Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

Do you have Youtility?

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 25 Jul, 2013
Essential Essential topic

Ideas, examples and a process to develop your online value proposition (OVP)

I’m really pleased that Jay Baer of Convince and Convert could speak recently in our webcast. He explained three blueprints and examples of how companies can develop their Youtility.  Jay is one of the great original thinkers who shows how to apply social media and content marketing to get business results. Dan and I have been following his ideas from his blog for a couple of years now. The talk and slide deck are now available

Youtility talk

Youtility slide deck

Youtility - A talk by Jay Baer about his new book on Smart Insights from Smart Insights

In this post I have also summarised some background on what I took from the Youtility concept and how it can be applied as part of developing online brand strategy.

When I first heard about Jay’s new book I was keen to take a look since I enjoyed his previous book, the Now Revolution where he focuses on the what, why and how of creating amazing, sharable content. From reading the intro to [amazon-product text="Youtility" type="text"]1591846668[/amazon-product], the driver behind the new book is that Amazing is difficult, Jay says that as a marketing consultant to over 700 businesses, he has seen that creating Amazing is challenging in the real world. He says:

"While being amazing can work, it’s difficult to do and doesn’t produce reliable, linear results. So instead of betting all your money on “amazing,” what if you instead relied on a simple, universal method of marketing and business success—one that’s never been more important or easier to accomplish?

Youtility is the away you can differentiate without necessarily investing in the creation of “Amazing”.

On first hearing about this book, my intial impression was that the technique was around improving the quality of customer service, but important though this is, I’m pleased to say this book is about something much bigger. It’s about how companies can transform their brand to increase their cut-through in what Jay calls the Invitation Avalanche as consumers are subjected to every company of every size, shape, and description asking people to like them, follow them, friend them, click, share, and +1 them.

The idea behind Youtility has much in common with the concept of creating a differentiated Online Value Proposition which readers of my books or this blog will be familiar with. I first wrote about this in 2000 in my Internet Marketing Strategy book, but have refined the idea since. In fact, I recently developed this visual for our new qualification to help show where the OVP fits into the creation of a digital or social media strategy.


How you deliver your OVPs is specifically about helping consumers or business people pre and post purchase in the different ways listed in the diagram. This is all based on deep understanding of the needs of customer personas . He explains it by linking to Google’s ZMOT research and showing how the number of information sources used by consumers is rapidly increasing. Essentially this book explains how you can become one of these trusted sources in your sector.

number of information sources

In the book and webcast, Jay gives lots of interesting B2C and B2B examples of where companies have committed to Youtility. Jay is a great storyteller! He goes on to talk about the three pillars of Youtility and how you can develop a process to create and review the ROI of this approach.

So, thanks Jay, for a book that reminds us that success in digital and social media marketing really goes back to the fundamentals of what your brand can offer. It reminded me of the classic CIM definition of the fundamentals of marketing:

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”.

Youtility is much more inspiring, it’s about generating ideas to help you can transform your brand to help you compete when all brands are clamouring for attention.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

Recommended Blog Posts