How Youtility Can Change Your Marketing

Sarah Fischer / 10th October 2013 / Comments: 3 / Book Review


The book: Youtility, by Jay Baer

The big idea: In the introduction to his newest book, Youtility, Jay Baer states there are “only two ways for companies to break through an environment that is unprecedented in its competitiveness and cacophony. They can be ‘amazing’ or they can be useful.” This statement sets up the premise for the entire book: be useful to your customers before they are your customers. The way customers decide what to purchase has changed, and marketing strategies must also evolve to keep up with shoppers. On average, potential customers now visit over 10 sources of information about a product before making a decision. This is a great opportunity for businesses to be the first responders to their customers’ questions and provide that material. This brings potential leads to your site or resource, and helps them self-serve information. Being useful is a much more reliable option for building a strong customer base and retaining lifelong customers.

The backstory: Baer is a marketing keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author, and coauthor of The Now Revolution. His newest book focuses on creating marketing so helpful, people will pay you for it.

If you read nothing else: Read part II (chapters 4 – 6). This section focuses on the three factors to Youtility and explains why this concept is so important. Part III (chapters 7-12) describes how to put this strategy into practice for your company. The insights in chapters 7, 9, and 11 on identifying customer needs, marketing your marketing, and making Youtility a process should also be read if you want your company to start implementing Youtility.

You can skip: The forward and potentially Part I, although since I think the concept of Youtility is going to become more and more applicable as marketing continues to evolve, I’d suggest reading this book cover-to-cover.

I particularly appreciated that Baer included an easy reference guide at the end of his book that outlines key points and data from each chapter. However, I don’t know how helpful the reference guide would be without having read each related section. The guide is most useful to cement important points described throughout the book.

Who this is best for: Marketers and business owners who want to build their audience should definitely read more on this topic. If the idea of adding Youtility to your business strategy is daunting, consider how many times you’ve researched a product on your smartphone as you stand before it at the drugstore, or put extensive research into a big-ticket item before you spoke to a sales rep. Youtility is a necessary part of adapting your marketing strategy, and can have huge impact on conversions and sales.

Want to find out more? Check out this webinar from Jay Baer on Youtility, hosted by Spin Sucks, or pick up your own copy of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype.

What do you think of the concept of businesses providing Youtility? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

By Sarah Fischer