Taxi Mike’s Guide to Banff is one man’s guide to his city. Taxi Mike revises his guide to the city of Banff in Alberta, Canada, quarterly. Taxi Mike, is clearly a taxi driver, however, his remarkable marketing technique is what has made him a memorable, local celebrity. (He admits to being asked for his autograph by his customers.) From restaurants, to happy hour specials, pubs, and nightclubs, Taxi Mike gives his customers the best of Banff. Taxi Mike’s Guide is distributed to local businesses in Banff and given to all customers of Mike’s taxi service. His website was created as a supplement to his popular guide. Online, visitors can find the best places for shopping, entertainment and lodging in addition to the best places to dine in town. Taxi Mike also keeps track of his page views on his website, via http://statcounter.com/p1028210/summary/. His website averages 12,496 views per month, in addition to his hardcopy guides, found throughout the city of Banff.
Taxi Mike’s marketing technique comes from the idea, author Jay Baer coins as “Youtility.” In a guest blog post on http://www.pr2020.com, Baer explains, Youtility as the idea of marketing that customers can use. According to Baer, the concept of Youtility is smart marketing, creating useful or helpful content for customers, which in turn creates a stronger relationship between a company and its customers. On his website, Baer wrote a blog post, which eventually turned into his book, Youtility. In the post, Baer wrote on three ways to reach customers. The first, top of mind awareness, focuses on reaching customers by keeping your product or service on their mind by consistent advertisements or promotions, so when it comes time for customers to use or buy your product or service, yours is the first company that comes to mind. The second, frame of mind awareness, focuses on being easy to find. It is based on the premise that when a customer needs something, your company needs to be easily found online or on a social media site, so potential customers use your product or service. The third concept is, friend of mine awareness. Friend of mine awareness is built on the idea that your company seeks out its potential customers and builds a relationship with them. Then, when it comes time for your customer to need your product or service, they will buy from you, as you have an existing relationship.
The concept of Youtility is one that can be used by all companies. Most companies today are focused on asking customers to help them. They ask people to like their Facebook posts, follow them on Twitter, visit their websites or watch their promotional videos. Baer states that companies should instead help their customers. “Helping can replace selling,” Baer states on his website. Taxi Mike understands and utilizes this concept. Other companies, aside from Taxi Mike, who are using the concept of Youtility include: Geek Squad, who posts informational help videos on their YouTube channel, for customers to fix their technical issues on their own, in the hope that when a customer cannot fix their issue, they call Geek Squad, who has provided them with adequate help in the past. Vanderbilt University Medical Center also uses the concept of Youtility. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has created an app for expectant mothers, that allows users to create customized phone books for people to call when the baby is on the way, provides an itemized list of things to pack for the hospital, and includes directions to the hospital. The key to successfully using the concept of Youtility is finding what type of free help your company can provide or offer to its customers.