Youtility Book Review

I came across this book while at the library with my kids. I was going on a work trip and I needed something to pass the time on the 4 hour flight. Well, this certainly fit the bill. I read the book, cover to cover in a couple of hours. I am a pretty fast reader, so your mileage may vary on that. However, I have to say that this is one of my favorite content marketing books that I have read recently.  Why? It gives you good, simple, actionable material. It shows it in bite size chunks and then gives you a myriad of examples that you can look to emulate.

Lessons Learned

If I were to sum up the lesson I learnt from this, I would say the following:

Don’t broadcast your proposition, educate in your niche (which reflects Jay Baer’s tag line, help not hype).  People are much savvier now than ever before. They are much more connected than ever before. Your advertising message is much less effective than it ever has been. So, it’s in your interest to help the consumers navigate the waters of whatever industry you are in. If you can build a level of authentic trust with them, you can be there when they are ready to buy.

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The Sales Lion – Marcus Sheridan’s Content Marketing Blog

River Pools and Spa – Marcus Sheridan’s pool company, which became successful due to Content Marketing and Youtility


Geek Squad – An excellent example of Youtility, they were eventually acquired by Best Buy.

Part 1 – Turning Marketing Upside Down

Chapter 1 – Top-of-Mind Awareness

The Social Breakup by Exact Target – A study discussing how people can like a brand on Facebook, but later decide to stop seeing their posts.

Edelman Trust Barometer  – A survey that is released annual and shows which institutions/organizations are trusted and distrusted.

Chapter  2 – Frame-of-Mind Awareness

Hubspot – The company that arguably coined the term Inbound Marketing

On Startups – A blog by Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder of Hubspot,, Yahoo Answers!, Cha Cha – A few Q&A sites

The Social Habit – A 2012 report discussing social media habits and how they affect purchase habits.

Chapter 3 – Friend-of-Mind Awareness

@HiltonSuggests – A concierge service provided by Hilton Hotels via Twitter

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Car Seat Helper – An excellent example of Youtility by The Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Charmin Sit or Squat – An app that gives you reviews of public toilets

Taxi Mike – This is the web based version of Taxi Mike’s famous restaurant guide in Banff

Part 2 – The Three Facets of Youtility

Chapter 4 – Self Serve Information

Zero Moment of Truth – Google’s report into the change of how people use information in purchasing decisions

Life Technologies’ Interactive Guide to Immunoprecipitation – Youtility delivered via a series of interlinked Youtube videos.

Clorox Mystain app – An app that offers advice on removing stains, – Examples of Youtility in the BBQ/Smoking world

Angies List – LocalBusiness listings, deals and reviews

Chapter 5 – Radical Transparency – A great resource to help you decide the best place to live based on your own preferences

Holiday World – A great example of providing answers to questions that users/buyers don’t know they have

Our Food, Your Questions – McDonalds Canada answers almost every question you can think of about McDonalds food.

Warby Parker – Great FAQs and online, virtual showroom

FreezerBurns – Review videos of frozen food

Wine Library TV – A daily wine video blog

Chapter 6 – Real-Time Relevancy

A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work – A video by UserExperienceWorks, showing that a young baby thinks a magazine is an iPad

Meijer Find-It App – An indoor mapping app for grocery stores. It shows you the best route to get everything on your shopping list

Vanderbilt Coach Smart – An app from Vanderbilt Orthopaedics that helps coaches keep their players safe

Mindmeld App – A smart app that listens as you conference call and provides you with relevant information

Dan Deacon App, Dan Deacon Trailer – An app that turns your phone into part of the concert

Ortho Problem Solver – An app from Scotts Miracle Gro that helps you diagnose problems with your plants

Syncapse Facebook Ad Calculator – Helping you plan your budgets for Facebook

Part 3 – Six Blueprints to Create Youtility

Chapter 7 – Identify Customer Needs

Google Trends – An excellent resource for finding search engine trends

Google’s Keyword Tool (Replaced by Google Keyword Planner) –  A tool to help you research different keywords within Google and to plan your SEM campaigns

12 Tools – Arnie Kuen from Vertical Measures recommends 12 alternative tools for content research

Google Correlate – Google Correlate finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends

Radian 6, Sysomos, Viralheat – Social listening tools

Netbase – Customer insight tool

Google Analytics, Adobe Site Catalyst, Webtrends, Hubspot, Kissmetrics – Analytics packages

Chapter 8 – Map Customer Needs to Useful Marketing

What Knot to do – A knot app from Columbia Sportswear

From Content to Customer – A presentation from Eloqua

2011 Global Cloud Index Video – Cisco distilled a large report about the future of cloud computing into a 2 minute video

Chapter 9 – Market Your Marketing

5 types of social media – A cartoon by Tom FIshburne

Coca Cola Content Strategy, Pt1, Pt2 – Videos by Coca Cola showcasing the way in which they will use content in the future

IBM Influence – A presentation given by IBM at the 2011 Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) conference

Chapter 10 – Insource Youtility

McDonalds Fries – A video by Mcdonalds Canada that shoe the supply chains for the potatos that they use for their fries

SAP Small Business Innovation Blog

OpenView – An example of a company built around Youtility

Chapter 11 – Make Youtility a Process Not a Project

Cloth – An app that allows you to organize your wardrobe

RunPee – An app that tells you when you can take a toilet break during a movie

Chapter 12 – Keeping Score

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