Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk - Business Book Review - An Authentic, Caring Business Era

Entrepreneur extraordinaire, Internet rock star and Crush It! author, Gary Vaynerchuk, returns with his second book, entitled The Thank You Economy.

The Thank You Economy heralds an era when companies, big and small, are developing authentic, meaningful interactions with customers. Those bonds are nurtured by Web 2.0 technology, known as social media. Consumers are now empowered to make or break a brand or business via these web applications.

Social media makes the Internet an open, level playing field, where any limits to how far you want to spread your message and brand is self-imposed.

If you've unsuccessfully tried using social media, Vaynerchuk says it's because of one of two reasons:

Your product or service isn't any good.You're doing it wrong. Intent matters, instead of just going through the motions.

He assumes it's due to the second reason; and offers solutions to redirect your approach.

"Social media is a marathon, not a sprint," says Vaynerchuk. Unfortunately, corporate America and Wall Street are slow to change, choosing to focus on short-term goals (often tied to bonuses), rather than the long-term gains social media can generate.

Many business leaders still fail to see that the game has changed. "Those changes are going to be insane in five years!" he says.

The Thank You Economy features eleven excuses companies use to justify their social media avoidance, and Vaynerchuk's rebuttals. They include:

There's no return on investment (ROI).Social media is just another trend that will pass.

Vaynerchuk acknowledges that many people still aren't "there" yet in regards to social media. While traditional marketing remains vital, ideally, in the Thank You Economy, it's creatively combined with social media for best results, allowing you to extend your story, continue the conversation and connect with your audience. It's an easy strategy to sell to your team or clients.

The Thank You Economy requires that companies take every customer seriously. You can never know who is potentially a big customer. It's important to listen to and engage with consumers. Give them what they want when you can, and when you can't, give an honest reason why.

Big and small companies and online businesses too should allow employees at every level to express their personalities, heart and soul.

Burgeoning mobile technology ("Please tell me you have a mobile strategy," he says) facilitates real time search results. Vaynerchuk predicts the decline of search engine optimization (SEO) applications. Consumers can now use Facebook and Twitter to solicit immediate recommendations and contextual social search while shopping.

The Thank You Economy is much bigger than social media; and promotes "shock and awe." Increasingly, businesses will need to transcend offering discounts and free shipping to entice customers, which are now considered perfunctory practices.

RCV is the relationship context value of a business initiative. Brand or business allegiance can result from a few, one-time expenses incurred by a company's generosity. Examples include tourist attractions engaged with Facebook or Twitter followers that randomly select winners for an all-expense paid trip. The consumer's positive word of mouth via social media is priceless. Handwritten notes sent along with a rose or small gift to customers also displays memorable appreciation.

Vaynerchuk concludes that marketing has gotten harder. It now competes against infinite information overload and consumers' short attention span. The only way brands or businesses can endear customers' hearts and minds is via a virtual door-to-door campaign.

He believes it's an exciting time to be in business; and those who embrace the Thank You Economy will reap the most benefits.

"More Thoughts On..." is Vaynerchuk's chapter allowing him to comment on a variety of topics. Regarding getting started with social media, he says, "You don't have to be Michael Phelps, but for God's sake, put on a bathing suit!"

Vaynerchuk held a jacket design contest for The Thank You Economy. While there could only be one winner, he honors many of the submissions by showcasing their talents on 16, vibrantly colored pages at book's end.

For those readers who want the digest form of the book, Vaynerchuk provides a Thank You Economy checklist. While helpful, much of his message is lost in such short statements.

The Thank You Economy trumps Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, Vaynerchuk's first book. Vaynerchuk himself acknowledges that his follow up is a more in-depth, stronger read.

If you're new to the Thank You Economy experience, or interested in it's latest information, Gary Vaynerchuk, a quintessential entrepreneur and visionary, leads the way.

To read more about The Thank You Economy, visit, http://thankyoueconomybook.com/.

Timothy Zaun is a blogger, speaker and freelance writer. Visit him online at http://timzaun.com/.

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