The Sales Lion

Why “Useful” Beats “Amazing” Any Day of the Week in Marketing

Why “Useful” Beats “Amazing” Any Day of the Week in Marketing

A serious question to start this post and please take a moment to really give it some thought:

Would you rather be “amazing” or “useful” with your marketing?

I think if you’d asked me this question 4 years ago, before I’d ever even head the word “blog,” I would have said “amazing” every single time. In fact, “amazing” is sexy. It’s fun to talk about. It gets the imagination moving.

And it’s also grossly unrealistic.

Really, I’m not kidding. How does a marketing department set a bar of “amazing” and know when they’ve gotten there? Is it even possible? Furthermore, is it sustainable?

But “useful”—well that’s a different story.

There is Nothing “Amazing” About the River Pools Story

For the past few years, I’ve shared the River Pools marketing story to literally thousands upon thousands of people around the world. The story has also been the subject of multiple blog articles, magazines, books, and even the New York Times.

But in every conversation I’ve had about River Pools, there is one word almost NEVER used to describe what we did: Amazing

Nope, no one says, “Marcus, what you did with River Pools was amazing!”

Instead, these are the types of comments I literally hear every day:

“My goodness, why haven’t we taken this same approach with our company??”

“This makes so much sense. Of course this is how we should be doing it!”

“We’ve been feeling this is the way to go for a long time.”

“This is so SIMPLE!”

Yep, the process of becoming a great listener, teacher, and communicator in business needn’t be complex. Customers ask you questions. They express their needs. And then you, as a business, address them.

Nope, nothing amazing about it.

But useful? Yep, absolutely.

A Different Type of Marketing: Youtility

This incredibly important question of useful vs. amazing is not one that I made up. Rather, it’s one of the core premises to Jay Baer’s New York Times Best-selling book that was just released, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype

Although I may appear biased because of the fact that I wrote the foreword for this book, I sincerely believe Youtility—the concept of truly becoming “useful” as a business—will be one of the most influential business books of this decade.


Because we’ve all changed. As consumers, we see through the bull. We sniff a rat from a mile away.

This is exactly why companies can shift their marketing methodology to one of usefulness and transparency, or they can continue to live in the past and base their marketing models on interruption,  false numbers, and silly sales techniques that died with the fax machine the moment this thing called “the internet” changed all of our lives forever.

So my simple question for you is this:

Just how truly useful is your company’s marketing?

If the answer isn’t “very,” then I’d suggest you start making changes. I’d also strongly urge you to read Youtility, because it just may change your life and business forever.

So go on, let’s talk useful…

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