I have just finished reading The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck. I must admit that I had very high expectations. It’s not just because I had read Crush it!, because I really enjoyed reading that one. But it’s probably also because I have been following what Gary Vaynerchuck have been doing online for a long time, and he’s just amazing. And of course, I have also attended a marketing conference where he gave a 3 hour seminar.
So, that’s just some of the reasons why I wanted to read The Thank You Economy. But the real reason? Gary Vaynerchuck is brilliant. That’s the real reason why I wanted to read it.
It was like I could hear his voice from the stage when I read the book. I was reading the words, but it was like it was an audio book. And, listening to Gary, is a lot better than listening to my own voice. No wonder why the reading experience was such a thrill.
You might find this review a little different than other reviews, but I assure you, everything I have written is related to the book, and all the quotes I am using is from the book.
Why should we care so much in marketing?
When I talk to people who are not that familiar with marketing, they seem to think that marketing is almost exclusively about advertising. And that it’s all about publicity and attention. Lately, when I talk about marketing, I usually end up using examples from The Thank You Economy, because the book makes it easier to understand what it’s all about.
When given the choice, people will always spend their time around people they like.
It’s the same with companies. I always end up shopping where I am comfortable, and with people I like to spend time around. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a grocery store, or if it’s my dentist or the guy cutting my hair.
Marketing is about people. It has always been about people, but now I believe that relationships are more important than ever.
It’s not the number of followers you have or “likes” you get, it’s the strength of your bond with your followers that indicates how much anyone cares about what you have to say. In this game, the one with the most real relationships wins.
I have more than 14,000 followers on Twitter. But, how many of them do I have a real relationship with? Wow, I don’t know, but maybe 20. I guess it depends on what I consider a real relationship, but at least no more than 150 people. So, why do we care so much about numbers?
The ideal customer experience
There’s a guy I know, he’s a little different. He works at the local grocery store. Well, I don’t actually know him, but it feels like I do. He talks to every single customer. He’s always smiling. He is telling stories. There’s usually a big line by the cash register, but people don’t care, they want to listen to his stories, and they know that soon he will tell a story to them as well. It’s like nobody is in a hurry.
According to Robert Vaksman, Dr. Vaksman’s husband, a lawyer who is also the business’s social media manager, his wife opened her practice with one clear goal: to provide the ideal patient experience.
I enjoy watching people. I especially enjoy watching people smile. I want to be around people who are smiling. I want to pay money to be around people who are smiling. It doesn’t really matter what I’m buying. I’m paying for the experience.
The personal bond is more important than ever
I almost didn’t believe what I was hearing, when Gary Vaynerchuck told us from the stage that some of his best friends was his online buddies. He had only met them for a few minutes offline, but they were still some of this best friends. And that’s because of the strong personal bond that we are now able to create online.
Sometimes I think that the perfect customer is just like me, but it’s not.
A complaining customer who uses social media is a better customer to have than a silent one. You can talk to a customer who bothers to complain.
If we get personal, we eliminate the silence.
It’s not about Twitter or Facebook – it never was
It’s kind of funny that some people still thinks that if they just create a fantastic Facebook Page or get thousands of followers on Twitter, they’ll experience what they believe is success.
It’s still all about people, and delivering happiness.
You never know, you know? You never know what platform is going to explode. You never know which customer is going to mean the most to your business. The only way to prepare for all eventualities is to take some chances, and no matter what, treat every customer, online and in person, as though he or she is the most important customer in the world.
Not only should we treat every single one as if they are the most important customer in the world, but we should know who they are and what they like – just like friends do.
Developing a powerful emotional connection could be all it takes to convince them to consolidate their spending with you. Plus, now that purchasing decisions are directly affected by consumers’ relationships to the people they communicate with on their social networking sites, staying aware of who your consumers know and who they talk to regularly will become increasingly important.
Should I stay or should I go?
Never stop talking to your customers, don’t hide, be at the place where your customers are. Don’t be afraid of failure or that you won’t be as good as your competition.
Be yourself. Create that strong bond.
You don’t have to be Michael Phelps, but for God’s sake, put on a bathing suit!
Listen. When I talk to people, and I do, a lot, I get a strong feeling that there are still many that don’t quite believe how important the shift in marketing really is. Many are still strong believers in creating short term marketing campaigns, and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.
Don’t. Think different.
Put the best people in charge of social media, not the people you don’t know what else to do with.
Finally, what do I really think about the book?
The Thank You Economy is brilliant. Simply brilliant. But, it’s also a book that I find a little hard to grasp. Not so much because of how it was written, but that we actually need a book to tell us how important people and relationships are in business and marketing. Isn’t it obvious?
I believe that the book is providing us with so many great examples of people who are doing things right, and that it provides us with an answer to what type of marketing we should be involved in for the next fifty years or more 🙂
It’s like when you’re nice to someone and then you ask the person a favor…that person is a lot more likely to do something for you if you’ve been a great friend and neighbor than if you’ve ignored him or her the whole time you’ve lived next door to each other.
Have you read The Thank You Economy? If you have, I would love to read your thoughts on it.
Do you have any experiences with being personal in business, and creating strong relationships? Wouldn’t you rather eat at a restaurant where people remember your name and makes you laugh, than at a restaurant with better food but no personal bond?
Let me read your thoughts on this. And, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments.
Image: Steven Rosenbaum