Why Help Is Better Than Hype In Today’s Marketing World

This post was inspired by the book Youtility by Jay Baer. In the first chapter, Jay shares a story about an interaction between an audience member and Richard Stevens, founder of Geek Squad, after he had completed his keynote presentation to the Counselors Academy Section of the Public Relations Society of America. The audience member asked, “let me get this straight, you’re in the business of fixing stuff for money but you have dozens videos that show people how to fix things themselves? How does that make business sense”?

Stevens responded, “Well, the reality is that our best customers are the people that think they can do it themselves. And the other thing you have to realize is that eventually everybody will be out of their depth and they won’t be able to do it themselves and at that point whom are they going to call? Somebody randomly out of a phone book? Or are they going to call Geek Squad? Whose videos they’ve been watching over and over for 6,8,10, 12 minutes with our logo in the corner?”

Many marketers still don’t seem to grasp that the new rules of content marketing are about help, not hype (as Jay puts it). Some marketers seem to think that every blog post should be selling with a call to action at the end to ‘contact us’. I even know some marketers who hold back useful information in blog posts because they don’t want to give it away. That’s fine, but you aren’t being useful and your customers will realize that. They will go to a website that provides them with the help they are looking for. When the time comes that they can’t do it themselves who are they going to contact?

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