Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Review - Youtility by Jay Baer

The last time I bought a car, I decided what kind of car, checked out availability and pricing, checked the Carfax and researched current car negotiation tactics all online and all before even going to the car lot. By the time I went, I knew what car I wanted and how much I was willing to pay. This is how most purchases are now made, so how can companies gain an edge? There are two always being amazing (see Oreo, although they’re starting to show how hard that is to do) or with Youtility!

What is Youtility?  In his book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, Jay Baer explains “Youtility” as marketing so useful that people would gladly pay for it. It’s much more realistic and viable to be useful by offering information that customers seek at the places where their customers are going to find that information...and without being promotional the majority of the time.

With social media, companies are competing with consumers’ friends and families for attention. By being truly useful without promoting themselves, consumers will pay attention to their posts. With the availability of Internet access at the palm of your hand, consumers look up information on products before they make purchases. Talking to a sales person is now usually the last step of the purchase cycle instead of the beginning.

Baer gives many examples of actual companies that are using Youtility successfully (including RunPee which may be my favorite new app! You’ve got to check it out.). He explains how to find what your customers need and where they go for their information. There are examples of sources of where to get the useful information (hint: utilize your employees!). He also explains how to use social media to promote your information. His popular quote, which you may have seen or heard in social media or webinars, is “Content is fire, and social media is gasoline”. Finally, the book wouldn’t be complete without explaining how to measure your results effectively (hint #2: there is no magic bullet). 

This book is incredibly insightful and a great example of Youtility in its own right. It makes so much sense, you’ll wonder why no one else has written this book yet. Baer makes the concepts relatable and easy to understand. Additional note: Jay Baer is one of the key note speakers at the upcoming Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland on September 9-12. I’ll be there. If you’re going too, let me know. I’d love to get the chance to meet in person and say hi.

Now the fun part! I’ve got an extra book to give away! To enter, do one of the following:

a.)    Tweet the following:  I want to win “Youtility” by .@jaybaer from #TakingItBack   by .@jeremybednarski!
b.)   Sign up to receive my blog by email
c.)    Comment below with your favorite example of company that uses Youtility.

I’ll randomly pick a winner from all who enter by Thursday, August 22. I’ll contact the winner to get your mailing address to send the book.  As always, thanks for reading!

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