I chose to read Youtility by Jay Baer for our monthly book club report for the HMA blog. I was intrigued by the title and by the cover stating “why smart marketing is about help not hype,” so I figured this would be the perfect book to read for this month!
And I was right. I was already hooked just by reading Marcus Sheridan’s foreword. In the forward he explains that once he put a question and answer section on his website, he spent less time explaining to his customers the ins-and-outs of the pool world, and more time creating the pool that they wanted. This stuck with me because I tend to go back to websites or shops where the owners or sales individuals help answer my questions and give me all the details and facts up front. Needless to say, I thought that having a section on the website that gives all the information is brilliant.
After reading the foreword (which I rarely do), I was even more excited to start the book. On page 3, Jay said something that really stood out for me: “If you sell something, you make a customer today – if you help someone you make a customer for life.” It does not get any easier than that.
Youtility outlines the different ways that companies are competing for attention, from other companies, family members or friends, and it’s hard to set yourself apart, but if you help the customer than you have that lifelong customer.
The book also outlines different companies or people that implement the idea of Youtility, like Charmin’s ‘Sit or Squat’ app, an app that helps you find the cleanest bathrooms near your location (which I have since downloaded), or Angie’s List, a website giving you personal recommendations for plumbers, repairmen, etc., It really goes to show that people have put thought into helping consumers and not just trying to sell them something. As Jay says in the book, you may not buy Charmin the next time in the store, but you are more likely to buy it because you will remember them as helping you find the cleanest place to sit during your road trip.
This was a great book, I would recommend that all marketing, PR and communications professionals read this, because it is about helping your consumers/clients not selling.