youtility aha media review
The New York Times bestselling book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, just turned a year old. To celebrate, we decided to review the book for our readers.
First, Youtility is a fascinating concept: Be useful to your customers so that they continue to return to you to solve their problems. As Baer writes, “What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote? You know that expression “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”? Well, the same thing is true for marketing: If you sell something you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.”
Baer gives some great examples of this, including:
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital Car Seat Helper: This calculator in the form of an app  is invaluable for people in terms of removing indecision, a major stumbling stone for purchasers
  • Charmin’s Sit or Squat App: By providing people with an answer to a universal question, Charmin becomes top-of-mind when consumers are buying toilet and tissue paper
  • Ortho Problem Solver: By giving gardeners information about how to prevent and treat pests and lawn issues, the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company becomes the go-to-problem solver online for lawn enthusiasts

All of these applications find an ingenious and revolutionary way to layer information for people that they truly need. It doesn’t shove a product or brand down your throat; rather it competes for your attention by being helpful and useful. “Youtility doesn’t always require creating helpfulness from scratch. Taking what already exists and putting in an inherently more helpful format can be just as effective.”

Youtility helps customers and potential customers to make better decisions by:
    1. Giving them to the power to self-inform, like “What type of car seat is best for my child?”
    2. Providing answers to universal questions, like “Where is the nearest bathroom?”
    3. Utilizing other pieces of information to provide real-time information, like what is killing my roses?

Baer also points out that you have to provide promotional support to your Youtility, so people can know the information exists for them. He advocates for using social media to promote your Youtility as well as company employees, which tend to be an overlooked audience.  Baer also advocates that you use an iterative process, for as he points out, “Customer needs change; technology shifts and new and better ideas are conceived.”

Reading Youtility was an exercise in Youtility itself; it was useful, inspiring, entertaining and informative.
Recommended for:
  • Digital marketers
  • User experience professionals
  • Customer experience professionals
  • Inbound and content marketing professionals

Have you read Youtility? Share your thoughts with us here.

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