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 partner could be a game changer for any BBB company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the B tob growth show, 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 to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with James or seeny. He is the chief operating officer at Vaner media. James, how you doing today? I'm great, James. Thanks so much for 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 be fascinating for myself and for the folks listening, with you being the CEO at the Inter Media Obviously, Gary Vanyard truck being the the CEO. They're such a visionary leader. We're going to be talking about, you know, how do you take ideas from someone who is a legendary of visionary and actually distilled them into kind of tangible plans and action? But before we do that, for for that maybe handful of that are not familiar with vainter media. James, could you explain? You know, what is vener media? What are you guys up to up there? Yeah, we are a full service digital agency with really a social edits core and its roots. But the Gary is now created a holding company and Vainer X, which includes a traditional agency model, if you will, with account and creative and planners. We have a full service media planning and buying division, we have a full service of production studio and then it's augmented by a series of other offerings, including e commerce and 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 so our listeners can't understand just a little bit more contacts. Can you share a bit of your journey and kind of what was the path that ultimately allowed you to 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 the advertising space. In one we share, or form, I promise, in public 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 served both 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 of division. It really started in a conference room an interbrand where the then president of 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 and then he said, okay, who here can execute? One Guy raised your hand. You said, okay, great, you're going to be the chief operating off so I was that guy and then went on to become the chief operunning officer at Sachi and Sachi Advertising. Most recently, before coming here to work with Gary and his brother Aj, I was the CEO of a small publicly traded mobile media company called PTO Mobile, trades on the Natattack Si oh and, ironically enough, I sat next to Aj Manerchuk about eight years ago at a Seatonhole University basketball game and next that's how we met. We just started talking and he said that he and his brother and a few guys started a small agency and we kind of kept in touch and bang around and and 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 CEO Mobile, and he said, Hey, jever meet my brother Gary and and I said no, and he said I think you should come in spend some time with him, and I did and you know, he was pretty clear. He said, listen, I'm looking to build a five hundred million dollar independent, Integrated International Communications Company and can you help me do it? And I said yes, I can, and he said, could you describe what you're doing one sentence, and I said sure, I take dreams and visions and I make them into action plans. He's like, all right, you're hired. I got a lot of done visions. I love it, and so someone that's I obviously follow all of Gary's content. I'm watching his stuff every single day and the vision that he has is so enormous. What's the most challenging element, James, of taking coming alongside a visionary like that and distilling that vision down into tangible action plans? It's really allowing the finance and operations to fuel the vision and not choke division. So often, you know, we are so my opic in our understanding of using textbook applications and and as a result, you know that could really choke a visionary. So so how do you how do you let it run wild with with some would we call? I call that scalable organization. So, you know, we don't we try not to use the term process too much here, but you know, how do we? How do we get some scalable organization? And it was 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's like no, you're not getting it. I need you to be the electric magnetic 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 piece of that nugget and then I'll know. Okay. So I'm recalibrated. I got 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 know the last few years that you've been there, James, where maybe he shared something that you thought, I don't know how we're going to pull that off, and then kind of just walk us through the journey of the what it looked like to actually execute that, that particular vision? Yeah, I think 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 a wish. Right. So you know he'll come in. I'll get a quick wrap on the door. Hey, James, the fastest growing segment of advertising and video on social platforms. I know how to contest, how to consumer consumes the content on the platform. Should I be doing the vision? The videos? Why are they going to you know, BBDO where out the one and the answers? Yeah, you should be doing the videos and the Greek build me some studios, you know, and then off we go. And part of what would by bring here, and it's important to realize there's eight hundred 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 on on his vision. But you know it we're today. We have these D sessions as an example, you know, and I was there when it was a six PM evening event and he asked to turn on facebook live and we waited, 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 going to be like a like a Disney or as appos and you know, give behind the scenes look at vainer and you know. So then it had to become a plan, right, so we had to had to actually there had to 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 individuals coming into the room. So you know, but it was his vision. He knew 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 in the room. And you know, we're looking forward to two thousand and eighteen and and several more in the Ford events that were running. I've talked to a couple people that have gone through the experience and they have both had nothing but great things to say about it. So that the speed, I think that's something he talks so much about, is of speed being such a huge variable to success, and so by you know, he's obviously surrounded himself by men and women like yourself that enable that speed instead of like what you alluded to earlier, instead of constricting it, you're enabling it. Are there ever situations, James, where you have to tell him it? We just we just can't pull that off right now? Or, you know, is it always 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 he was painstakingly honest. He's like, look, I'm hiring you because you have twenty five 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 be international, like great, don't do it like I did. You don't need to be thirty one office and twenty six countries. You know, we could service the world from three spots. You know, those kind of things are 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 is that 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 respect for each other. But we know we different, right. He said, listen, you made a career at a hitting singles and doubles and getting around base, and I swim for the stands every time I'm in the box and a lot of time I'll had a grand slam and the next time I get hit 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 helping him leverage, and people ask me that a little time. You know. So, so who were you know? Who's your adminess, and I haven't I know who reports you? I said nobody reports to me. You know. They're like, well, how do you get sued? I said because I've leverage is eight hundred people that are that are here to get done what he needs to get done. So, you know, using the tools that he has. I'm a I'm a connector so I can see things and realize how the dots connect to make a picture. And you know, I'm getting much better and understanding what it is that he's trying to accomplish and how in this 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 the good news about that is that he doesn't come with a hundred and, you know, fifty year legacy of how things should be done. Yeah, and the 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 this procumer departments we have to get through. There's you know, there's channels that we still have to do and you know, people ask me. Will keep you up at night and it's like, how do I not become what it is that we're making fun of? But yet we're playing in that in that arena. So, so, James, I know that he he put together, I think is a little bit ago now or at least when I when I started hearing him talk about it. But this, I this concept of the office of the CEO, which is just a collection of it looks like, you know, five or six folks that sit around around him that are really his his eyes and ears in, you know, into the entire organization. Are You a part of that group of people? I work very closely with that, with that group, and because oftentimes they are around him, traveling with him at this home on a weekend, you know, at a jets game with him, you know,...

...and he is imparting vision, and then they'll work with me to figure out, okay, so how do we actually get this into the company? How do we now actually get this done? Yeah, and and make this happen. That concept to me is fascinating. 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 that you've seen come out of it from your perspective? Yeah, so there's a group of people who have been around Gary for four years now and know that when he says something, he's looking to really get something done. So you know, 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 leads a little heavy on the on the account server side and when that leans a little heavier on the new business side. So depending on which lever he's he's pulling will will determine which member of that group is taken taking the lead in trying to get something done. You know, and remember, for Gary it's all about culture. Okay, first and foremost it is a culture. He prides himself on the on the empathetic culture that he has here. We have a 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 that people really want to do with their life, anyone, and he wants to enable them and help them and make that happen. So so that that group also has a finger on the pulse of the culture of his agency. And you know, we work hard to make sure that the vision can be executed without damaging the culture. You know, the more I hear him talk about the 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 those people around him is really it's enabling speed. He has those, those people that are focused on different functions. Well, will gary always says, you know, the creative is a variable factor, right, and there is some subjectivity to 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's Thursday and it's Fiftyzero, that we may argue the deliberable, because that may be subjective. You know what I mean. But but generally speaking, we are winning because he's doing things faster than most. And then, you know change. He's most comfortable in change and in industry that prides itself on its inability to change, it always talks about, you know, changing and it's done it the same way for for, you know, I'm teen years. But the fact that the matter is it's not going away. Right, so to even as great as all these digital platforms are, they have to revert to 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 your money on Ata home build boards and not be spending money on on mobile display ads? Right, yeah, and when people have their heads down, the passengers 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 me is is so incredible that he's so agnostic. He doesn't care whether it's facebook or snapchat 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 be more expensive than where they are. When you have everybody just in a tail spend 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, probably should be more money and you should just be spending, you know, a lot less around the Oscars as that exam. Yeah, but it's all, you know, it's all additive, and I think that's important too, because a 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 the best marketing strategy to do what it is that you're trying to do, you know, acquire more customers, sell more product, increase brand awareness, whatever. That is what I love about this. Is Is this is this is a test 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 of the like new has been in the space for twenty five years, is he doesn'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 those folks that sign up for that get to they get to spend time with Claude, they get a little bit of time with Gary, they see different parts of the organization. Are you in that mix of people that they're spending time with? So so I have been early on and just coming out of a meeting that Gary and I had on Friday. He wants me to be more actively involved in two thousand and eighteen. He believes that there's there's a special sauce to a veiner operations right now, you know, and and he himself as an operating cel. So he sensing something, as spidy senses are up, if you will, and he thinks there's more to be done in exploiting what it is that we've developed in a short period of time. I'll be here three years in January from from a veiner operations mode, a speed place 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 been able? 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 seen people can a coming through that experience? Has that you think would be helpful for our listeners to hear? Well, I think they they get an awareness of how powerful and integrated offering can be. Right. So so let's let's talk about speed. We had a beverage client. Okay, and we did some creative and then the analytics group looks at and says, okay, if the consumer consumes at least of ten seconds of the content, more likely to make 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 over here. 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 because I'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 on the rails for free within twenty four hours. Wow, that cannot happen in the holding 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 I would mention if it were in a holding company. Now know, not not one floor here at vain of media, and this is what our clients love about us, you know, and Gary always says, doing the right thing is always the right thing. So we just corrected it. We didn't charge them 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 my gosh, that's, you know, the ability, the the speed at which you're able to have that fully integrated offering is, I would imagine, something they've they've never even heard of before. Absolutely, absolutely, I mean and just recognizing that. You know, if that were anywhere else, they'd be like, listen, we did story boards, we did animatics the client or prove the creative. You know, if you want to change the creative, that's a separate scope of work. You know, we're going to need more money for it. Will start the engines again. You know, we'll get back 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 is this is this has been. This has been incredible. I've I've loved this conversation 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 is huge for Gary. He talks about, like a see being more pertin than currency all the time. I'd love for you to share. What is the legacy that you want to leave? I think for me personally, it would be, 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 and hope that they pay it forward. Gary and I are very much aligned and in that and our ability to help people simply because we're in a position to do so. Yeah, so, you know, I think if we all did 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 doing it? Yet active Linkedin, James Orciny, and very much so on twitter at Jimmy the pencil. Awesome, James. This is again been incredible. I really really appreciate your time today. Thanks for taking the time, James. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like huffed and posts, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening, until next time.

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