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Search Engine Marketing
 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


Imagine, the ultimate bet.  Everything you have on either black or red.  You either lose everything or win it all.  They say you cannot beat the odds and you cannot beat the casinos, but there is one way.  Roulette.  The bet to end all bets, a straight simple bet either the ball lands on red or it lands on black.  Minimal skill required, just luck and in casino parlance, a lot of balls.    

Ashley Revell's bet it all Idea  

For one man it all started in the pub. Mr Revell was drinking with friends after work when one of them said “wouldn’t it be great if we went to Las Vegas and bet everything on one spin?”  

Then the next day Ashley Revell couldn’t get the idea out of his mind.  At the time he wasn’t married, he didn’t have any kids, he realised if he was going to do it, he had to decide now.  

Everyone he knew said it was a stupid thing to do. His mother naturally said it was a silly idea and he should be thinking of his future.  His father’s advice was the same.  

But unable to stop thinking about it and unable to make the decision, he began the process of selling everything he owned.  Ashley didn’t own a house but he had about £10,000 in savings towards his first mortgage.  He had indulged in a Rolex watch and a BMW during his early work years plus a set of golf clubs.  All the things that were the trappings of a single life.  He sold them all.  

Ashley sold the more expensive items and set up a car boot stall for the smaller things.  He sold sentimental things like his first XI school cricket jumper and two football ties.  He instantly regretted losing them, but he knew he had to have nothing remaining otherwise it wouldn’t feel like gambling everything.   

After six months he was ready to go.  At this stage, the story had become widely known and Sky began filming his experience.  He flew out to Vegas owning absolutely nothing, even his tuxedo was rented.  

Reflecting on the experience afterwards, Ashley says it was crazy but he felt totally convinced he was going to win. He felt he was just going to Vegas to collect his winnings.  

When he woke the morning of the big bet, Ashley went down to the Plaza Casino and Hotel.  He had transferred £76,860 from his UK bank and the Vegas casino gave him a large stack of chips.  

At the Roulette table in Vegas  

At that point he didn’t know whether he was going to go for red or black.  He still hadn’t decided.  

When he arrived at the Roulette table, the croupier explained: “It’s simple, when I spin the ball, if it goes round more than three times before you say red or black, you can’t place a bet”.  

Suddenly the croupier began to spin the ball.  The crowd had gathered behind Ashley.  The atmosphere was electric.  Everyone had heard about this crazy man from Europe who had sold everything he owned to bet on one spin of the wheel.  
As people pressed closer, Ashley in his black tuxedo watched the ball spinning round once, twice and then the first thing that came into his head was red.  So he pushed all of his chips forward on red.  

That spin was the most amazing moment of Ashley’s life.   He is quoted as saying time stood still.  He felt calm.  He had no possessions, he either returned a winner or with nothing, not even the (rented) shirt on his back.  

The ball began to slow.  It wobbled around and then landed in what he thought was red but it disappeared slightly from view.  

Later that year, Ashley met a girl in Holland and is now married with two children.  As to what happened that night, remember Sky was there and you can watch the moment live: (requires sound).    

Gambling is like any industry, there are many casinos, online gambling sites and betting shops.  Business directories are perfect for advertising a brand or company to a large amount of potential customers.  YouCom Direct understands directory advertising isn’t just about, or  There are many geo-location friendly sites.  Which is why YouCom Direct has a diverse range of clients across many industries offering pay-per-call or pay-per-lead advertising, in many instances exclusive to our agency.  

The Directory Critic is a gambling directory ranked 6,000 by Alexa with a PR 5 and often number one for keyword searches.  It takes a lot of time to search and select good gambling directories to submit a branch details to.  The company also needs to go through each directory, find relevant categories, enter the titles, the descriptions, handle the administration etc.  YouCom Direct offer directory advertising management for local search to take care of the work for you.  Our advertising delivers more calls with a higher call to lead conversion rate and lower CPA.  

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Mr and Mrs Lecrinier of Belgium who were married in Vegas in 2016 (hopefully with less media attention and less stress than Mr Revell).  

Disclaimer: YouCom Direct and our parent agency YouCom Media does not condone the actions of Mr Revell nor promotes irresponsible gambling.  Gambling can be addictive and users should only gamble what they can afford to lose. 

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Glossary: CPA – Cost per Acquisition  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Oct 2019, London, ‘The Ultimate Bet’


Content Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


This article contains bullet point tips for getting more calls and more clicks and more footfall than your competitors and it’s all free by the way.  YouCom Direct are an advertising agency who advise clients how to turn around their campaigns.  But we provide that advice freely and it’s available here too.  

Creative Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Your website, social media platforms and online business directory listings should all be working hard to help you stand out from the competition.  Because your digital footprint is what will help you sell.  But not every company does that well. Everyone’s looked at their own websites and wondered how is it that the competition is getting better search results, better call volume, better footfall?  The answer in the main is because many brands assign social media or business directory advertising to someone in their organisation who is simply putting content out there and doing little else.  But that would change if they followed this free advice.  

There is so much more they could be doing to get their story and their message noticed.  YouCom Direct are a local search advertising agency that specialises in getting brands noticed in local searches and we have identified the following ‘tips’ for digital marketing staff;  


Focus on tags
Our clients outperform their competition. Period.  Their call volumes are higher than before they worked with us, their stores are more sold out than their competitors and there are many things we add but tags are the quickest big difference we can make.  If you do a Google search on ‘YouCom Direct’ and go to Images what do you see?  The same applies to our clients and should apply to your company or you as an individual if you’re writing posts and blogs.  You can’t just throw a lot of tags in there, there is some science behind it, but broadly speaking, any tags are better than none.  Place search tags on all your images.    

Creative Marketing Tips By YouDirectories

Focus on Keywords
It sounds obvious but marketing staff don’t do it enough or as well as they should.  YouCom Direct have taken on brands as clients who only had their store address, phone and URL data on their directory business listings (think  What about the keywords? How do they expect to stand out online and achieve that digital footprint they want?  The first thing we do is a full review and identify the keywords the brand should have.  Digital marketing staff need to do the same.  Use the business description, use the heading, use the photos, even use the URL.   There are many different ways to add keywords and alter the local search results in your favour.    

Creative Tips by YouDirectories

Content Curation (show the love)

This is the next big marketing term.  We had content marketing and everyone was talking about that.  Now it’s content curation.  This is where you find another piece of content that you feel is great for your brand and your business or that you feel your customer audience will benefit from possibly unrelated to your business and you share it. You make your social media channels a place where people go to for the best news regarding your industry or their interests.  And that’s the key.  Use good data-marketing techniques to establish the interests of your customer audience. Always make sure you give credit to the source.  This is a new world with an old word and that word is love. Share the love, gain traffic for someone who wrote some great content (if you wish to share ours / this news article, click on the links at the bottom).  


Almost always forgotten, almost always not used well enough.  Many brands have an in-house member of staff, sometimes even an agency, who does some really good writing and engaging content, they put it on social media and it’s lost in space. For Twitter, Google Places, Tumblr, LinkedIn and even directories, if you use hashtags, you’ll gain traction. The main purpose of hashtags is to highlight the relevant local search word in each tweet or post. With the right research, all brand marketing staff can find the highest searched hashtags for their industry.  

Creative Marketing Tips by YouDirectories


The headline serves as the single biggest factor determining whether your reader will click to read your article or post.  You have to have a headline that draws them into your marketing message. Make it A.I.D.A. related (see glossary at the bottom of this article). Give readers a promise or promotion. Think about what will they learn by reading your message? Why should they bother? Becoming really good at writing headlines is one of the most important skills a digital marketing person can gain and this is one of our most important creative marketing tips.  


Use different formats

Creating quick social media posts is easy, blogging is also pretty good for content creation, but what about video?  What about research studies?  Surveys? White papers? infographics? There are many ways to reach your customer audience. The biggest mistake a digital marketing person can make? (Or rather the biggest mistake senior management can make when they appoint them) is allowing the company to focus on using the platform they are most comfortable with rather than the platform where your customer audience spends most of their time.  

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Glossary: A.I.D.A. – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (marketing model)  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Sept 2019, London, ‘Be More Dog’.


Brand Marketing
 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


For Marketing staff to reach their audience effectively it is necessary to categorise people into age groupings.  Here is a brief history leading up to Generation Z and why companies need to change their marketing to focus more on review management, online directories and social media marketing;  

The Lost Generation by YouCom Direct 

The Lost Generation

Also known as the Generation of 1914.  This is the age group who fought in World War I. The members of the lost generation were born between 1883 and 1900.  This was the first of the marketing categories created.  Sadly, none of this group are alive today.  

The Greatest Generation by YouCom Direct 

The Greatest Generation

Also known as the G.I. Generation.  This includes the veterans who fought in World War II. The members of the G.I. Generation were born between 1900 to 1924.  This group required intelligent marketing, editorials, localised Direct Mail works well.  They are of high morality and ethical.  They fought, they served, they gave us our freedoms we enjoy today.  

The Lucky Few by YouCom Direct 

The Silent Generation

Romantically known also as the Lucky Few.  This includes men who fought in World War II, the Korean War and many who fought during the Vietnam War.  Similar to the Greatest Generation, the Lucky Few respond well to localised direct mail and (formal) personalisation.  The members of the silent generation were born between 1925 and 1945.  

Baby Boomers by YouCom Direct 

The Baby Boomers

This is the generation that was born following World War II.  Members of the baby boomer generation were born between 1946 to 1964.  At this time due to the end of the World War, there was a marked increase in birth rates and prosperity.  This generation is the generation still alive today which common consensus agrees has the most wealth for brands marketing products and services to sell to.  They are also widely regarded as the most educated and self-motivated.  The baby boomer is most likely to own more than one home in more than one country with more than one car.  They worked hard and saved for a good pension.  

Baby boomers respond well to localised direct mail and personalisation, catalogue marketing, coupons and voucher marketing, cinema advertising, billboards, signage, TV advertising, editorials, radio advertising and PPC.  Baby Boomers are less knowledgeable for online marketing (unless their career required later learning), so PPC to this group is simply the first results on the search page and more effective than natural search results.  Directory marketing works very well for this generation and most would use their local Yellow Pages rather than look for a business online.  

Generation X by YouCom Direct 

Generation X

Usually abbreviated to Gen X, this generation were born after the baby boom and retained a lot of their parents’ traits.  They also desire to exceed their parents’ achievements.  Generation X are highly educated, active, balanced, happy, and family-oriented.  They were the first generation to have a great surge in entrepreneurs.  These are the go-getters and self-starters.  They are ambitious and were the last generation to have a good attention span.  

Generation X are the greatest group for multi-channel marketing, able to process the editorials effective with the Baby Boomers, yet still be at ease with mobile app advertising and natural search results.  Cinema advertising works well with this group the most frequent audience and radio advertising also.  Localised direct mail starts to become less effective with this group and personalised mail whilst still effective is starting to become less able to stop the journey from the letterbox to the bin.  

Outdoor advertising such as out of home and alternative marketing like guerrilla marketing is effective for Generation X people.  TV advertising is still effective but less so as people can now pause live TV and turn to services such as NetFlix and Amazon TV.  Generation X looks past the PPC results for the natural search results.  In some studies, participants ignored PPC completely beginning their reading at the first natural search result. 

Printed directories are less effective for this generation although the earlier members still use them.  Online directories are however highly effective because of how they filter through into the natural search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Members of Generation X were born between 1964 and 1980.  

Millennials by YouCom Direct 


Often known as the Millennial Generation, or Generation Y. The Millennials are generalised as having traits of greater confidence and tolerance, but also a new sense of entitlement and narcissism that wasn’t seen in such numbers from the previous generations.  

In the millennial generation this group are a mix of those still with traits of generation X and those whose attention spans were beginning to shorten.  By the end of the millennial period, attention spans had shortened by a significant 11 seconds.  This has had a great impact on advertising campaigns to this audience and many brands were too slow to adapt their marketing.  

Advertising messaging needs to be much shorter to this group with more imagery.  Millennials have a sense of being let down, that the world isn’t the way they thought it would be.  The entitlement factor mostly isn’t met by reality.  

Offer based advertising, money off, price match advertising all works well to this group.  Aspirational advertising and advertising better suited to storytelling using real-life examples of other customers work best. Channels such as radio isn’t suited to that.  Cinema advertising works, Mobile apps, outdoor, out of home and natural search including online directories all works well for this generation group.  Signage is less important as this group are less brand loyal and drive vehicles less than previous generations.  Members of Generation Y were born between 1980 and 2000.  

Generation Z by YouCom Direct 

Generation Z

This generation follows generation Y (the millennials).  They are occasionally referred to as Generation Alpha.  Generation Z is highly skilled with technology.  But they are also under more social pressure than any other generation before them.  Their lives are all shared and online.  Society has moved toward expectations for all young people to aspire to University education while apprenticeships and early employment are all but unheard of.  

Unfortunately, due to the changes observed in the millennial generation, the average Generation Z member has a documented attention span of only 8 seconds (for context; a goldfish has an attention span of 7 seconds.  Although this is amusing, there are serious implications for our future).  Members of this generation were born from 2000 and the category won’t close until 2025.  

Generation Z

How to Advertise to Generation Z and to prepare for when they form your main customer audience

Generation Z are most notably at ease with today’s communications.  They have grown up with the internet and social media.  They are familiar with viral videos, virtual interfacing, international gaming, and comfortable with technology in general.  Unlike previous generations a greater than average proportion of their social interactions is from social media websites.  

It is a widely held view that growing up through the crisis or recession of 2008 has given this generation a feeling of unsettlement and insecurity.  This combination of social factors makes Generation Z one of the hardest to advertise to.  They are clued up and will switch off from traditional advertising.  With today’s options to pause live TV they have more resource to remove themselves from brand messaging.  

Indeed, Generation Z watches more YouTube and online video than traditional TV (and TV advertising or sponsorship).  In a way, this shows how brands must change how they organise their advertising and marketing (more emphasis on digital, social media, video, imagery and reviews).  

Generation Z - Images Are Important

Advice 1 – Images Are Important

Generation Z has grown up with visual communications. Every one of them has tablets or big screen smartphones. They can filter and edit pictures and have entire conversations with just photos (think Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat).  We advise clients to keep imagery as a constant central theme through their messaging to this generation.


Generation Z - Short Attention Span

Advice 2 – Short Attention Span

The average Generation Z member has an attention span of only 8 seconds (a goldfish has an attention span of 7 seconds).  Generally, attention spans have decreased by 11 minutes since the Millennials (Generation Y) who were the last to actively challenge the world around them in a way where they were forced to memorise, learn, adapt and multi-task without the help of an electronic device or peer sharing.   Therefore, Generation Z marketing must maintain short, snappy content.  Reach out and yank their attention fast or they will be past your content and on to other brand messaging.  

Generation Z - Real Life Reviews

Advice 3 – Real Life Reviews

Generation Z is the social media generation.  They will share content and therefore will more quickly identify advertising.  If brand messaging is or appears to be genuine advice and useful guidance (or just interesting to their group) Generation Z will retweet, repost, or share it digitally or by word of mouth.  This increases importance to review management and review gathering (services offered by YouCom Direct).  Good Google+ reviews will increase your brand engagement with this generation.  

Generation Z by YouCom Direct 

Advice 4 – Hunt Them Down

Facebook is now more popular with the previous generations (including the baby boomers).  As it becomes populated with mum’s and dad’s, Generation Z are turning to other channels such as Twitter or Tumblr. 

Social Media Management will become increasingly important for your brand as this generation Z gets older.  Remember, the first of this generation Z (born in 2000) are already 16 years old now.  In a few more years they will become your main customer audience, looking to move out, requiring driving lessons, insurance, storage, banking, finance, car rental, solicitors, and with increasing disposable income for opticians’ products, mobile phones, clothes etc.  

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Required reference
: YouCom Direct News Article, Aug 2019, London, ‘Generation Z .’


Brand Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Service Marketing by YouCom Direct

80 percent of people in advanced economies work in the service sector.  The marketing of services is therefore more important today than ever before. Any economic activity that creates value or some sort of benefit for people at a defined time and location, is a service.  The RAC, AA or Green Flag provide the service of car breakdown recovery.  Enterprise rent-a-car, Avis or Hertz provide the service of a car rental.  Boots, Specsavers or Vision Express provide the service of an eye health examination.  In some cases, services are coupled to products, so in the last example, an optician having performed an assessment of your vision can then sell you a pair of glasses.  

The way services are marketed will be different to how products are advertised.  The traditional marketing mix of the four P’s (Product, Pricing, Place, Promotion), is extended for service marketing with 4 more P’s (People, Process, Physical Evidence, Productivity). If your agency understands each of these P’s, the content for your local area business listing or local search result will have greater impact for SERP (search engine results page) success and generate a greater number of sales leads.  


In services, the ‘product’ is intangible. When you produce it, you also consume it, for in producing the service it is often at the time it is ‘consumed’ by buyers.  The service offered can be much more customised than a product therefore but brands are wise to maintain a consistent level of service offering to maintain quality and brand reputation.  


Establishing the price of your service is harder than creating the price for a product.  With a product, a company can calculate the cost of raw materials, labour, staffing, overheads.  With a service, the company must calculate a price for the intangible offering provided with that service.  For example, when choosing a restaurant, you don’t just want to be given a service of food delivery.  You also want an ambience, a view, a mood setting. Service managers seek to reduce the effort customers spend obtaining the service, including time, mental or physical effort and negative sensory experiences such as a noisy room, bad odour, poor queuing system etc. This impacts on marketing.  

Service Marketing - Place


Products can be sent to the consumer, but services are linked to their place of delivery.  A relaxing spa will portray a better service sensory experience (added-value) in a countryside place than in a busy city.  If the place of your service is different to competitors or enhances the service, then this also can be considered in the service marketing message.  

Service Marketing - Promotion


All marketing campaigns require promotion and education to succeed (see the blue box in the above image). Promotion persuades consumers as to the benefits of your service over the competition, encourages consumers into time-specific action and educates them with information and advice for which your service can deliver.  Services can be very quickly copied and supplied by another firm so promotion is more important in service marketing.  This makes your SERP’s more important and the right localised content on your business listing advertising is key to whether your service gains market share.  

Service Marketing - People


Brands must focus on reviews.  Many services depend on personal relationships between your staff and the consumers.  The type of interaction received by your customers will dictate if you can retain their custom and build your customer-base from word-of-mouth advertising.  Remember, customers largely judge the service received, by how your staff delivered that service.  Here is where an agency managing a Google Places review campaign is critical to marketing your service.  Also consider other review platforms such as Facebook, Feefo, Trustpilot and social-marketing channels such as a well-managed Twitter program (YouCom Direct have almost twenty thousand followers with high engagement for each tweet).

Service Marketing by YouCom Direct


A ‘process’ is a set of rules by which a service operating system works. A poorly created process will lose you customers by a slow, laboured service delivery.  Here is where our UX (User Experience) research proves useful.  Understanding how customers interact with you (and with your competitors) will identify weak areas in service delivery where your process can be revised and improved.  Remember, poor processes will also demoralise staff resulting in low productivity.  Pret have a very good process.  Rules for rules and all designed to ensure that the same standard of service is repeatedly delivered to each new (and repeat) customer.  

Service Marketing by YouCom Direct

Physical Evidence

Services are intangible, you cannot ‘hold’ them.  There is little to associate with them other than feelings.  Most companies therefore try to link tangible things to their service to enhance their perceived service quality. This could be the appearance of the building (the red bricks in Pret, the warm browns in Costa, the black wood in Café Nero etc); landscaping; vehicles (the bright orange of RAC, the bright yellow of the AA, the green of Green Flag etc); equipment; staff uniform; signs; promotional literature and many more. This is why your hairdressers will have a well-designed waiting area with magazines, drinks and comfortable sofas for customers waiting for the service.  


Improving productivity is vital to keep costs low and make your service more competitive.  Brands must trade productivity against making cost reductions that result in lower service levels resented by customers (and staff).  If your service inputs are transformed into service outputs that add value to the customer, then this is a good addition to place in your business listing on directory sites.  Have this productivity feature stand out prominently in your directory listing when it is pulled back by Google into the first results page.    

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Glossary: SERP – Search Engine Results Page UX – User Experience    

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Jul 2017, London, ‘Service Marketing’.


Data Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Personalisation by YouCom Direct

At YouCom Direct we focus on something called ‘Design Personalisation’.  We tailor client’s advertising to show accurate local content for stores, but we also have specifically designed adverts for a local audience and personalised messaging.  These adverts have a design that is unlike anything you normally see in Yellow Pages or online and will create customer engagement to drive higher call volumes (as you can see from these images).  

To understand the ROI from marketing design personalisation, we should first look at hospitality marketing.  Hospitality is a collection of supplementary services that adds value to a purchase by treating customers like guests, providing amenities that anticipate the person’s needs during their interaction with the service/product provider.  Hospitality marketing ensures employees treat customers as guests, greeting them with pleasure when meeting them for the first time and when old customers return.  They are creating a personalised experience for each customer.  This creates brand loyalty in a fractious marketplace.  Pret do this very well.

Pret rated the highest on personalised interaction with customers

A survey of 4,500 consumers by Market Force, asked consumers to rate their satisfaction with their last experience at a coffee shop and how likely they would be to recommend it to friends. The data was averaged to rate each company brand on a Composite Loyalty Index.  Pret also rated the highest on seven of the eight critical drivers of satisfaction, primarily driven by ‘friendliness of staff’.  Courtesy for customer’s needs extends to all forms of marketing communication.  Face-to-face like in Pret, but also telephone and online interaction.  

Brands realise the importance of customer lifecycle marketing

Brands realise that the customer lifecycle is more important than short-term sales and seek to build customer loyalty to gain repeat business and upsell opportunities.  In the USA, hospitals make a lot of money from people because they don’t have a national health service free at point of use like in the UK.  They know the reason most families start using a hospital is to give birth and with so many birthing centres and hospital, they face stiff competition.  Stiff competition and a service/product that opens the door to further ‘sales’ opportunities will require hospitality marketing to make that service or product more personal to the customer.

74 percent of marketers know personalisation is good for business

To gain new customers, brands seeking to deliver hospitality marketing messages do so via data personalisation.  According to an Econsultancy study, 74 percent of marketers know personalisation is good for business, yet the same study reveals only 19 percent of marketers are actually using personalisation.  BMW improved sales conversion rates by 30 percent by personalising their media messages with customer’s first names.  BMW know that your brand begins to have added value in the customer’s mind when you design the adverts to create engagement via tools such as personalisation.  

The search for competitive advantage in mature industries will come down to not where you advertise but what and how you advertise.  The creation of value-added services and supplementary services to make your product/service/brand stand out from the competition.  Managers must be aware of selecting the right mix of supplementary services and the right agency will help you to do that.  YouCom Direct won’t just list your store details on websites with high user numbers, we focus on ‘personalising’ your store data to become relevant to the customer on a local level.  Good Design Personalisation is an effective form of local marketing.  

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Data source: Survey by Market Force, a leading global customer intelligence solutions company.  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News, Jun 2017, London, ‘Personalisation.’


Consumer Behaviour
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Praying with my Dog

February is known to be the most depressing month. It’s grey, wet, cold, costs are higher and we’re stuck indoors more to see each other’s faults.  This is why YouCom Direct decided to run a competition to find what motivates people and to share the positive in that which surrounds us.  A positive prayer is worth a ton of negative thoughts…  


We are living in a time of progress.  Events such as Putin in Russia, Trump in America, Assad in Syria, restriction of speech in China etc. make us worry for democracy.  But democracy is in no danger, it is in fact at an all-time high.  Peaceful government transitions occurred in 2016 in Morocco, Japan, Ghana, Iceland, Croatia, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and yes even in the USA.  
Gambia saw the end of a 22 year rule of fear by President Jammeh when he was beaten democratically by the opposition candidate Adama Barrow and after many attempts to hang on to power, finally left office.  


For the first time in 50 years, Myanmar had their first civilian leader, elected by the people.  Gambia banned child marriage in 2016 along with Tanzania.  Plus, the pan-African parliament gave their endorsement to a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) across Africa.  These are most certainly good things to smile about.  


A WHO report showed that since 2000, worldwide deaths caused by Malaria have declined by 60 per cent!  Deaths caused by AIDS have also fallen by 45 percent.  Mothers dying in childbirth have decreased by 44 percent since 1990 and infant deaths have fallen by 50 percent too.  We undoubtedly live in the best of times.   Did you know from 2016, people can now expect to live seven extra years on average compared to those born in 1990?   The WHO also told us in 2016 that measles has been wiped out from all the Americas and that polio could be wiped out within a year!  And in western countries, incidents involving colon cancer, dementia and heart disease are all decreasing.  So, we can look forward to healthier times too it seems.  


How about those cute fluffy animals for you animal lovers out there?  Well, more than 20 economies have agreed £5.3 billion to conserve the world’s oceans.  2016 saw Wolves reintroduced to Europe (umm, shouldn’t this be in the list of bad things?) and the big bad grizzly is back in Yellowstone national park! Plus, green sea turtles, humpback whales and giant panda’s are now all finally off the endangered species list whilst the number of tigers in the wild rose for the first time in 100 years – How great are we for finally getting our act together to protect the creatures we share this planet with!?  


These positive things we don’t usually get to hear.  The media seems to be full of doom and gloom.  But take the environment for instance.  For 3 years now, worldwide Co2 emissions did not rise at all.  China has decreased use of coal since 2014 and India has announced no intention to build new coal plants for the foreseeable future.  Acid pollution is at the lowest level since the 1930’s and guess what!?  The Ozone hole (remember that?) continues to shrink from our great efforts to do something about it and is expected to be fully healed by 2050. 🙂  


How about money?  Well, the amount of people below the poverty line fell by 10 percent for the first time ever.  In the last 26 years, over 1 billion people have escaped severe poverty.  In the UK, the average household income grew at its fastest rate for the last 15 years.  Plus the numbers employed is at a record high of 75 percent (although this is weighted heavily against the young with most unemployment being seen among University graduates and younger people).  We also had the introduction of the national living wage to address inequality.  With the growth of digital media, we’re also able to go shopping at any time on any day, in any place.  Meaning we rarely go without things we want.  How lucky are we to live in this age?  


At YouCom Direct, we try to be just as positive with others.  We decided to send our clients, suppliers and mystery shoppers a free ‘Seize the day’ calendar of daily motivational quotes and positive sayings.  Because we understand that when good people come into your life we will all contribute to a happier, stress-free world, if we communicate and stay in touch with others instead of losing good friends.


We asked our large online community if you knew what the most important thing in life is and give you this video clip from the heart-warming comedy Holy Man which contains the answer:

We invited you all to enter a competition to win a copy of this DVD.  Entrants simply had to tell us what they live by to lead a positive life.  

Here are the winners and all will receive a free DVD of this Hollywood film!

‘Make them understand with love.’

– Safia Qureshi’s words to her daughter Amber.  “In all interactions, I process life and people with this!!!” says Amber.  

“For a good happy life, I live by smiling at everyone, engaging with strangers, selflessly helping others and making sure my family and friends are happy around me. This genuinely makes me happy – Leyla Preston, Brand Ambassador and Chief Editor of Motherhood Diaries.  Read more from her blog here:  

“My motto is ‘Do what you love, love what you do’. Try to make most of your life about the things that you really enjoy and love and put effort and love into those things too.” – Petra Robertson editor of A Mum Reviews.  Read more from her blog here:  

“Not every day is good but there is good in every day” – Sabina Green editor of MummyMatters Read more from her blog here:  

“Try to live each day by the laws of love, the love of family, the love of friends, the more love we put out into the world the more we get back, in life, love, business, just use love and always remember and I mean always, You are good enough and never let anyone try to tell you differently” – Mandy Charlton, Travel and Commercial Photographer See her beautifully professional photos here:   

“I live by always being honest not just to my family but anybody that I talk too and spending more time with my family.” – Amy Bryant, Kentucky, USA.  

“I live life to travel to spend my days enjoying the time I’m not at work, enjoying time with my 9 year old. This year I’m enjoying taking him to Disney World Florida. As a surprise :)”Lucy Greens  

And here’s a few more inspired words to hopefully restore some positivity to all of us;

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” – Unknown  

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt  

“Let your hook always be cast.  In the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.” – Ovid  

“To love deeply & be loved in return, that’s a rare gift from God, everything else is just packaging.” – T. Tolis  
“Trust in your dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”Kahlil Gibran  

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Glossary: FGM – Female Genital Mutilation WHO – World Health Organisation  

Data source: The Times columnist P. Collins.  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, February 2017, London, ‘The Best of Times.


 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


Imagine being paid to walk.  Every time you walk to the shops, walk to work, walk to school, walk anywhere, someone pays you money.  Well that’s what Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi have created and it’s taking the world by storm.  

Their mobile app counts and verifies each step you take, earning the walker 1 BW$ for approximately 10,000 steps (about five miles).  Immediately you can see it won’t earn you vast sums quickly, but hey you’re paid just for walking to work which you’re going to do every day anyway..

Bitwalking by YouDirectories

The mobile app reports the speed and type of movement as measured by the accelerometer.  However, the total amount a person can earn in one day will be capped at approximately 3 BW dollars (nearly 30,000 steps).  That’s potentially 90 BW dollars a month (£65 approx.). The Bitwalking team have also developed algorithms to prevent users operating multiple accounts.  

In 2015 and early 2016, there has been a trend for fitness trackers with Sony, Garmin, Fitbit to name a few all producing wrist bands that monitor how far you’ve walked.  The Bitwalking app just goes that one ‘step’ further by offering an extra incentive to keep fit.  In 2016 a Japanese electronics manufacturer is already working on a Bitwalking wrist band that will let users earn without needing to have their mobile with them.  

Bitwalking with YouDirectories

There are many potential advertisers and partners for such an idea.  Shoe manufacturers will be quick to come on board, health insurers (think of the advertising campaigns by Prudential life insurance), environmental firms and anyone courting publicity (Virgin are already linked to Bitwalking).  

There would be a lot of local search data from all of the users walking around their town or city which potential advertisers could have access to.  This alone would generate the real-dollars needed to get the scheme off the ground.  Foursquare was a directory app which did similar, providing user’s local walking data to advertisers by way of informing them when users ‘checked-in’ to a shop or business.  

Concerns over privacy of individual users walk patterns were answered by the co-founder Nissan Bahar who stated “That won’t be for sale.  We may explore offering advertisers the opportunity to focus on different groups depending on how active they are, but we won’t pass on any information relating to individual’s movements.”  

Employers could be invited to participate where their employees are encouraged to be healthier and the Bitwalking currency that they earn could be converted then paid in their salaries.  

Bitwalking buys coffee with YouDirectories

It’s estimated that western world users would earn on average 15 BW dollars a month.  It is unlikely users could swap BitWalk dollars for real money but they would be used to buy goods much like the barter system in place before money was invented.  Businesses that offer free coffees when you buy nine drinks (think Café Nero) could very easily get on board.  Franky Imbesi says “For some Bitwalking will be a free cup of coffee a week perhaps offered by local businesses to encourage people to explore their local shops. For others it could be a game changer, transforming their lives by enabling them to earn and trade in the same way with the rest of the world.”  

Bitwalking helps the poorest

That is a major point of appeal in the developing world.  Poorer individuals where people have to walk far to go to work or to school or just to collect their daily water, could all see real tangible benefits.  In this way the western world that has long taken part in philanthropic charity events to help those in need, could help the poorest in the world.  Some charity donations never reach their intended recipients due to charity overheads, corrupt local government officials or local gangs who steal food and other goods funded from Western charities.  But if Western companies working with Bitwalking could provide goods that users can exchange for their Bitwalking dollars, those poor individuals would directly receive the benefits.  

The online store will sell goods for the same price in BW$ as US$.  Now the 15 BW dollars per month doesn’t seem so low.  $15 is approximately £10.00.  There could be many goods bought for say three months’ worth (£30.00) and all from just walking. Keeping the virtual shelves of this online store fully stocked will be one of the first challenges for the new idea, but so far, so good.   Of course with such a new platform it isn’t available to download in the app store.  It is invite only but YouCom Direct hopes you succeed and you can try your luck below;

BitWalking Apply Here With YouDirectories




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Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Feb 2016, London, ‘Paid for BitWalking’.