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Tuesday
Dec012015

CBI: Visionary Marketing Insights from Jay Baer

"Helpfulness" isn't a word often associated with marketing—but Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and IHRSA 2016 keynote speaker, has made a career out of being helpful.

The marketing strategist and best-selling author spoke to Club Business International and explained why successful companies of the future will treat their customers more like friends, employing marketing that delivers true value. 

The following is an excerpt from the December cover story, "Visionary Marketing Insights," available online now.

CBI: “Youtility” is a word that catches one’s attention. Can you define it with respect to your book and IHRSA 2016 presentation, “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help, Not Hype”?

JAY BAER: “Youtility” describes marketing that’s so useful people would pay for it. It’s marketing with so much intrinsic value that, if you were to say to somebody, “Would you kick in a couple of dollars to receive this?”—they would! It’s marketing that people actually want to receive—rather than what we usually produce, which is marketing that people simply tolerate. Once, when I was preparing a conference on useful  marketing, I was searching for a word to describe this concept. While I was in the shower, “Youtility” popped into my head.

Basically, it’s about marketing that has utility for you.

CBI: You describe the difference between helping and selling as “just two letters,” but note that they make all the difference. What’s the connection with Youtility marketing?

JB: We’ve always been explicit in terms of the relationship between marketing and revenue. We say, ”Come on in right now and buy a car,” which is very overt and direct. The message is, “If you give us money, we’ll give you something.” However, technology now enables consumers to avoid, tune out, commercial-based interruptions. Youtility is sort of a sideways approach to marketing. It’s more about “How can we provide value?” and “How can we be your friend?

With Youtility, we’re going to give you something for free, in hopes that, at some point in the future, you’ll give us some money. You have to fundamentally believe that if you give something away, some percentage of the recipients will one day purchase something from you.

Youtility increases the time between interaction and outcome. When compared with the way we’ve traditionally done business, it’s something of a paradox, an inverse relationship, in that the more you sell overtly, the less you’ll sell long-term.

CBI: So selling is more “top-of-mind” awareness, while helping is more “friend-of-mine” awareness?

JB: If you provide value and commit your company to being helpful and useful, the same way that your friends are helpful and useful, then customers will reward you and keep you close—the same way they hold their actual friends close. In business, that means they’ll go to your Website and bookmark it; they’ll subscribe to your emails and open them; and they’ll follow you on Facebook. You have to think about, “How can we, as a company, act more like the way we act with our friends?” That’s difficult sometimes, because it requires companies to be more approachable, transparent, and human.

Read the full CBI article.

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