media planning and buying division, we have a full service of productionstudio and then it's augmented by a series of other offerings, including e commerceand smart products and a talent division and a small business division and experiential group. So Gary is really building a kingdom here under the veiner x umbrella.I love it. I love it, and so, James, just soour listeners can't understand just a little bit more contacts. Can you share abit of your journey and kind of what was the path that ultimately allowed youto cross pass with with Gary? Yeah, it was. It was funny.So I've spent the better part of the last twenty five years in theadvertising space. In one we share, or form, I promise, inpublic relations, which in a company that's now part of the MS andl group. And then I was at interbrand, the branding company, where I servedboth as is chief financial and chief operating officer. In the funny part was, you know, this had you get...

...into the operations and the execution ofdivision. It really started in a conference room an interbrand where the then presidentof North America. We had twelve executives in the room and he said,okay, who here is has great ideas? And twelve people raised their hand andthen he said, okay, who here can execute? One Guy raisedyour hand. You said, okay, great, you're going to be thechief operating off so I was that guy and then went on to become thechief operunning officer at Sachi and Sachi Advertising. Most recently, before coming here towork with Gary and his brother Aj, I was the CEO of a smallpublicly traded mobile media company called PTO Mobile, trades on the Natattack Sioh and, ironically enough, I sat next to Aj Manerchuk about eight yearsago at a Seatonhole University basketball game and next that's how we met. Wejust started talking and he said that he and his brother and a few guysstarted a small agency and we kind of kept in touch and bang around andand about three years ago I called Aji just tell him that, you know, I was going to get back into the big advertising space after leaving CEOMobile, and he said, Hey, jever meet my brother Gary and andI said no, and he said I think you should come in spend sometime with him, and I did and you know, he was pretty clear. He said, listen, I'm looking to build a five hundred million dollarindependent, Integrated International Communications Company and can you help me do it? AndI said yes, I can, and he said, could you describe whatyou're doing one sentence, and I said sure, I take dreams and visionsand I make them into action plans. He's like, all right, you'rehired. I got a lot of done visions. I love it, andso someone that's I obviously follow all of Gary's content. I'm watching his stuffevery single day and the vision that he has is so enormous. What's themost challenging element, James, of taking coming alongside a visionary like that anddistilling that vision down into tangible action plans? It's really allowing the finance and operationsto fuel the vision and not choke division. So often, you know, we are so my opic in our understanding of using textbook applications and andas a result, you know that could really choke a visionary. So sohow do you how do you let it run wild with with some would wecall? I call that scalable organization. So, you know, we don'twe try not to use the term process too much here, but you know, how do we? How do we get some scalable organization? And itwas interesting because he often helps reframe me and what I could do for him. And I remember early on, you know, making a comment like Hey, I'm here to help you keep everything on the guard rails, and he'slike no, you're not getting it. I need you to be the electricmagnetic train. Mean that has me hover above the rail so I move faster, you know. So I mean he...

...often just gives me a little pieceof that nugget and then I'll know. Okay. So I'm recalibrated. Igot a North Star. I know what I'm supposed to be moving against,not it. Could you share any stories, you know, the lot you knowthe last few years that you've been there, James, where maybe heshared something that you thought, I don't know how we're going to pull thatoff, and then kind of just walk us through the journey of the whatit looked like to actually execute that, that particular vision? Yeah, Ithink you know, in each and every day when he has a new offering, it often comes to pass, right, because because, let's face it,what's the saying? The dream without a plan is nothing more than awish. Right. So you know he'll come in. I'll get a quickwrap on the door. Hey, James, the fastest growing segment of advertising andvideo on social platforms. I know how to contest, how to consumerconsumes the content on the platform. Should I be doing the vision? Thevideos? Why are they going to you know, BBDO where out the oneand the answers? Yeah, you should be doing the videos and the Greekbuild me some studios, you know, and then off we go. Andpart of what would by bring here, and it's important to realize there's eighthundred people here helping gary executing visions. It's believe it's not just me,but but I use the tools that he's put around me to help execute onon his vision. But you know it we're today. We have these Dsessions as an example, you know, and I was there when it wasa six PM evening event and he asked to turn on facebook live and wewaited, you know, sixty seconds and thirty six hundred people, you know, showed up to see what he had to say. And you know,he he was said that he was going to have an event that was goingto be like a like a Disney or as appos and you know, givebehind the scenes look at vainer and you know. So then it had tobecome a plan, right, so we had to had to actually there hadto be a curriculum, there had to be the ability to accept credit cards, there had to be the ability to run security background check when the individualscoming into the room. So you know, but it was his vision. Heknew we exactly what he wanted to do. And I don't know,I think we've probably had ten successful events so far with fifteen plus people inthe room. And you know, we're looking forward to two thousand and eighteenand and several more in the Ford events that were running. I've talked toa couple people that have gone through the experience and they have both had nothingbut great things to say about it. So that the speed, I thinkthat's something he talks so much about, is of speed being such a hugevariable to success, and so by you know, he's obviously surrounded himself bymen and women like yourself that enable that speed instead of like what you alludedto earlier, instead of constricting it, you're enabling it. Are there eversituations, James, where you have to tell him it? We just wejust can't pull that off right now? Or, you know, is italways okay, like let's let's go,...

...what's what's down now? Look,there's he has enough people to say to say yes around. I mean hewas painstakingly honest. He's like, look, I'm hiring you because you have twentyfive years of mistakes that I don't want to make. So you know. So how do we do it differently? You know, I want to beinternational, like great, don't do it like I did. You don'tneed to be thirty one office and twenty six countries. You know, wecould service the world from three spots. You know, those kind of thingsare are what it is that we share back and forth. Often Times,what may sound like a no from me is nothing more than just a not. Now you know it's not really a no. So understanding what it isthat he's trying to accomplish and making sure that the pieces are in place.But remember, you know he he's he's fearless and we have a mutual respectfor each other. But we know we different, right. He said,listen, you made a career at a hitting singles and doubles and getting aroundbase, and I swim for the stands every time I'm in the box anda lot of time I'll had a grand slam and the next time I gethit and head with a pitch. And that's okay because that's who he is. You know, I think I'm a good ying to his Yang in helpinghim leverage, and people ask me that a little time. You know.So, so who were you know? Who's your adminess, and I haven'tI know who reports you? I said nobody reports to me. You know. They're like, well, how do you get sued? I said becauseI've leverage is eight hundred people that are that are here to get done whathe needs to get done. So, you know, using the tools thathe has. I'm a I'm a connector so I can see things and realizehow the dots connect to make a picture. And you know, I'm getting muchbetter and understanding what it is that he's trying to accomplish and how inthis industry state. Remember, he's not an agency guy. You know,he runs us much more like it's a platform than an agency. And thegood news about that is that he doesn't come with a hundred and, youknow, fifty year legacy of how things should be done. Yeah, andthe bad the bad news about that is he doesn't know, you know,how things are getting done in this industry. You know, there's fortune fifty thisprocumer departments we have to get through. There's you know, there's channels thatwe still have to do and you know, people ask me. Willkeep you up at night and it's like, how do I not become what itis that we're making fun of? But yet we're playing in that inthat arena. So, so, James, I know that he he put together, I think is a little bit ago now or at least when Iwhen I started hearing him talk about it. But this, I this concept ofthe office of the CEO, which is just a collection of it lookslike, you know, five or six folks that sit around around him thatare really his his eyes and ears in, you know, into the entire organization. Are You a part of that group of people? I work veryclosely with that, with that group, and because oftentimes they are around him, traveling with him at this home on a weekend, you know, ata jets game with him, you know,...

...and he is imparting vision, andthen they'll work with me to figure out, okay, so how dowe actually get this into the company? How do we now actually get thisdone? Yeah, and and make this happen. That concept to me isfascinating. You know, where their sole job is. From what I understand, they don't necessarily have direct reports. Can you kind of explain that model, you know, the office of the CEO, and and the benefits thatyou've seen come out of it from your perspective? Yeah, so there's agroup of people who have been around Gary for four years now and know thatwhen he says something, he's looking to really get something done. So youknow, he has one that's will leans a little heavier on the strategy side, one that leads a little heavier on the operation side, one that leadsa little heavy on the on the account server side and when that leans alittle heavier on the new business side. So depending on which lever he's he'spulling will will determine which member of that group is taken taking the lead intrying to get something done. You know, and remember, for Gary it's allabout culture. Okay, first and foremost it is a culture. Heprides himself on the on the empathetic culture that he has here. We havea very low mandatory turnover rate as it relates to the industry as a whole, and he cares about people. He wants to understand what it is thatpeople really want to do with their life, anyone, and he wants to enablethem and help them and make that happen. So so that that groupalso has a finger on the pulse of the culture of his agency. Andyou know, we work hard to make sure that the vision can be executedwithout damaging the culture. You know, the more I hear him talk aboutthe importance of speed and then I see him of the practical execution of okay, well, how is he actually doing that? And I think putting thosepeople around him is really it's enabling speed. He has those, those people thatare focused on different functions. Well, will gary always says, you know, the creative is a variable factor, right, and there is some subjectivityto that. But you know, you can't argue speed in price.So if he tells you it's Thursday and it's Fiftyzero, do you know it'sThursday and it's Fiftyzero, that we may argue the deliberable, because that maybe subjective. You know what I mean. But but generally speaking, we arewinning because he's doing things faster than most. And then, you knowchange. He's most comfortable in change and in industry that prides itself on itsinability to change, it always talks about, you know, changing and it's doneit the same way for for, you know, I'm teen years.But the fact that the matter is it's not going away. Right, soto even as great as all these digital platforms are, they have to revertto a hundred fifty year old advertising model...

...in order to make any money.Yea. So we know advertising is not going away. But you know,he prides himself on on, you know, advertising in the year that you live. But I mean seriously, if how can you be spending all yourmoney on Ata home build boards and not be spending money on on mobile displayads? Right, yeah, and when people have their heads down, thepassengers in the seats are not necessarily bulking out the window looking at buildboards anymore, they're down looking at their phones. His whole focus on attention to meis is so incredible that he's so agnostic. He doesn't care whether it's facebook orsnapchat or instagram or TV. He's bullish on Super Bowl adds exactly.Yeah, yeah, there's just that profession statement about Super Bowl as should bemore expensive than where they are. When you have everybody just in a tailspend with how you know how expensive each minute is on the Super Bowl,and and his beliefs is like no, the attention arbitrary says a, probablyshould be more money and you should just be spending, you know, alot less around the Oscars as that exam. Yeah, but it's all, youknow, it's all additive, and I think that's important too, becausea lot of people think he is he is just about the social you know, and and it's not. He's about a full service offering that compliments thebest marketing strategy to do what it is that you're trying to do, youknow, acquire more customers, sell more product, increase brand awareness, whatever. That is what I love about this. Is Is this is this is atest lab. He tells everybody. I've built this machine for myself.You just get to use it right and and what's so refreshing for some ofthe like new has been in the space for twenty five years, is hedoesn't ask anybody to do what he hasn't already done for himself and proven.Yeah, so I's like game over, like we know it's going to work. Yeah, now I love that, James. Are you apart that?You know? I know with the forty, the s experienced they they know thosefolks that sign up for that get to they get to spend time withClaude, they get a little bit of time with Gary, they see differentparts of the organization. Are you in that mix of people that they're spendingtime with? So so I have been early on and just coming out ofa meeting that Gary and I had on Friday. He wants me to bemore actively involved in two thousand and eighteen. He believes that there's there's a specialsauce to a veiner operations right now, you know, and and he himselfas an operating cel. So he sensing something, as spidy senses areup, if you will, and he thinks there's more to be done inexploiting what it is that we've developed in a short period of time. I'llbe here three years in January from from a veiner operations mode, a speedplace that can operate as fearless and industry that is fearful. But but remember, speed without control is reckless, right. So we don't want to be reckless. We just we just want to...

...be fast. They have you beenable? You know, you being more involved in two thousand and eighteen,but in the in the you know, little involvement that you've had so far. Have there been any of common themes or any coming questions that you've seenpeople can a coming through that experience? Has that you think would be helpfulfor our listeners to hear? Well, I think they they get an awarenessof how powerful and integrated offering can be. Right. So so let's let's talkabout speed. We had a beverage client. Okay, and we didsome creative and then the analytics group looks at and says, okay, ifthe consumer consumes at least of ten seconds of the content, more likely tomake the purchase. We go over to the media department. They say okay, great, we understand the audience that you're going for. They're they're overhere. Will Run the media here. We do it for twenty four hours. We see a sixty percentage of people abandoning within the first three seconds.We go back to the media department. Said where you running this media becauseI'm telling you, this is where the audience is. must be the creative. We change out the creative. We get that all right and back onthe rails for free within twenty four hours. Wow, that cannot happen in theholding company setting. I know I I've worked for two of them.It's impossible that. First of all, that's to four different companies that Iwould mention if it were in a holding company. Now know, not notone floor here at vain of media, and this is what our clients loveabout us, you know, and Gary always says, doing the right thingis always the right thing. So we just corrected it. We didn't chargethem for it now and so that when you share that with those s clients, you kind of just see their eyes open up at thinking, oh mygosh, that's, you know, the ability, the the speed at whichyou're able to have that fully integrated offering is, I would imagine, somethingthey've they've never even heard of before. Absolutely, absolutely, I mean andjust recognizing that. You know, if that were anywhere else, they'd belike, listen, we did story boards, we did animatics the client or provethe creative. You know, if you want to change the creative,that's a separate scope of work. You know, we're going to need moremoney for it. Will start the engines again. You know, we'll getback to you in the next step. Two Weeks, and and Gary's like, Oh my God, two weeks. That's a freaking eternity. You know. Apparently that's eight hundred and Eightzero plus dollars in Bitcoin. If you isthis is this has been. This has been incredible. I've I've loved thisconversation and it's got me thinking about a whole whole host of different things.I'd love to close out the interview by asking you know, obviously legacy ishuge for Gary. He talks about, like a see being more pertin thancurrency all the time. I'd love for you to share. What is thelegacy that you want to leave? I think for me personally, it wouldbe, you know, to how much...

...has given, much as expected.So I know I'm welcome to help as many people as I can and andhope that they pay it forward. Gary and I are very much aligned andin that and our ability to help people simply because we're in a position todo so. Yeah, so, you know, I think if we alldid that, we'd be in a much, much better place. Love it,James. If there's somebody listening that want to stay connected with you,you know twitter linkedin. What's the best way for them to go about doingit? Yet active Linkedin, James Orciny, and very much so on twitter atJimmy the pencil. Awesome, James. This is again been incredible. Ireally really appreciate your time today. Thanks for taking the time, James. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites likehuffed and posts, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we sendout a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses tothose questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So headover to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you somuch for listening, until next time.

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