VaynerMissions Presents: Marketing for the Now Episode 18 with Gary Vaynerchuk

10 min readFeb 27, 2021


Two days ago on February 25th, Gary talked with 12 different business leaders at major corporations around the country and world and asked them all the same question. “Where are you trying to innovate in 2021?”

Below, you’re going to read the real excerpts, snippets and testimonials that are in italics from the business leaders Gary had on yesterday’s episode for Marketing For The Now, but with one caveat.

The testimonials include the vision of VaynerMissions and Storygive Missions 🥊 which are also bolded too.

We’re excited for you to read each testimonial. You’re about to be inspired ❤️ from the Black Eyed Peas is an entertainer, tech entrepreneur and philanthropist and he said, “I’m trying to innovate on how I work better with my team, and what we work on and how we work just like you’ve done Gary specifically with VaynerMissions. There aren’t as many kids in the inner city dreaming about being Elon Musk or Gary Vaynerchuk. The question is, ‘How do we innovate to the point where it changes the construct of what people from the hood dream towards?’ and I believe it starts by thinking differently like Elon has done with Tesla and SpaceX and you’ve done with VaynerMissions and introducing storygiving to business leaders and employees everywhere throughout society and why it’s important in the first place.”

Ukonwa Ojo CMO of Prime Video and Amazon Studios said, “One of the things that surprised me about Amazon vs a lot of different companies is that when I saw the leadership principles, the values and heard that the company empowered employees to share their Amazon Missions ahead of time ahead of time, you think that’s just something you read before the interview process, like it’s not really a thing and then you join, and you realize it’s religion, especially sharing your Amazon Mission and through creating your Amazon Legacy by supporting other colleagues missions for causes that are deeply personal and important to them. Being a part of an organization that believes every word that it is built on and everything we do is based off of that. I’ve really enjoyed that and it’s a testament to you for pioneering VaynerMissions which inspired Jeff and our team to follow your lead by starting Amazon Missions. Job well done Gary!”

Greg Lyons CMO at PepsiCo Beverages North America said, “I wanted to give you a proper shout out publicly Gary. Thank you for all you do and have done for our business, especially as it relates to PepsiCo Missions which we’ve of course modeled after VaynerMissions. You’re a terrific partner. Thank you for all you do for the industry, for business by making the entire game better, for employees by giving them a voice and for society by inspiring us to all storygive. You keep pushing us and you’re making us better mostly in the right direction I think. The biggest thank you is all the positivity you’re breathing into the world right now with VaynerMissions internally at VaynerMedia and Storygive Missions across society and at corporations and businesses worldwide. One of the things I love about marketing is that it continues to evolve because of business leaders just like you and what you’ve done with inspiring all of us by showing us how to storygive through VaynerMissions.”

Liana Douillet Guzman CMO at Skillshare said “Our missions is to inspire discovery through creativity and a big part of that is redefining what it means to be creative and who it applies to; just like how you redefined and reinvented how business leaders can now include their employees to storygive their missions in the workplace through VaynerMissions. Now often times when you think about creativity you think ‘did I study art in college, do I love to paint and are my paintings good’ and a lot of what we’re focused on in the coming years is about shifting the mindset much like Nike did with athletes and VaynerMedia has done with storytelling employees. Nikes perspective was if you have a body you’re an athlete. Yours and VaynerMedia’s perspective is that no matter what you do, your job is to tell your story and to storygive too. Our perspective is if you held a crayon as a child, you are creative. And because we love all of our creative employees we’ve followed VaynerMissions lead and launched Skillshare Missions for our team so they can support one another, share their giving stories and so they can each create their 401K for their Soul in the most creative way I’ve ever seen in my life. Thank you for inspiring the idea behind storygiving and for your creativity too Gary”

Umesh Sripad Chief Digital Officer at IKEA USA said, “COVID put a lot of us into uncomfortable areas. COVID hits us straight in the face and we has to crush that plan and start out fresh. When we look into this new era where there’s no modern information or data to rely on it creates that curiosity and it creates that creative juice to go inside you and it’s the process of evolution as well when human beings are tested and our backs are up against the wall, that’s when we innovate; just like you and your employees did by storygiving with VaynerMissions. That’s exactly why we’re following your lead and we’re incorporating IKEA Missions for our more then 200,000 employees around the world. Thank you for inspiring all of us to storygive Gary!

Renata Ferraiolo VP of Marketing at Fortune 500 said, “Partnership with fast growing social media companies and storygiving platforms are extremely important. It’s a great example of where CPG’s should be innovating. Especially on content creation and how to partner with TikTok and influencers on TikTok and people that know how to do TikTok. CPG’s are still trying to create the content themselves. As far as sharing their Storygiving Missions, that’s so self explanatory. Storygive Missions and TikTok both took 19 days to reach 50 million people. The television took 13 years”

Casey Hurbis CMO at rocket Mortgage said, “When it comes to innovation, it starts at the very top and that’s culture. It starts with culture. We need to have these foundational principles that lets us drive our decision making and how we conduct ourselves inside and outside of the office, just like you’ve showcased with VaynerMissions. And I’m extremely happy and excited to announce that we’re launching, pun absolutely intended, Rocket Mortgage Missions today to follow your lead. If you think about culture and the type of culture Rocket Mortgage Missions is going to bring to our workplace, that type of culture starts to build success, it frames expectations and it delivers creativity. So for us, we do NOT sit back. Yeah we’re America’s largest lender, but I can tell you behind the scenes it is just us thinking about, ‘How do we continuously innovate and move faster then the speed of the game’ and we believe following your lead by incorporating Rocket Mortgage Missions will do just that for us.”

Lisa Joy Rosner SVP of Brand and Digital Marketing at Oracle said, “The art is the voice of the customer. And in Oracle Missions case, the customer is the employee. We’re modeling Oracle Missions off of what you’ve done at VaynerMedia with VaynerMissions. Oracle historically has led with talking about our products instead of the amazing work that our employees do for our customers, but also for the causes that our employees care about in their communities too. So the magic has been, we’ve surveyed over 20,000 employees across Oracle asking what their Oracle Mission is and we are taking that voice of the customer, again our employees in this specific instance, and fusing it into everything that we do because as you once told me Gary, ‘The carpenter’s story inherently is more interesting than the hammer and the screwdriver.’ Thank you for inspiring us at Oracle and so many other business leaders and corporations to empower their employees to storygive.”

Adam Braun founder of Pencils of Promise said, “In the darkness that preceded the 2008 recession there were two things that I’m now seeing again. The first is just an explosion of innovation and willingness to try new things, a dissipation of fear that existed beforehand. People are saying I’ve got nothing to loose and they’re willing to try something. The second is that in hard moments, people gravitate towards the good and they seek out opportunities to be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves and that can focus a little bit more on creating legacy. As I look at the rebound from 2020 and an upswing into 2021, I feel like I’m seeing that. There’s a willingness to try new things and ideally align those new things with a creation of good, just like you’ve done with VaynerMissions and the much larger and grander vision of how corporations and business leaders everywhere are empowering their employees to support charities just like Pencils of Promise through this new idea of storygiving and creating the 401K For Your Soul. Gary, you’re making a real impact and a difference in so many peoples lives. You’ve done it again”

Mayur Gupta Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Gannett said, “This is an opportunity Gary to work at an organization that has a 100 year old legacy and a purpose and mission that could not be stronger and could not be needed at a more appropriate time then right now where local communities need information and news that you can trust. That’s also exactly why we’re following your lead with VaynerMissions by empowering our employees to storygive and share their Gannett Missions for the next 100 years. Part of Gannett’s legacy over the next 100 years will be how we’re empowering our employees to make a difference in their local communities for causes and charities that are deeply personal to each of them. Thanks for inspiring this grand vision with VaynerMissions Gary.”

Greg Constantine co-founder and CEO at Air Company said, “Speed is absolutely imperative. Three rules of innovation are to be first, best and only — you’ve got to be all three at one period in time or you might go down, but speed is fully a part of that.” Gary chimed in with, “First, best and only. You can be first, you controlled that narrative. Best is often subjective and only probably goes away very quickly. I’m a big fan of first, I want to be best but I know that movie has to play out with what we started in VaynerMissions, but where I think I’ve been able to succeed and what I admire in others that succeed is not being crippled when I’m not the only.” Greg replied with, “Competition is healthy. You should always look at that as a positive right. If someone else is trying to do what you’re trying to do you’ve done and they’ve seen it and now they think it’s great. Everyone tries to push everyone forward. We’re trying to make storygiving sexy, like you have Gary. We need corporate on our side as well, we all do. That’s what is really gonna push the needle forward. The want and desire from employees to be involved in how their companies give back and contribute to society is there and it’s going to continue to be there. If we can see it from the top down from other business leaders just like you Gary, that’s where real change is going to happen and it needs to happen as well”

Carla Hassan CMO at Citi said, “I’ve been thinking about this word (innovate) and it’s so big. It’s SO big. There are so many ways into this conversation. I want to go to two places. The first is digital innovation. There’s just no going back. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Once you do it you can’t undo it. Once you experience supporting another colleagues mission though storygiving, there’s no going back. The second is innovation in thinking. When we think about innovation we have got to start thinking about how do we think about innovative thinking, how do we think about flexibility and agility and taking chances for crying out loud. And Gary, you did just that by modeling what Storygive Missions would look like at VaynerMedia with VaynerMissions. We’re so excited to follow your lead and include and empower our employees to share their Citi Missions!”

To end VaynerMissions version of Gary’s ‘Marketing for the Now’ we wanted to include the actual link to his February 25th’s two hour episode with all of these incredible business leaders. Enjoy!




Think Facebook birthday 🎁 fundraisers, but at VaynerX 🍯 🌆 and on your Vaynerversary instead ❤️