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Jay Baer’s Youtility: Why Your Marketing Should Be About Help, Not Hype

Jay Baer’s Youtility: Why Your Marketing Should Be About Help, Not Hype Blog Feature

Bob Ruffolo

Founder & CEO, Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, Recipient of Comparably’s Best CEO ’17

October 19th, 2015 min read

Would you rather make a customer today or gain a customer for life?

In his book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype, Jay Baer offers valuable Marketing advice that challenges conventional wisdom and backs his claims with real-life examples.

In his own words, this is what Youtility is all about:

“If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life. Youtility is Marketing upside down. Instead of Marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is Marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.” -Jay Baer

Consumers have grown savvy to traditional Marketing methods. It’s not that those methods no longer work, they just don’t work as well. Successful companies today market themselves in a way that consumers want to purchase from them, without the heavy sales pitch.

Youtility is a Culture Shift

Marketing is traditionally taught as a linear activity -- you take x action now and get an immediate y result. Since that’s how most Marketers are trained, that is the typical Marketing behavior that we observe.

Baer notes that many business leaders don’t see any value in the slow burn of content Marketing, especially when it’s measured against hiring an entire team of telesales people that make phone calls all day. Ironically, as Baer continues to explain, those same business leaders despise and ignore sales calls themselves!

In the old days of Marketing, the sales call was the first step in the sales process. Today it’s one of the last steps and its occurrence altogether is declining.

Stop Trying to Be Amazing and Focus on Being Useful

Much of the conventional wisdom on Marketing is fixated on trying to impress consumers.

An example that Baer discusses is the fascination with “home run Marketing” such as trying to create a viral video. Many companies think that if they have all of the variables just right, they can create a viral video that makes their brand spread like a wildfire.

Baer says that the fluke scenario in which a video truly does go viral is so rare that it’s lousy goal. He suggests, rather than striking out over and over until you finally hit the home run, that you aim for consistent base hits.

By creating useful content on a regular basis you aren’t likely going to gain 1 million customers overnight, but you will gain customers consistently and exponentially.

Social Media is a Tool for Relationships, Not Sales

According to Baer, sales tweets are a waste of time because when the customer is ready to buy in today’s market, 60 percent of their decision has already been made. Marketers need to get into the buyer’s decision-making process early on to have a real influence. The way you do that is by being genuinely helpful to your buyer persona.

Social media has blurred the lines between our relationships with people and our relationships with corporations. Whenever you log into Facebook, you see posts and ads from your favorite brands right alongside pictures from your family and closest friends.

If someone likes your business fan page or follows your company on Twitter, they are inviting you into their personal life. Companies in previous generations never had the opportunity to form such an intimate relationship with their customers.

Which companies do you prefer in your newsfeed, the ones who are always pitching you their latest deal or the companies that consistently provide useful content?

Use Marketing Trends to Fulfill Demand, Not Create It

When we have a question, we look to Google for an answer -- search is a self-directed activity. Search is an activity consumers perform when they have an urgent need.

Many companies would rather study trends to create demand because innovation is sexy and the idea of shaping our own market is enticing. However, Baer suggests that companies look for the demand that is already there and do a better job of fulfilling that demand than the next company.

This is essentially Inbound Marketing 101 and exactly why we prefer Inbound over Outbound Marketing at IMPACT.

No Time to Read the Full Book?

No problem! In our full synopsis of Youtility, we'll explain Baer's three Marketing strategies: Top-of-mind, Frame-of-mind, and Friend-of-mine Awareness, the three facets of Youtility: Self-service Inforamtion, Radical Transparency, and Real-time Relevancy, and how to apply them to any industry. 

To view the full summary, click "continue reading" below. 

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