The Thank You Economy was a fun and insightful read – thanks to the anecdotal and charismatic style of writing. I only wish this book was around 4 years ago when we were trying to make convincing arguments for Social Media.
If you are in a rush here’s the verdict up front: If you are convinced that businesses should be investing in Social Media marketing, this book will reinforce your convictions. If you or anyone else in your company are not, pick this book up.
I will try and keep the summary short, for details refer to the detailed mind map. The summary mind map is linked below and you can get quite a good grasp of the concepts covered in the book from it.
What is the Thank You Economy?
Vaynerchuk explains that the Thank You Economy is a paradigm shift in the way brands are consumed. This shift is a result of a cultural change in consumer behaviour enabled by the emergence of web technologies that facilitate consumer to consumer interactions. These changes effectively reversed the onus of brand communication from businesses to consumers. The concept of the Thank You Economy rests on these changes; where businesses have to steer communications in an environment shaped by consumers.
Vaynerchuk sets out to achieve 4 goals in this book:
Vaynerchuck does touch on all four points, but at the end of this book, there is still much to be desired insofar as concrete and applicable tools are concerned.
How to win in The Thank You Economy
If you skip to the end of the book, you get the bread and butter in a nice two page summary:
After reading these points, the first thought that came to mind was: “No shit, Sherlock!” – but that comes with an extreme bias … I am already convinced of social media’s prominence, and well read on the topic of marketing and customer experiences. Unfortunately, this is still news to some people!
This section I liked in particular, which is why I am separating it out. It is more important to know what not to do than what to do – it is better to do nothing than to do the wrong thing in my opinion, especially with a sensitive matter such as your company’s brand.
Now I know if you’re in marketing, you’re shouting at the top of your lungs “YES! YES! YES!!” like a Herbal Essences commercial – this stuff is real!
Read this with a knowledge that I have an extreme bias – I am already well aware and convinced of the effect social media will have on the way businesses of all sizes and types work.
Half way through reading the Thank You Economy I realised that it was not going to add any value to what we already know about social media. I was looking for tools and take aways, and this book delivers none. What it does deliver however, are some priceless anecdotes – well organised and critically analysed in a section of their own.
Another positive point for the Thank You Economy is that it reinforces beliefs with incidents and cases – and like Gary says in the first section of this book; customer experiences are incidental “honest moments” where businesses show their true colours.
I would take this book, and do as Gary Vaynerchuk recommends: put it on your CEO’s desk with a sticky note that says “Social Media: You’re doing it wrong. Read.”