The Thank You Economy Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Thank You Economy announces the return of small town courtesy to the world of business, thanks to social media, and shows why you business must not neglect nurturing its one-on-one relationships with customers through the new channels online, to thrive in the modern world.

Read in: 4 minutes

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The Thank You Economy Summary

Yup, it’s about time we complete some more trilogies! The Thank You Economy is Gary’s second bestselling book, and even though it’s done the worst of all three (excluding his new book, #AskGaryVee, which just launched), it’s his personal favorite.

It tells the story of how courtship and one-on-one customer care and relationships have returned to business, thanks to social media, and why businesses will lose a lot of money, if they don’t engage with their customers and fans on this two-way street.

Whether you’re running a business, or thinking about starting one, this book will help you build a base of loyal customers, that’ll support you for a lifetime.

Here are 3 great lessons to get started:

  1. Customer courtesy went from important, to useless, back to super important.
  2. You get the best results when you combine social media with traditional ones.
  3. Live this approach yourself to make sure your employees carry it all the way to your customers.

Ready to woo your customers? Let’s get social!

Lesson 1: Small town courtship went from 100 to 0 and back.

Imagine owning a bakery in 1874. How would you make sure your customers keep coming back to you? You’d probably chat a little with everyone when they come in, since you know most of them anyway. Maybe you’d also give them the occasional loaf of bread free of charge, and ask them about their day, life and family.

Showing an interest in your customers and building an actual relationship with them is what small town courtship is all about, and without it, you were out of business faster than you could spell horse-drawn carriage.

Gary suggests that while this effort to bond with individual customers has lost its importance during the industrialization and move to the big cities, small town courtship is now back, and it’s more important than ever.

When cities first got bigger, there was a huge mass of customers available to every store, so keeping them around didn’t matter much. But now, thanks to social media, this matters again.

Just like your neighbor would tell the whole village that you threw him out of your store back in the day, now everyone can take their complaints public, and massively damage companies’ reputations. For example, when McDonalds tried to get people to tell great stories about it by using the hashtag #McDStories on Twitter, people instead recounted the horrible experiences with their food there.

Things can backfire quickly on social media, but if you take the time to really talk with your customers 1-on-1 there, ask the right questions, and keep them engaged, you can draw on a loyal base of fans for as long as your business is around!

Lesson 2: Combine social media with traditional ones to get the best results.

However, that doesn’t mean traditional media is dead. When Gary released his first book, Crush It, he also used billboard, radio, and direct mail ads. And while those drove less orders than even a few tweets, he reached a certain group of customers he’d never have reached on social media.

It might seem weird to promote a book that’s about social media offline, but how else are you going to reach the people who aren’t on social media, for whom the message is probably the most important?

However, the best results are usually achieved when you combine and mix them, which is called transmedial advertising. For example, you could run a TV commercial showing how your little bakery makes a wedding cake, but keep one secret ingredient hidden and promise to reveal it on your Instagram account, thus driving people to your social media with offline advertising.

Telling a story that circles across all of your channels is a powerful way to keep your fans engaged and curious and gets far better results than just transmitting on one channel.

Lesson 3: Live this approach yourself to make sure your employees carry it all the way to your customers.

Let’s assume your bakery’s grown to 30 employees over the years – how do you get them to jump on board the social media train?

You live it. Every single day. You set an example.

Company values always transpire from the very top, and if the CEO doesn’t give a damn about social media, how can employees? Showing your team that you truly care about every single customer, even if it means just responding to their tweets with a single emoji, will help you make small town courtship one of your business’s core values.

Gary still does it to this day, in spite of having 1.25 million twitter followers.

My personal take-aways

One cool thing about Gary is that he wants to build an empire on being nice, and I think this book probably shows that best. A single 140 character tweet, a single tag in a picture, and a short Facebook message all go a long way, and many companies underestimate the value they create with them.

Not Gary though, he’s always trying to scale the unscalable, by reaching out to as many people as possible, always connecting on a deeper level and treating his fans the best.

If there’s anything to learn from Gary and this book, it’s that caring about people, really listening and being nice truly pays off. Great read, both on Blinkist and in full length.

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What else can you learn from the blinks?

  • How an unhappy customer really ruined AT&T’s day
  • Why Gary bought an Old Spice deodorant in 2010, but then never again
  • How a hotel truly sweeps its guests off their feet by spying on them
  • What 3 out of 4 people think that really should make you re-consider dismissing social media as “unimportant”
  • Why Barnes & Noble missed the social media train and who it lost the majority of its customers to
  • A great example of transmedial advertising
  • How a Milwaukee burger joint plays by social media’s new rules, and why they’re different than the ones in traditional advertising
  • What the Zappos CEO did to give his customers the best experience possible

Who would I recommend The Thank You Economy summary to?

The 31 year old who’s not on social media, because she thinks it won’t matter for her, the 64 year old day one marketer who still spends 90% of his budget on traditional media, and anyone who’s not actively posting on any of his or her social networks yet.