The Ultimate Marketing Utility is Youtility.®

Team frank

by: Jordan Toomey

The end of yet another quarter is drawing near. The mind of every member in the c-suite is focused on the impending revenue report. Whether the report is positive, or negative, the same question always hangs in the air. “What can we do to sell more?”

Jay Baer, best selling author and marketing guru, gave a presentation during the 2014 BMA conference in Chicago answering this question and more. Two minutes into Baer’s presentation it becomes very obvious that the question should be “What can we do to help the consumer?” rather than “What can we do to sell more?”

Baer defines this methodology as Youtility.® Youtility is defined as “marketing so useful, people would pay for it.” The idea behind Youtility is to find out what exactly the consumer needs and to fulfill that need.

Still not sure what Youtility is? Here’s an example.

Charmin’s “Sit or Squat” campaign.

This campaign features a website and Smartphone app that allows users to find the cleanest restroom within reach based on other people’s reviews of the restrooms they have used. The idea behind this campaign was not for Charmin to gain a profit, but to help the consumer fulfill the need of finding a clean restroom. They were not attempting to “sell” anything to the users of this website or app; they were simply giving the consumer a reason to look deeper into what their company has to offer by providing them something useful for their everyday lives.

The customer is worth more than a sale.

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is treating the customer like they’re just another number. A successful company will reach out to their customer and find out what it is they need. If a company can successfully help a customer, that customer will continue to support them and will recommend that company to their friends and family. Companies need to think of new ways they can keep customers engaged.

How can I reach new customers, and what can I do to keep my current customers coming back for more?

In order for a company to reach new customers, they need to be innovative. Creating something that is useful to the general public—that you can slap your name on—is a great way to reach out to new customers, even when you’re not advertising what your company sells. Now, you might be concerned that you won’t be gaining any direct profits from this method, which is something to think about, but the amount of people you are reaching can grow substantially.

Doing something memorable like what Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd. did with their “Dumb Ways to Die” app, will help a company gain a lot of publicity. This app consists of monster-like creatures who are doing dumb things that could get them killed if they aren’t careful enough. Your goal in the app is to protect these creatures from dying. I believe those of you who tested out this app like I did, would be significantly more interested in finding out what Metro Trains Melbourne is all about. (If you haven’t had a chance to check out the app, here’s a link to the app’s website.)

Final notes.

Jay Baer’s presentation taught me to let the ideas come naturally. The best ideas come unexpectedly, and the more you worry about searching for the perfect idea, the harder it’s going to be to come across the right one. Remember to keep these things in mind:

· The main idea of Youtility is to help the customer, not sell to them.

· The customer is worth more than a sale.

· Be innovative in the way you advertise your company or brand.

· Direct profits are nice, but a larger range of customers means larger income.

Sources: Baer, Jay. “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help, Not Hype.” BMA14. Hilton Hotel, Chicago. 30 May 2014. Lecture.

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