There is a big difference between selling and helping. The companies and brands that are and will succeed are the ones who give something useful to the end-user, and not just push products or services at them. that’s Youtility.
Jay Baer explains why you must give something to the user, be it an app, a free service, or a useful website, to engage him. The recognition will follow and, as a nice after effect the sale.
Marketers must pose the question “How can I help?”, and then really do it, and not expect customers to come to them spontaneously.
Gary Vaynerchuck and Mitch Joel also talk about this in their own books, so it’s a recurring issue, and one you should pay attention to.
If you’re interested in what Jay Baer has to say, I encourage you to check out his (almost) daily video podcast, Jay Today. He gives very useful and practical advice for marketers and entrepreneurs.