Help Not Hype: Keynote by Author of Youtility Jay Baer, #pubcon Las Vegas 2014, Day 3!

Oct 10, 2014 | 1,393 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Keynote Speaker

Jay Baer (@jaybaer)- President, Convince and Convert

The President of Convince & Convert Jay Baer opened the keynote on day 3 at Pubcon by explaining that marketing is more challenging than ever. Since the attention spans are shorter, what worked two decades ago won't work today, and consumers are demanding more knowledge, all these are raising the difficulty level of marketing.

Baer shared real-world examples to show how the brands are wielding transparency as well as "Youtility" to build business & trust.

According to Baer, the three obstacles that stop you from being a great marketer are:

Fragmented Reach

Reaching audiences is harder today than it used to be earlier. Baer told that the number 1 television show Happy Days had 31.5 rating in 1977, while The Cosby had 27.8 rating in 1987, Seinfeld had 21.7 rating in 1997, American Idol had 16.1 rating in 2007, and Sunday Night Football with AI Michaels had 12 rating, as of 2014.

The reason Baer gave is that we spend more time looking at computers and phone these days, which makes it difficult to reach people.

Marketing and Customer Services have Collided

Baer discussed how Internet has enabled consumers to be passive aggressive. Sharing an example of a really complaining customer review, he said that customer service is a spectator sport now. All the awareness and trust a business creates through Internet marketing can go waste with a bad review from a customer.

Competition for Attention

Baer mentioned that our professional and personal lives have converged in an unprecedented manner. When your target audience receives posts from companies as well as friends, it's not just companies but everything becomes your competitor.

So, Baer asked to stop try to be amazing, rather try to be useful. Explaining further, he said that amazing isn't a strategy but useful is. When you help someone, you earn a customer for life. Doing business has now become establishing a lifetime relationship.

Sharing the example of Twitter handle of Hilton i.e. @HiltonSuggests, Baer said that the group helps people with traveling questions. It called together 20 employees for looking at ways to help travelers in their spare time on the social network. The key takeaway is to help and not sell.


Marketing should be so useful that people would pay for it.

Emphasize more on marketing that people cherish and not the one that they tolerate – said Jay Baer.

Sharing the stats, he said that useful articles are forwarded 30 percent more than average, which means that we are wired to appreciate Youtility.

Baer asked the attendees if they have courage to create Youtility? Giving the example of Clorox: Find a Stain/Take a Spin app – he said that it Clorox determined that they should not always be the answer, else the whole experience of the app would be changed. Moreover, they decided not to share coupons through the app as will make it an ad instead of Youtility.

How to Create Youtility?

Baer went deeper into the ways of creating Youtility.

Self-serve Information

Baer said it right – "we crave information like never before". When Google conducted an interview in 2010, it found out that an average American consumer needs 5.3 sources of information (article, review, and testimony from friend) before making a purchase. The number rose to 10.4 in 2011.

The mobile data usage also doubled in 2013. So today, if you make a bad decision of hotel, restaurant or any other thing, Baer says that you are lazy as loads of information is available on the Internet.

An example Baer shared was of "Orange is the New Black". While watching it, he wanted to find out where he had seen one of the actresses before. He looked her up on IMDB on his phone and realized that without Internet it would not have been possible. It would have taken him at least four hours to go to the library and get the information otherwise.

Another example Baer shared was of a swimming pool & spa company that was on the verge of going out of business. They decided to write blogs on every customer question they came across. Around 400 blogs were written on evenings and weekends, which turned their business around. The traffic they are receiving now is more than any other swimming company in the world.

Sirius Decisions revealed that B2B customers contact a sales representative after they are 70% sure of the purchase decision. So, Baer said the better you teach, more you will sell.

Transparency & Humanity

Smart marketers are radically transparent because they truth always comes out. He gave the example of Domino's entire marketing message, which said "Hey, our pizza used to suck. Now, not so much."

Baer said that without trust – no search rankings, price or anything will mater. McDonald's has a functionality on its Canadian website where customers can ask any question and most of them aren't easy.

One of the questions was, "Maybe you could post a picture of these happy “family farms” in which you say your animals are raised with the best care?"

So, McDonalds made a video of the Canadian Senior VP Jeff Kroll visiting the farm and the trust rating of the website has gone up 31% with the simple Q&A functionality.

Real-time Relevancy

Baer asked to be hyper relevant in some of the particular circumstances. Referring to Corcoran Group, he said that every time it rains in New York, they share tweet that directs readers to a useful piece of content they have created. Moreover, they do not try to sell anything in the article because it is about creating relationships, which lead to top-of-mind recall.

Suggesting businesses to make the story bigger and not just talking about their own stuff, Baer said that great Youtility can transcend the transaction. Always talk about other things, which are useful and relevant.

Try to know the real need of your customers and it will certainly make a difference. We are surrounded by data but while analyzing a report, we target customers as a number. You are doing it wrong if you are not having conversations with customers in person regularly. Because, talking to them will help you come up with great ideas that can be useful to both.

Summing up the session, Baer said that if Content is fire, Social Media is gasoline. So, remember that you are competing for attention against real friends. Take Youtility as a process and not project. Build a culture where Youtility is a river flowing through everything and not a lake you occasionally visit.

Help Not Hype: Keynote by Author of Youtility Jay Baer, #pubcon Las Vegas 2014, Day 3!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
1.thumbnail Help Not Hype: Keynote by Author of Youtility Jay Baer, #pubcon Las Vegas 2014, Day 3!
1.thumbnail Help Not Hype: Keynote by Author of Youtility Jay Baer, #pubcon Las Vegas 2014, Day 3!