Making a departure from dominant narratives about the digital age, Gary Vaynerchuk argues that the democratization of media isn’t some futuristic new world, but is instead the path back to the Thank You Economy, which finds its roots in small-town America.
The Way It Was
50 years ago, and in the Thank You Economy, business was different. The pace was slower and relationships were put ahead of transactions. The characteristic of the Thank You Economy was thanking your customers with a Baker’s Dozen by throwing an extra croissant in the bag without making a big deal of it. The game was about Creating real relationships and giving incredible service to your customers.
This changed sometime after World War II. Due to the increase in suburban towns and large stores, relationships with customers became harder and harder to build. Going into the future, the companies that are able to capture the feel of the Thank You Economy will be ones who will win hearts, minds, and wallet share.
The Way To Win #1: Instilling the Right Culture
The path to victory in the Thank You Economy is through caring more than the competition. In order to achieve this, there are 6 building blocks you need to implement.
- Begin with yourself. You need to feel love for your customers. the Thank You Economy is about doing hard work for your customers. If you don’t feel the love for your customers flowing through your veins, it’s unlikely you are going to inspire others to do the same.
- Commit the whole hog. You need to commit. This isn't necessarily a huge step, the mental commitment to the movement can be made in a millisecond. However, it must be made.
- Set the tone. Your employees watch and believe your actions more than your words. Make a point of doing something that makes your organization stand up and take notice.
- Invest in your employees. You can’t expect your team to create amazing customer experiences if they aren’t happy themselves. Vaynerchuk says to reward the people who share your passion for the customer and take it on themselves to step up and innovate in the customer experience process.
- Trust your people. The rules you create for your company should be intended to allow talented employees to get more done. Do you have rules that stand in the way of your employees using their best judgment to do the right thing for the customer? If so, get rid of them.
- Be authentic. This one may be cliché but it’s important. If your heart isn’t in it, your customers and employees will pick up on it immediately.
The Way To Win #2: Using social and traditional media together
Vaynerchuk still emphasizes that social media and traditional media may in fact work well together. To him, the main problem with traditional media is it’s expense. Vaynerchuk’s key to utilizing traditional media is to then keep the cost down, then transfer the discussion online once the spark has been made by traditional media. Vaynerychuk advises us to think of our traditional media in terms of movements. With no end dates, the goal of our movements is to transfer our energy into a digital space.