Marketing Isn’t About Hype—It’s About Help

Even with today’s deluge of new tools and robust data, most marketers will agree that forever-increasing digital noise, distractions, and competition for shoppers’ time and money make things, well, challenging. Savvy marketers, however, realize that helping the consumer—not hyping a product—is the most effective way to grab and keep the attention of your target audience.

That was author Jay Baer’s main message at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience conference last Wednesday in Las Vegas. Baer, a New York Times bestselling writer and author of Youtility, stressed that shoppers don’t necessarily want fancy, scintillating campaigns but rather information that’s useful and simply meets their needs—even if the solution is not a brand’s product. “Stop trying to be amazing and start being useful,” Baer said to a large audience of enthralled marketers on the open floor of the Venetian ballroom. “If you sell something [to a shopper], you have a customer today. But if you help someone, you’ll have a customer for life.”

Baer stressed that by simply helping customers, marketers build trust. And with trust comes loyalty, advocacy, and eventually sales. “Youtility is marketing that’s so useful that people will pay for it,” he explained.

Baer’s colorful keynote address ignited a continued conversation on Twitter. Check out the chatter. Then simply ask yourself: Is my campaign merely hype or is it helpful?

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