Merger unites Lancaster marketing firms

Two Lancaster-based digital marketing agencies have come together as one. But for now, they are continuing to operate under their existing names.

  • The firms are YDOP and WTM Digital, which offer similar services but for different clients.
  • YDOP, which trademarked the term “near-user marketing,” works primarily with companies around ther U.S. seeking locally focused digital marketing.
  • WTM Digital, formerly Web Talent Marketing, focuses on national brands looking for expertise in search-engine optimization, paid search and e-commerce. 
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But it was structured as a sale of YDOP to WTM, according to Mike Caranelli, owner and CEO of WTM.

Why is this happening: Caranelli and YDOP founder Steve Wolgemuth have known each other for more than 10 years. They also share an accounting firm, Lancaster-based Kauffman CPA

  • The two business owners began discussing a merger three years ago. But it wasn’t until this year that Wolgemuth, now 65, was ready to sell the company he founded in 2006.
  • “It was just a great opportunity for me to wind down my career,” said Wolgemuth, who plans to keep working at the company for another two years in what he describes as a “shoulder season.”
  • But he also sees it as an opportunity for YDOP’s 18 employees, who will have more optoins for career development, and for its clients, who will benefit from the firms’ combined expertise.
  • “It is just such a win-win for everyone,” Wolgemuth said.
  • The two teams are now working out of the WTM office at 225 E. Grant St.
  • Founded in 2008, WTM employs 14 people.

Why keep both names: For the value of their brands, Wolgemuth and Caranelli said.

  • The decision also keeps things simpler for clients, they said.
  • For now, the companies are focused on how they can leverage each other’s resources on behalf of their clients, Caranelli said, acknowledging that a name change is not out of the question down the road.
  • “At the moment, it’s all about the current clients,” he said. “We want them to feel good about this experience. We want to make sure that all their needs are being met.”

The trend: Local PR and marketing agencies have seen a number of transactions over the last year or so.


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