BuildLoyalty with Information


youtility“We’ve always tried to build loyalty with people, and we can no longer rely on that technique. Now, we must build loyalty with information.”

Well said, Jay Baer.

That’s just one bit of helpful advice from the marketing consultant and self-described “digital pioneer” in his new book, “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype.”

Baer’s book is a testament to the power of content marketing, that is, providing customers or clients with helpful — not just promotional, self-serving — information. Baer’s guidance also reaffirms our perspective at cc:Clients — that educating clients with timely, relevant, easy-to-read news updates (via e-mail newsletters, microsites, blogs and news feeds) is smart marketing.

As Baer writes:

There are only two ways for companies to break through in an environment that is unprecedented in its competitiveness and cacophony. They can be “amazing” or they can be useful….

While being amazing can work, it’s difficult to do and doesn’t produce reliable, linear results….

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 is true for marketing: If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.

I call this Youtility. Not “utility,” because a utility is a faceless commodity. Youtility is marketing upside down. Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.

Some law firms and other professional service companies traditionally have held back when it comes to providing useful, free information. In the past, these professionals feared that doing so might undermine their ability to sell their advice and intellectual property. But, as Baer points out, just the opposite is true: Providing “massively useful information,” for free, is a great marketing tactic that can lead to more, not less, business.