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The Thank You Economy – The Truth!

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.

Your turn

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



28 responses to “The Thank You Economy – The Truth!”

  1. Magnus says:

    Fantastisk innlegg!

    Jeg er enig i alt dette og kjenner meg igjen. Jeg har jobbet med salg og markedsføring i snart 15 år. Jeg vet at hvis man byr på seg selv og gir kunden og menneskene rundt seg en god følelse og byr på godt humør, vil de trives i ditt selskap. Det gjelder alle mennesklige relasjoner. Til min sjef sier jeg at i møter er jeg 90% sosial og snakker 10% jobb. Jeg “selger meg selv” og skaper tillitt. Mine nysalg i dag er stort sett anbefalninger og gode ord fra andre.

    Jeg tror jeg vet hvem du sikter til i lokalbutikken også (Brødløs Kiwi) Hvis det er han så er han en kjempe ressurs for butikken med sitt smil og engasjement.

    Har man et godt vennskapsforhold til sin kunde vil han velge deg for din skyld, ikke pris. Han vil, som du skriver, velge deg fremfor konkurrenten. Mange av mine kunder jobber jeg så tett på at jeg ser på de som venner.

    Det er mange av de store reklamebyråene som fortsatt ikke anbefaler sine kunder å være på sosiale medier. De tjener mer penger på annonser i aviser og på tv. Skal man gjøre en god markedsføringsjobb må man kjenne til hvor forbrukeren er og hvordan kjøpsmønsteret fungerer nå. Jeg kjøper ikke et nytt merke barberskum fordi en reklamesnutt viser meg noe nytt i en filmpause på tv3, eller en halvside i VG.

    Takk for et lærerikt og flott innlegg. Jeg må bestille boka 🙂

    Hilsen Magnus

    • jens says:

      Hei,

      Tusen takk for tilbakemeldingen.

      Du har helt rett når det gjelder Kiwi, det er han jeg sikter til – genial fyr. 🙂

      Det er mange som ikke forstår at selve den personlige opplevelsen er hovedpoenget. En annonse, f.eks. for barberskum på TV3 vil som regel ikke gi stort dersom du ikke allerede har et forhold til firmaet, evt. det ikke finnes noe bra barberskum fra før.

      Det er veldig interessant det du sier om de store reklamebyråene. Mange vil nok ikke ønske at de skal evt. tjene mindre penger på kundene, og derfor ikke ønske at de skal gjøre ting selv, eller gå over til nye plattformer. Det er jo vanvittig mye dyrere på TV og i aviser 🙂

      Boka var knallbra, anbefaler den sterkt. Veldig inspirerende, og spesielt du vil få en tilbakemelding om at du gjør ting riktig 🙂

  2. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Another great article! It’s so funny, when you were first describing the importance of personal attention, I was thinking of the clerk in our local grocery store, Bill. He is an older gentleman who is intent on giving every customer the best possible experience. Even if I only have a few items, I will wait in a long line for his checkout lane so I can see Bill.

    It’s great that you have 14,000+ followers on Twitter. I imagine it’s the warmth you convey to your readers that make them want to follow you!

    Best wishes for much continued success with your online relationships. And your real ones! 🙂

    • jens says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      I would have really enjoyed buying from Bill. I really enjoy people who understand the importance of personal attention. But, there’s a fine line between being personal and friendly and too friendly if you know what I mean. I have been to shops where the clerk just won’t seem to leave me alone and that’s just annoying 🙂

      Thanks again for all your support Carolyn, I really appreciate it.

  3. Bettie J. Brown says:

    Marketing is very important in all businesses… I believe that a great marketing strategy can help improve the business and bring to a success…

    • jens says:

      Hi Bettie,

      I tottaly agree with you, a marketing strategy is very important. Gary V’s strategy is more important than many other strategies I have read about 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your feedback.

      Jens

  4. john Falchetto says:

    Hi Jens,

    I met Gary last month in NY and was under his spell during his speech. He is a very gifted orator. I didn’t enjoy his book as much as I enjoyed listening to him.
    I picked up a few statements, one of them I sent to Gini and she posted an article where Gary came over and answered her feedback.
    Do I think he is a great businessman? Yes absolutely but I am not sure his ghost writer does a good job at translating his speech.

    • jens says:

      Hi John,

      I completely agree with you when it comes to Gary’s speech. I attended his seminar in Norway, but I guess it was much the same stuff he was talking about and he was a little tired after the long flight 🙂

      I also agree that his books are not as good as being in the same room as him. But I really enjoyed both of them. I like the examples that he’s using, they make it so easy to understand how “regular” people should do what he is doing. I also enjoy how easy it was to read. I have read marketing books that I had a really hard time finishing, but this one, I should have finished it during one day 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your comment John, have a great day… it’s even sunny in Norway right now 🙂

      • Lori Gosselin says:

        Hi Jens, Hi John,
        I haven’t met Gary, nor read this book yet, but I listened to Crush It on audio rather than reading it. I can imagine it would be hard to read his work after hearing him speak. He really can tell a story well!
        Is this new book available on audio?
        Lori

        • jens says:

          Hi Lori,

          I have searched for the audio version on Amazon and audible, but it seems that the only audio version is the kindle one. It says that the Kindle version of the book is with both video and audio.

          Thanks a lot for your comment.

          • paul wolfe says:

            See, now I’d disagree with JF. I think the ghostwriter does an excellent job of ‘translating’ Gary’s voice onto the page.

            Of course, he is such a powerful person that getting the words down AND being able to communicate the vibrancy with which he speaks is just about impossible.

            But I think she does a pretty good job!

            Paul

  5. Steve says:

    Jens,

    I still haven’t read this book. But I have it and I am looking for to it.

    Gary V. Is one of my favorite entrepreneurs. I love his energy and style. Crush it…though short, was full of inspiration.

    Hopefully, along with a fiction book I have been waiting to read for a long time I will get the time to really read 9and savor) this soon enough.

    Thanks for a great review!
    —-

    I love your comments on customer/businessman interaction.

    I agree wholeheartedly. It is hard to sometimes make connections in what is becoming an impersonal world.

    But when you are the guy that greets everyone and goes does that extra little bit…it stands out and really makes a difference.

    -Steve

    • jens says:

      Hi Steve,

      Yes, Crush it was short wasn’t it, but still, it was a good book with lots of interesting stuff. It reminded me a little of the books that Seth Godin writes (they are short as well).

      What fiction book are you reading? I love fiction, and I have bought a Kindle, so I read more than ever and need some good books for the summer 🙂

      By the way, what you are doing on the web is amazing. I am learning so much from your blog. Thanks a lot for sharing everything you share. And I’m definitively going to buy some of your products after my vacation.

      Jens

  6. Adrienne says:

    Great review on the book Jens, thanks for sharing that with us. As you know, I haven’t read the book yet but 100% agree with what Gary shares.

    I have an older friend whose husband works at a grocery store as a sacker. He’s been having health problems lately so she went to the store and told them that he was going to have to quit. They begged her to convince him not to. Some of their customers come to their store just to see Chuck, no other reason. He is the face of that store and they love him so much they will bend over backwards to keep him. I’ve met the man and he’s wonderful but I love that others enjoy being around him as well.

    Personally, I do go to a lot of stores that although they may not know my name, they are gracious, courteous, eager to help and bend over backwards to make my experience a good one. That’s the kind of store I’ll always return to over any other one.

    I try to give my prospects and customers the same consideration. Some of my readers have told me that it didn’t matter what kind of product I create, they’ll purchase it from me because they know that it will be a good one and I’ll always be here to help.

    Too bad people have to read a book to get this concept. At least this way there are no more excuses right!

    Thanks Jens, appreciate your honest review.

    Adrienne

    • jens says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      I really enjoy the phrase “bend over backwards,” that says it all, and that’s exactly what we should be doing for our customers.

      What I really enjoy at businesses is when I understand that it’s part of the culture, and not just one man. The clerk I talked about, he’s the only one that is like this, the rest of the people at the store are average. And that’s the same almost everywhere I go. I discover one man or one woman and they are amazing, the rest is more or less average

      Thanks a lot for your constant support Adrienne. It’s amazing!

      Jens

  7. Wim says:

    Hi Jens, I’m a big fan of Gary and the conversational tone of his books. Sometimes I feel like he’s repeating himself, but that’s inevitable if you’re speaking as much as he does.

    I think the core message is very powerful: be personal and be a giver. Don’t expect anything in return, just provide value and the rest will come.

    Thanks for your honest review,
    Wim

    • jens says:

      Hi Wim,

      I absolutely agree. I really enjoy the conversational tone as well, and since I’ve already been to one of his seminars, it feels like he’s actually talking to me through his books 🙂

      It’s all about providing value. He makes it so easy to understand. And that’s why I am recommending the book to everybody I know, especially Norwegians (because it’s easy to understand) 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

  8. Jane says:

    Haven’t read this book yet, but there are many good point here. That marketing is about people, not advertising is very true, but it’s something not everyone understands unless they’re already in the marketing business. With people relying on technology to do things for us more often, it’s important to keep things personal. That includes the way we conduct our business.

    • jens says:

      Hi Jane,

      I discovered how impersonal a marketing conference was, when all the people in the audience where just looking at their laptops or iPads, and not on the person on stage. It was a very interesting experience. On the other hand, it might be that all the people in the audience were actually communicating with other people online and not paying attention what was happening in the “real world.”

      To me, it seems that we’re becoming more personal online, and forgetting about the offline world. What do you think?

      Thanks a lot for your very interesting comment.

      Jens

  9. Eddie Gear says:

    Hi Jens,

    This is a good review. I liked the book, but I liked Crush it! Even more. I read one of your comments on Adrienne’s blog and thought I could share some information with you about products and how you can sell them to generate leads, even from free products.

    You can very much use your 21 Days to Marketing Success as your product even if its free, I see that you are building a list with it and its good. Blogging is just a form of new media marketing nothing much. So you can either market your product or talk about the current trends. If there is any help that you need, please write to me.

    • jens says:

      Hi Eddie,

      I’m actually not sure if I enjoyed Crish it! more than the Thank You Economy. It’s been a while since I read it, so it’s kind of hard to compare the two books. But, I do agree that both are awesome.

      That’s awesome that you found me via Adrienne’s blog. That woman is just brilliant.

      I haven’t been promoting my “21 days to marketing success” other than at my blog. I want to edit it, and make it a better “product” first, before I do any other types of promotion for it. But I understand what you’re saying.

      I haven’t created my own product to sell yet, but I have been thinking about it for a while. What about you, have you created your own product that you actually sell? I would love to get some information about the process if you have.

      Thanks a lot for your comment Eddie.

      Jens

      • Eddie Gear says:

        I am working on a Product (free). An eBook that i am giving away to all my subscribers. Its simple and it tells you the various techniques available for you to build backlinks. And if you have the time, determination and effort you can surely rank on the first page of Google. I am also working on a SEO Start guide for Newbies ( 6 part ecourse). I do have a few other ideas, however as of now, i need to complete the projects that I’ve started. As for a product to sell, I need to get the budget set right. Once that is done, I am all set to go.

        • jens says:

          Sounds like a good strategy. I have also thought about writing a new ebook that I’ll be giving away for free. But, will you add some affiliate links to it, in order to make some money?

          • Eddie Gear says:

            Certainly Jens, an Aff link does not harm anyone. Also make sure that you are not selling the product in anyway in the ebook can be a boost. As you would be legit and only point them to some tools that they might like. I do add some links but again they would be more like resources that you can use kinda stuff.

  10. paul wolfe says:

    Hey Jens

    I think the people who have the most to learn from the Thank You Economy are those big businesses that have treated us like crap for too long.

    Now – with the reach of social media like Twitter and Facebook – we can post our stories and share our bad (or more rarely good) experiences with them.

    And more and more of these businesses will wake up to the fact that fobbing disapointed customers off won’t cut it anymore – because before you know it, the story is in front of potentially hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook and the like.

    That’s what the Thank You Economy is all about to me – you summed it up with the quote about treating everyone as the best customer in the world.

    Cool review – thank you!

    Paul

  11. jens says:

    Thanks a lot for the feedback. I’ll be writing reviews of several very interesting marketing books. So, stay tuned 🙂

  12. Heather Smith says:

    Well crafted article, as you have said “Should I stay or should I go”,we must not be afraid of failures, be at the place where our customers are and the most important thing is be who we are, thank you very much learned greatly from this.

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