The YDOP Approach

The Problem

If you had an extra $250,000 in your marketing budget this year, could you confidently spend it on marketing and get a good return? In our experience, most business owners say “no.” Marketing has never been more complicated or more expensive.

Why? Because…

  1. More advertisers are competing for consumer attention. Everyone is creative. Everyone is a storyteller. Everyone is everywhere. Consumers are overloaded with marketing messages that have less and less influence with each passing year.
  2. New technologies are creating new ways to reach customers and new ways for customers to be empowered to discover, research, and review brands.
  3. Consumer attitudes and behaviors have changed. Consumers don’t trust marketing messages as much as they used to. They feel confident in their ability to access a brand, service, or purchase decision and are more resistant to get tangled with a salesperson than ever before. Customers want more autonomy. Businesses now have to discern how to create a great experience for customers before they meet them.

Misguided Solutions Lead to Wasted Time and Money

The road to wasted marketing dollars is broad. Here are some of the pathways:

  1. Keep experimenting and finding the one thing that really works. For example, running a coupon in the Sunday paper, direct mail, radio spots, or dabbling in Google AdWords. You keep trying things to find the one thing that really works but soon learn there isn’t one thing. If you do find one thing, it soon stops working as competitors start doing it too.
  2. Continue to do things that worked 10 years ago. In 5 years when you realize that you need to change, you’ll be so far behind your competition you’ll never catch up.
  3. Spend as little as possible with marketing experimentation. You look for small wins to later invest in more heavily — a little search engine optimization, a little PPC, a blog post or two, attracting 200 fans on Facebook. What’s the value of moving from page 3 to page 2 on Google? What’s the value of investing “X” dollars in search engine optimization when your direct competitors are spending 5 times that amount? How long do you think a social media plan or content strategy would take to move your top-line? Building only half of a car isn’t a way to see if you like driving it.

Near-user Marketing® Gets Results Through Solid Strategy

Here’s how we do that:

  1. Identify advantages or positive characteristics that your company has, that your direct competition doesn’t have, and that your customers care about. That differentiation should be the keystone of your marketing strategy.
  2. Understand the journey each of your consumer segments takes from their initial status of “stranger that’s never heard of you,” to your customer, to your “review-writing advocate.”
  3. Recognize the “thing that sells the thing” in your customer’s journey. Is it a free trial, a catalog download, attendance at an event or webinar? What’s the thing(s) that your customers do before they become your customers. Look for correlations, then make them marketing goals.
  4. Plan what parts of your customer’s experience will be served by digital media and how you’ll measure that success.

Hiring Your Marketing Team: Who Can You Trust?

There are so many possible marketing approaches and vendors are eager to recommend the thing that they happen to do.

When you talk to vendors, they try to “sell” you on what they offer rather than honestly considering if it is best for you. Who can you believe?

It is tempting to hire a national with good sales-people and low-priced packages. The reality however, is that you won’t be working with that smart, articulate salesperson once you sign on. You’ll be working with, well, who knows? More importantly, who will care about how your budget is being spent? Who will feel responsible for your success? You can bet it won’t be a high-level strategist. They won’t lie awake at night worrying that you’re not getting leads.

The Allure of the “One-stop” Shop

It’s tempting to want a company that does everything. But good strategies focus on executing a few things really, really well.

Progressive agencies are going for deep expertise in a few things, old-school agencies are saying “full-service” and are fast becoming a mile wide and an inch deep, unable to keep up with the small and mighty agencies with razor sharp focus, and nimble, genius execution.

Stay open to the idea of working with more than one vendor. Smart businesses are doing that, or mixing in-house and outsourced vendors to build the right team.

Is YDOP the Right Fit for Building Your Business Website or Your Internet Marketing?


YDOP has deep, nationally-recognized expertise in Near-user Marketing®.

Most businesses have stronger market penetration in a geographic proximity from their physical locations. This is especially true for retail and service industries. It’s also valuable for business-to-business industries as their customers often respond positively to Near-user Marketing®.

Furniture manufacturing is one such example. Each of the manufacturer’s clients (furniture stores) benefit from Near-user Marketing®.

Are your customers, or your clients’ customers, within a driving distance of a physical business location(s)? If so, then Near-user Marketing® might be a good fit.

YDOP Serves Businesses With Regional and National Clientele, Too

While we do serve clients with non-localized businesses, our focus on Near-user Marketing® helps us to excel at four approaches vital to reaching localized markets, even if you have a regional or national audience.

While we are confident that these are the four most effective strategies for localized business models, companies with broader audiences have also benefited from YDOP’s expertise in:

  1. Building traffic to a website
  2. Improving the conversion metrics of a website
  3. Building reputation through testimonials and online reviews
  4. Improving connectivity through effective communication strategies using segmented email marketing and social media

YDOP’s mission is to be the ideal Internet marketing partner, especially for businesses with nearby clients. If that describes your business, or if your business requires deep expertise in any of these four approaches, you should start a conversation with YDOP.

How Is Near-user Marketing® Different?

Most digital marketing strategies and tactics employ generic approaches often modeled after big brand approaches. Meanwhile, localized businesses benefit from a more specialized approach and have unprecedented opportunities online.

A localized business can have a strong presence on Google for potential customers in their area. Being found on Google just when a potential customer is doing research is a highly valuable online advantage for a local business. It’s an important part of lead generation, branding, and competitive positioning. Using this “local advantage” a business can appear in the organic search results, in the map pack, among Google’s AdWords, and have a prominent presence on web directories that also show up on the local SERPs (search engine results pages).

These four opportunities, coupled with having Google review stars show up with your SERP presence, gives your businesses a chance not only to rank well, but to rank multiple places, dominate the search page, and nearly guarantee a click through to your website and Google reviews.

Another example is in how a local business’s website can convert its visitors. Reinforcing trust through authenticity, familiarity, and locally shared values gives a local brand a great advantage, but few Internet marketing companies think to leverage this advantage or have experience in carrying out this type of local conversion optimization.

A local reputation has always been important, but now that reputation needs an online dimension. YDOP is experienced at coaching businesses, and implementing systems to constantly garner testimonials, get great reviews posted across the web, and preventing negative ones.

Staying connected to a local audience is now possible through free and inexpensive digital tools: email and social media platforms. Different approaches are required however as the business will typically have fewer followers than a national brand, yet can more easily develop deeper commitment from that smaller audience, and convert them to visitors and local participants.

Exploring mobile and social opportunities a local business can drive valuable and highly measurable goals of “door swings, phone rings, and email dings” from nearby audiences.

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