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“The Thank You Economy” Gary Vaynerchuk,

November 16th, 2011 No comments

For MeetUp Claycord hosted by Mike MacPherson
The Book: “The Thank You Economy” Gary Vaynerchuk, Harper Business, 2011 ISBN 978-0-06-191418-8
This book on social networking, branding, and marketing is deceptively breezy and affable in its tone. The theories espoused are revolutionary to Marketing as a discipline, however. It is organized for the non-reader, (theory, then story): repeat ( for you programmers, terminate@ p. 230). The parts are : Part I Welcome to the Thank You Economy, Part II How to Win, Part III: The Thank You Economy in Action, and Part IV, Sawdust. For reference, The Thank You Economy is hereafter referred to as “TTYE”.
In having read marketing texts for over 30 years, I find this refreshing and fairly low on the Balderdash Scale (indicated by an involuntary gagging reflex & decreased desire to finish said book). His novel hypothesis is that clients are not idiots, sincere & timely communication reaps increased sales & fosters customer loyalty, admitting errors in Strategic Planning rapidly and truthfully offsets said errors, one should reallocate 3-5% of the Marketing Budget exclusively towards Social Media; and keep the lawyers and Public Relations hacks out of the loop. Oh, timeliness is very important in managing your Social Media Program.
This Social Media is new both as an academic discipline within Marketing and as a business expenditure within your diversified media portfolio (p.81).” What are you (the business attempting to go online and not make a fool of yourself) trying to DO? Create a “legacy building culture”. Huh? In non-marketing speak this means using your interactions on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc. to create a corporate culture that the clients, & would-be clients remember you for. In a way that makes them pull out the Plastic. It is up to you whether you generate a response that is
Desired To Be Avoided
Sincere or ‘Madison Avenue Mad Men’ prepackaged and slick, low on content
Cool or Lame (drop the ball after initial contact, betray lack of empathy), sound
like their G-Parents (insert boring authority figure)
Funny or Serious, Pompous, Fortune 500, lawyer-vetted Public Relations speak
Timely or slow to respond or non-responsive.
As a chronological Geezer, I understand the fear that touching a keyboard has to the tyro. You are sure that the GenX’r sitting next to you, helping you, whom you are paying to GET THIS DARNED THING DONE is silently laughing at you. Get over it! They MAY BE, but YOU are the Boss, you are paying THEM & this is just another case of managing your Vendors. Your lack of experience may be an advantage because of your sincerity in reaching out to new customers. Why? Sincerity and Humor in communications will telegraph ( pardon the 19th Century metaphor) itself to people Who Do Know You. They will say “Wow! Old Ted finally got an online presence. I should read this.” To potential customers, who will read/hear of you through your customers’ feedback, your initial and feeble message will be amplified. Take the initiative (p.142), they will get it.
About the corporate culture, Gary (Ch IV) says it comes from: 1. Being yourself, 2. Committing whole Hog (not my phrase),3. Set the tone yourself by example, 4.Invest in your Employees, 5. Trust your People, and 6. Be Authentic. Did I mention this Social Media thing is pretty inexpensive?
The point is this is a new medium, but old fashioned traits like sincerity, caring, and humanity will impress clients: new and old. The lack of “human touch” that we fear through the use of the computer is non-existent. Your using Social Media like an old fashioned “party line” where everyone is listening to your conversation may be the metaphor that demystifies and humanizes this to a newcomer.
How do you address online whiners and complainers? Use old fashioned manners that would make your Grandmother proud. Now is NOT the time for invective. You should encourage customers to speak up, rather than shut up. You might give them an incentive to “try you again” with a discount or freebie. This feedback loop is no different than ‘brick and mortar’ interactions. If someone is legitimately upset at your service/ product YOU CAN TELL, can’t you? And if you give a few ‘comps away, what difference does it make in the Blogosphere/TTYE IF the record shows that you TRIED to Make It Better, rather than badmouthing or ignoring the dissatisfied customer? The difference is YOU are directing the dialog by being involved. As Gary says “take every customer seriously. (sic) Listen, engage, give them what they want when you can, if NOT (emphasis mine), tell them why.”
What does “caring” look like? respond to online criticism, make good on your promises and products, address complaints, be flexible in your responses. Remember although this is a daily conversation with your clients and potential clients, you are in it for the long haul. As to measuring success (in the TTYE), I have a minor quibble. Gary critiques the current metrics of marketing campaigns (Ch II p.38) because they lag the nascent medium. More criteria to assess TTYE success would have been good here, but I guess that makes ME a whiner.
Gary addresses ‘controlling your message’, i.e., what your online corporate profile will be. He realistically says that not everyone will like you. He also insightfully says “if you’re afraid of your customers you might want to get a closer look at how you’re doing business.” These pithy phrases elevate his book from the New York Times Book of the Week, to one I added to my Kindle Library.
Some Of the Axioms of Vaynerchuk are:
Strong customer relationships are the Key to Success
Communications should be honest and open
Good Manners+ High Touch +Integrity= Rewards on Social Media (p.83)
If you want to compete in this TTYE, you must change your approach
No relationships should be taken for granted
Outcare your Competitors
People will always spend time (Money) around people they Like
Social Media’s aim is to turn customers into friends
This book is about leveraging and scaling the relationships made possible by social media
You will win (↑ sales) with open communications in a personal and caring way.

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Yes, I am Old, Grey Haired & Lame

November 16th, 2011 No comments

Hey Guys & Gals: thanks for reading me. I am aware the RSS Feed thing is ‘taking a holiday’. I have just contacted my God ‘O Technology to fix said dysfunction.
Bear with me.