In his new book “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is All About Help Not Hype,” Jay Baer succinctly and clearly outlines not only a strong framework for content marketing, but a total shift in the paradigm of how we think of marketing in the first place. With so much information accessible to us at any moment, the marketing and messaging that stands out most amidst the noise is helpful, clear, and most of all, useful. I recently discussed the new book with Jay, and he had some insightful thoughts and examples that I wanted to highlight here, including the shift in roles between marketing and sales, what “frame of mind awareness” is, and how this all fits into a creating a successful content marketing model.
What Useful Content Truly Is
Jay spoke about how he came up with the idea of useful content, as it wasn’t a term that was thrown a lot beforehand to describe content. We might have said interesting, or engaging, or even innovative content. But using the adjective useful just wasn’t a common occurrence. However, as things have shifted both in terms of how customers engage with brands and even in the Google algorithms, useful is more important than ever within content marketing. To be a truly strategic, authoritative, and relevant brand that keeps engaging customers throughout the sales cycle, useful content should be valued far more than temporary or viral hits. Listen to Jay’s thoughts on useful content here.
The “Frame of Mind Awareness” Form of Marketing
93%. It’s a number we throw out a lot around here at Vertical Measures because it’s the percentage of people that search online before making a purchase. And not just a retail purchase, but any type of investment – hiring a PR company, locating a last minute plumber to fix a pipe, finding a local restaurant while traveling…the list goes on. We are now all nearly hard wired to “Google it” when we don’t know something. This frame of mind we’ve adopted that motivates us to search for instant answers opens up huge potential for companies to mine content opportunities. Hear what Jay has to say about how this type of inbound marketing fulfills demand.
The Importance of Measurement and Tracking
Jay used a great example from his book about a strategic social listening program Hilton put into place in order to help potential customers, even if there was no hard promise of an actual sale. But what was most important is the measurement that was in place to be able to track any interaction and follow through with this data at every step of the sales cycle. Jay explains the example more in this clip, as well as some tools he recommends for tracking.
The Changing Role of Marketing and Sales
One the most interesting points that is threaded throughout our discussion and in the book is the way that marketing and sales have shifted in their roles and expected outcomes. This is in general due to instantaneous information available at our fingertips and how customers want to know everything they can about a business before they decide on a purchase. Marketing is now the field that cultivates the relationship, and sales is what closes the deal. Jay explains it best in this clip below.
The Perspective You Must Have into your Customer’s Lives
Another great example Jay provides in his book concerns the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and their car seat helper app that directly addresses the interests and needs of their customers, even if they don’t sell car seats. To be a successful marketer in this age, you must first discover customer needs, do the research, and figure out how to execute. Listen on to hear about this example in depth and how to apply this to other scenarios.
If you haven’t bought Jay’s book yet, I highly recommend doing so. It’s an quick read, but chock full of examples and great thoughts that can really shed light on the shifts that are happening in our business and marketing culture today.