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143 of 176 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thank You but No Thank You?, March 18, 2011
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This review is from: The Thank You Economy (Hardcover)
Business books are always looking for that great, new angle. Gary Vaynerchuk's The Thank You Economy is no exception. His keen insight: the Internet economy - especially social media - makes saying Thank You more important than ever. Amazing customer service is his war cry for businesses everywhere, and Vaynerchuk warns us all to adapt (rapidly) to the tsunami of social media that is changing business today.


Since I teach Social Media Marketing (Google Jason McDonald to find me), I always look forward to these books, because every once in a while there is an amazing gem, such as Seth Godin's, Unleashing the Ideavirus - a book that knocks me off my socks, makes me pause, and is the the first time I every thought a thought: that an idea could be a virus, how cool is that?

The Thank You Economy disappoints. Especially in the details, it disappoints.

In The Thank You Economy We are teased, threatened, cajoled, implored, reminded, asked, coddled, hassled, tipped off, and otherwise pounded with the message that social media marketing IS a revolution and we (as businesspeople) had better get prepared. But beyond that? Not enough details! Not enough meat! Not enough concrete do's and don't's.

For instance, the idea that customer service is critical in today's Internet age is hugely important. Some customers - we might call them CUSTOMERS FROM HELL - can make life miserable (and they have) for major brands like KFC, Taco Bell, United Airlines, and others. Should you (or can you), provide amazing customer service to your own customer from hell? What happens when one customer from hell alerts the other customers from hell that those who kvetch the loudest will get amazing perks?

* Vaynerchuk doesn't really explain this, sadly.

So he raises the point that we should have amazing customer service, but doesn't help us in the thickets or weeds. Which customers? All of them? That's not realistic. Some of them? Which ones? When, where, and why?

The Social Media Revolution is certainly coming, but it isn't feasible to do everything for everyone at no cost. That's the starting point for a good book, but in the case of the Thank You Economy, it's really the ending point. Give great customer service. Be amazing. Treat every customer like they were No. 1. Lots of platitudes here, little details. Sigh.

Yelp vs. Zagat

Yelp! Oh my God do I love Yelp. No more terrible BBQ in Texas! No more terrible B&B's in Half Moon Bay! Yelp and stranger marketing have changed - forever - how we shop. Yelp's genius was allowing everyone to post reviews, easily, and to encourage Yelpers to Yelp and businesses to get Yelped.

In the best part of the book, Vaynerchuk has an amazing compare / contrast of Yelp (Free) vs. Zagat (paid), pgs. 38-41. Rip out this part of the book! Paste this part of the book above your desk. It's the amazing, power of FREE vs. PAID, and the hypercharging that FREE gets on the Internet.

This one case study is worth the book, not for its originality but for its CLARITY. Vaynerchuk's touches on other examples (Barnes and Nobles / Borders / Amazon) but drops them. Oh, my goodness, the devil is in those details, and had the book had strong case studies, the Thank You Economy would have been an amazing read.

The customer from hell is another huge social media phenomenon. We get the example (pg. 22) of Giorgio Galante, who took AT&T to task, got tangled with their lawyers, and had an amazing social media ride of it. But not enough. These two anecdotes are incredibly intriguing, but instead we have pages (and pages and pages and pages and pages) of platitudes...

Corporate America is rewarded for hookups and one-night stands, and that's how much respect most corporations show toward their customers. Don't hate the player; hate the game. (pg. 210).

Oh my God. This could be pasted on a "Successtory" poster and put on top of the urinal in my bathroom. That's how amazingly insightful that is. Sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh... I want the details! I want concepts! Death to Successtories!
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2011 10:26:37 PM PDT
Man, I am so sorry, I am really sad I let you down and just didnt think I would see this kind of feedback with the case studies and the extra data but I understand and will learn from this feedback :( I am so sorry to let u down!


Posted on Mar 23, 2011 11:13:17 AM PDT
CDC says:
Yelp and most review sites are horrid. I no longer trust them at all. Too much power. This is the flip side of using Social Media. You can get burned putting your name and business out there.
Read this about yelp...

Posted on Mar 23, 2011 11:14:04 AM PDT
CDC says:
Yelp and most review sites are horrid. I no longer trust them at all. Too much power. This is the flip side of using Social Media. You can get burned putting your name and business out there.
Read this about yelp...

Posted on Apr 17, 2011 1:34:57 PM PDT
Mike Finn says:
So, this book doesn't do it for you, but Seth Godin's Unleashing the Idea Virus does? I guess you've never been told, or discovered for yourself, that Seth stole the concept of the "Idea Virus" lock, stock and barrel from Richard Dawkins, who first postulated it as a "meme". That significant fact, and your ignorance of it, kind of invalidates your entire review!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 7:13:10 PM PDT
Gary, you did not let me down. I read the whole book. It wasn't perfect, but this is an industry in a rapid state of evolution. Thank you for reading and responding to your reviews - that says a lot, and that fact that you aren't like many of the petty little Amazon nasties, earns you ever more kudos. When you have your next book out - I will be your first reader. Go Gary Go!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 7:13:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 17, 2011 7:49:47 PM PDT
Mike, no idea is every truly original - I am sure you know that. So accusing Seth Godin of "stealing" an idea must be a hyperbole on your part. Indeed, is the idea of saying "Thank You," an original idea? Let's be serious! At any rate, the point of these online reviews and discussions is to move everyone forward rather than bring in ad-hominem attacks. Don't you agree?

Posted on May 25, 2011 7:54:16 PM PDT
You are clearly not the target audience for this book.
You "teach social media marketing" (just google me!!). This is not a book aimed at the .01% who "get it".
It's pointed at the stunning amount of business people who are just noticing that the world has changed around them. (and all social marketers who think tactically instead of having an overarching strategy)

I bought it as a simple thank you to Gary for all the key note videos on his site. So much great content all for free.
The book is a consolidated version of his current speeches - and well worth it for the right person (most all except guru levels).
The negative reviews seem to be from Social Jedi's and those who have already devoured Gary's speeches.

To the other 99% of business owners out there - read it. Then watch his speeches. put them on infinite loop at the office.
It takes a while for our brains to fully embrace the level of change that has occurred and is only speeding up.

Gary has an original viewpoint on where social is taking the business world, how to handle it, use it, and ultimately profit from it. and he is probably correct.
How much is that worth to you?
$20 ????

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 8:19:55 PM PDT
One of the coolest things about Social Media is that one can "review the reviewers." So, of course, I checked out your Amazon profile (others should do likewise). Below I excerpt, your ONLY other review, also one in which you criticize another reviewer for a) being less than positive, and b) having a real life, being in an industry, having not just something to say but being actively involved in that particular industry.

So I guess your theory on reviews is one can't be critical, and only novices should be reading books. Really? Because I teach Social Media I shouldn't be reading books to keep up, and shouldn't reviewing them? Teachers can't share their thoughts with students and others? I had no idea that by being a teacher I was taking a vow of silence...

Oh, and for all who read the review flame wars LOL here is Mr. Grumpy's other review. @ least you chose a great handle for your Amazon reviews LOL: Grumpy. Got that right.

- Quote -.
It's not cool to promote your book at another authors expense.
You be the judge. Check out the "interesting" reviews of the Ty Cohen book the previous reviewer is promoting.
But to be promoting that book here is inapropriate at best.

- Quote -

Gumpy Oldman: policeman of the Internet, nanny of the reviewers. You Go Grumpy you Go!. I am so glad you are the self-appointed policeman of Amazon reviews, setting up the useful ground rules for the rest of us to follow. Such as a) only have two reviews, b) both of which are rather suspiciously negative.

Note to all: review the reviewers. Click on their profiles. Read their other reviews. You be the judge of who has a secret agenda. And - keep your sense of humor. Life is too short to be Grumpy and Old before your time.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 2:06:04 PM PDT
Manatee6 says:
To all posters thanks for details of why you do/don't like the book/ideas, and thanks especially for noting other authors with similar books as that helps me narrowing my search for a product that will be meaningful to me. I've learned so much from the discussions in online reviews. It makes me realize how small (if blessedly simple) my pre-information explosion world was.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 4:20:40 PM PST
Sean Dugan says:
I agree with Mike on this point. Sounds like the review author is simply fluffing up his own feathers.
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