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Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  972 ratings  ·  92 reviews
The difference between helping and selling is just two letters

If you're wondering how to make your products seem more exciting online, you're asking the wrong question. You're not competing for attention only against other similar products. You're competing against your customers' friends and family and viral videos and cute puppies. To win attention these days you must
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published February 27th 2014 by Portfolio Penguin (first published June 27th 2013)
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Ram Tr
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Still reading this book, but I thought I should write this review before I get to the last page.

A very interesting concept, a must read for all marketers out there. This book move on from where the earlier books left, the earlier concept was all about hype, creativity, inbound, sales funnel etc that follows a rather linear trend. This one talks about how brands or companies should be helpful to anyone whether they are your prospects or not. Just being helpful gets you to the trustworthy stage
Dennis Fischman
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in marketing or communications
Shelves: nonfiction
Jay Baer has some bad news for us...and some good news.

Bad news: In the age of information overload, you're not going to keep your company at the top of people's minds by constant advertising.

Good news: You don't have to. Getting the ear of the right audience is better than paying for name recognition by the masses.

Bad news: Just because people can find you online, it doesn't mean they'll become your customers.

Good news: Recommendations from their friends influence people's decisions. Word of
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the top marketing books I have read in a long time. Baer breaks down the changing face of marketing which companies must adhere to or get left behind in the evolution of more involved customer bases and presence of social media.

Examples are well laid out and measurement tactics are well defined.

With the buzz surrounding this book, I wanted to make sure it wasn't fluff. It isn't. This is a book that I will be purchasing.
Andy Strote
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Would have been 5 stars but last group of pages isn't as great as the first 80%. Well worth reading if you're in marketing, communications, sales, etc. Nearly everything Jay Baer writes is worth saving.
I read this for work, and as word-related books go, it's pretty good. Right now, it's also still current, which is nice. Definitely gave me things to think about for how I do my job.
LaDonna Harris
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book. I've started putting into practice some of the things found here and am enjoying myself. We shall see if I am effective at Youtility.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was good, if you're someone who isn't sure about the value of storytelling/content marketing and want to see how it works and what it can do for you this book is right up your alley.
Mark Eric
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Solid advice, but I found his examples lacking
Jennifer B
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jay Baer does an excellent job of describing just what smart marketing is all about, in a relatable, easy to read way that I appreciate.
Shitiz Srivastava
I found about Jay bear on internet as now his field of business is digital marketing and he handles some of the top clients like Nike and Apple. The book advertises that it is going to talk to you about marketing in general but it actually gives only his views on the subject and most of the book is about you should advertise your company and products on internet. Insightful book because he has tremendous knowledge in the field but at times it becomes repetitive. There are things on which he ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Really interesting and informative. However, I think I'm just a bit late reading it as time and technology has moved on and so I didn't find it was up to date and a lot of it wasn't new knowledge.
Gah... if my boss recommends another inane business book I an going to scream. Actually it wasn't that bad.
Mick Wright
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing
Youtility is a form of marketing that is desired by customers (because it freely provides them with useful information) and beneficial to companies (because it creates loyal, trusting business relationships).

Author Jay Baer says Youtility is replacing three former marketing strategies that are difficult to achieve and maintain: top-of-mind awareness (sustained messaging), frame-of-mind awareness (fulfilling existing demand at the time of purchase) and friend-of-mine awareness (reliance on viral
Ibrahim Naqeeb
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
In my opinion, I believe this book is well written, easy to understand and is full of good case studies and practical tips that could be applied to many companies of different sizes. The title actually matches the content of the book quite well “Help customers to win them, rather than hyping yourself”. The concept or the idea that I liked the most about this book is the Friend-of-mind awareness, which is a marketing strategy that in my opinion reshaped the traditional top-of-mind and ...more
Gene Babon
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: strategy
Success flows to organizations that inform, not organizations that promote.
Today's customers are staring at an invitation avalanche, with every company asking for likes, follows, clicks and attention. There are two ways for companies to break through this cacophony -- be amazing or be useful. It is difficult to be amazing, consistently. This book is about being useful.

Youtility is marketing that is wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Marketing is something I've always wanted to learn more about, especially digital marketing. I've of course dabbled in it to get the word out for various side ventures, and I'm on several social media platforms, but that's as far as my knowledge goes.

That's why I was happy when my Online Business Book Club members voted to read and discuss Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help, Not Hype by Jay Baer.

Not only is this a fast and enjoyable read, but you learn so much, all backed with great
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring, insightful, elegant and brilliant. This book's reputation as the defining work on content marketing is well deserved. From the enthusiastic foreword by Marcus Sheridan, through the calculations of return on investment of being useful, Baer clearly knows his stuff and convinces the reader why they should "stop trying to be amazing and start being useful". The examples Baer uses span the business world, clearly providing a compass by which the reader can apply the content marketing ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought the concept was great. Not earth shakingly new for those in the space, but there are some very actionable things in the latter half of the book in creating a solid approach. He has some great stories like riverpool, REI, Hilton and others with how they engaged people and what they did with blogs and apps and social media to create the kinds of relationships and experiences that they did. In short, it's about giving. Paying it forward online first, as in youtility is about you being ...more
Flossmoor Public Library (IL)
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Even though this book is four years old, I found the concepts the author provided to be very useful and interesting. The idea of Youtility, where your marketing and PR is done in a way that is beneficial to customers without being overly pushy, is something I had never heard of before. The examples, while possibly dated in 2017, are still interesting: a hospital designing an app for parents to select and install a car seat for their children; a popular hotel chain offering assistance in helping ...more
Mahmoud Khoder
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You own a company, you created a website and your not getting any leads? The reason why people will not find your company website because your not marketing your website online. And your potential customers will not buy from you if your marketing your website using the (look how awesome my company is) attitude, though they will buy from you when you do useful marketing, marketing will actually help a potential customer either by providing useful information on your company blog, or creating a ...more
Sharon Markowitz
I decided to give this book another try. If you can fast-forward the forward, no pun intended. Then the new orator comes on and is a much better option for audible listeners.

I read about 90% of this book. However I would say you only need 50% to get what Youtility is all about. It's basically about giving customers what is relevant to them and not about selling. If you sell less you end up selling more. There are lots of examples but I feel that it does get a bit drawn out and that is why I
Sairam Krishnan
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect much when I picked up Youtility. Another new age marketer spewing the same pseudosmart things everybody knows, was my estimate.

And quite happily, I was proved wrong. Youtility is a great little book with some great ideas and a lot of action items, which most marketing books these days lack. Jay Baer leads on with examples and pushes on to do-it-now type instructions, which I found very helpful.

What's great about the book is that it isn't too long. It tells you what it needs to
Lawson Hembree
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A helpful read for anyone involved in business. Youtility is a common sense approach to building your brand. Think of the Youtility concept as the Golden Rule of the marketing world: "Help people with your brand the way that you want to be helped by other brands."

The book includes some great case studies, easy application tips, and plenty of detail without getting bogged down in jargon. Take some time to read it and then start implementing it with your personal, corporate, or nonprofit brand.
Marjorie Clayman
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting read. Jay suggests that instead of thinking about marketing in a promotional way, the new mode of operation is to think about marketing as a channel through which you can truly help your customers. I was happy to see that there was a chapter on actually measuring the results from these kinds of efforts and also some realistic notes about the pros and cons of such a campaign. This kind of approach may not be realistic for many companies, at least not yet, but it's fun to ...more
Brian Petro
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I pre ordered this book, and Jay Baer demonstrated Youtility: I was sent a free copy to share. Which I gladly did. It is great to read something that provides hard evidence to the way you already think. Customer service is an area of opportunity that many companies have missed the boat on. This book talks about a new way to provide even better customer service options, creating lifetime customers. The examples are brilliant, and the measurement tips are helpful. A brilliant read for growing your ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pool consult vs installer, self-qualify, customers who read 30 pages win 80%, sell more by selling less, best customers think they can do themselves, inform vs promote, marketing that is wanted, 31 to 13 tv rating in 50 years, Holiday World park McDonalds Canada Meyer store layout, answer questions with advocate quotes, help vs hype symptom and cure more right answers and wrong for information, useful.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was by far my favorite marketing book. Jay have specific examples by enough differing companies that I felt inspired to come up with my own, small youtilities for other companies. It was written for 2012, and I know some things have updated and changed, but the heart is there. Sometimes you can read a book and see the timeless applications past all the dated examples. I feel like this is that kind of book. I would actually happily buy it now that I've listened to the audiobook.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love the idea of being a "youtility" to customers and there are some pretty good ideas in this book for how to do it - unfortunately the bulk of them revolved around having your own app.

Not sure what I was expecting...maybe more actionable ideas for those of us that aren't interested in having an app developed.

The first chunk of the book was really good - after that it got pretty "fluffy"
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book on marketing your product/company using social media/blogs. The premise is that it is going to be more important to be useful to your customer versus selling. By putting the information that the consumer wants out there and making it about the info and not about the product, you increase your "youtility" - that is, your marketability. And those who don't? Well, it is becoming readily apparent that they'll be the ones digging ditches for the rest of us.
Scott Wozniak
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are two ways to stand out from the crowd and grow your organization's influence: be amazing and be useful. There are a lot of books and talks and tools on how to be more amazing. It's hard to do.

This book is about how to be more useful to those your organization serves (and those you want to serve). From practical tips on what not to say to deep ideas on choosing a heart of service--being truly centered on the customer--this is a powerful book that every leader can apply.
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Jay Baer is the co-author of The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter & More Social.

He is social media strategy consultant, and founder of the firm Convince & Convert, that works with leading companies and their agencies on social media integration.

His Convince & Convert blog is one of the world’s top English-language marketing resources, as was ranked the
“stop trying to be amazing and start being useful. I don’t mean this in a Trojan-horse, “infomercial that pretends to be useful but is actually a sales pitch” way. I mean a genuine, “how can we actually help you?” way.” 4 likes
“What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?” 1 likes
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