John Cowpe launched The Multihull Group (TMG) in August 2015. The company, which imports luxury catamarans, enjoyed a magnificent first 18 months.
Highlights include becoming Best Lagoon Overseas Distributor for 2016, acquiring the exciting McConaghy brand and smashed sales targets.
TMG’s prominent digital profile, social media use and clever lifestyle storytelling have been crucial factors in the group’s rapid rise to success.
Brilliant Digital and TMG started working together in the planning stages of the new company. Brilliant Digital devised the digital marketing strategy, planned and created the branding material, designed and built the company’s websites and wrote the digital content.
They continue to work in partnership with TMG as an external digital marketing department, creating all the digital content across the various platforms and managing the search engine optimisation, digital advertising, database marketing and retargeting.
Managing Director John Cowpe describes working with the Brilliant Digital team as ‘a collaborative approach’, which ‘allows him to get on with running the business, with the peace of mind that his digital marketing is in the safe hands of a professional team’.
Weekly meetings with TMG and a member of the storytelling team are integral to the partnership.
Following the meeting, the writer creates relevant and captivating stories which are then used on the website, social media channels and digital advertising platforms.
John also meets monthly with his assigned digital strategist and digital marketing manager. This time is used to analyse results, discuss the strategic direction and ensure TMG is on track for continued growth.
Time poor Managing Director John appreciates the opportunity to connect concisely and constructively with the Brilliant Digital team.
“It doesn’t take much effort for me to get across the outline of a story and the direction in which I’d like the marketing to go.
The marketing team then goes and collects any further information they need, which might be through interviewing a client or researching online.”
The process of initiating a new website and digital marketing strategy can seem overwhelming, but the Brilliant Digital approach with TMG ensured these crucial activities did not burden the client.
“The website builds were easy… The guys were intuitive and got on with things without much leadership or corralling, and it was a smooth process with no issues.
The website links cohesively to ongoing marketing activities, so inherently it was a smooth transition which allowed the rest of the team at Brilliant Digital to work effectively with our company.”
John puts a few hours per week into the marketing strategy himself to ensure he conveys TMG’s direction and activities to the Brilliant team, both at the weekly catch up and in ongoing communications.
He might provide a lead for a story of a newly satisfied customer, or news of the latest boat model coming to market, or perhaps an overseas factory tour he is planning.
This ongoing engagement allows the Brilliant team to deliver and manage content to the greatest effect. This raises awareness of the brand and the company’s profile on powerful platforms like Google and Facebook, and drives traffic to the TMG website. It also engages customers, existing and potential, with information and stories relevant to them.
To get digital marketing to deliver educated, qualified leads and a return on investment requires a skilled team with specialist knowledge.
TMG’s digital marketing benefits from the collaboration of a skilled group of people.
A marketing strategist, an experienced storyteller, a digital designer and experts in website programming, social media and SEO contribute to a skill set that TMG couldn’t achieve in-house.
John knows that with Brilliant Digital onboard, he is getting a whole team of digital marketing experts. He comments that the Brilliant Digital team has “Excellent knowledge and experience, and are easy to work with.”
He speaks of the relationship as “a partnership, as much as a business arrangement”, and says, “the team has my back, and is there to help me.”
According to Brilliant Digital founding director Deb Croucher:
“As well as the specialist skill sets and knowledge, the other huge advantage of an external team is they don’t keep getting pulled away to answer the phone or service customers like an internal person inevitably does. Our team focuses on the task in hand and delivers a professional and reliable output.”
When it comes to the effect that digital marketing has had on his business, John feels the greatest value comes from the interesting stories, or blog posts, written for the website to engage his customers.
Stories show the lifestyle side of owning a boat that relates to readers in a way that facts and figures can’t. Family life on board a yacht, adventures in the South Pacific, Lagoon owners having fun at a rally…
…these tales foster lasting emotional connections and are fundamental to Brilliant Digital’s marketing approach.
John likes storytelling because he sees it as “less of a standard sell and more about engaging content.” He collaborates with a dedicated copywriter at Brilliant, with a proven track record of writing digital content that connects with customers.
When John Cowpe first engaged Brilliant Digital, he admits that he was cautious about the outlay for digital marketing for his new business.
However, his knowledge and experience of the Brilliant team’s performance with the Windcraft Group, plus the comfort that they understood his industry, gave him the confidence to proceed.
Traditionally, the boating industry has relied on referrals and word of mouth more than digital marketing, and while those are still important elements, John says, “We need both.
Well executed digital marketing helps to build TMG’s profile, and engages both current and potential members of the TMG family.”
The stories created for TMG go out to other websites and news outlets within the industry too and this in turn helps build John’s personal profile. This is important because…
“…people buy from people as well as companies…”
In other words, if John stands out as trusted in the industry, through the content and manner in which he engages his customers, that’s good news. He strives to work with the Brilliant Digital team to make sure that all the effort put into copy and content is working as effectively as possible through a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Part of Brilliant Digital’s comprehensive digital marketing solution is event marketing.
There is a dedicated events page on the TMG website, and corresponding targeted Facebook marketing. This encourages customers to seek more information and register their interest in, or to attend, future events.
In May 2017, a successful event marketing campaign garnered a massive response and led to huge queues at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show to see the magnificent Lagoon 630MY.
Top image – 24 April – 23 May 2016 and 2017
Overall traffic to the TMG site: up 149%
Contact forms completed: 10 x increase
Social traffic: 150% increase
Bottom image – Website traffic from August 2015 to May 2017 shows solid upward trend from start-up to established business 18 months later.
With a personalised dashboard for the website, Brilliant Digital is able to provide analytics across all the digital platforms to TMG in real time.
“Being able to see what is happening and respond with small changes to the campaign or website is exciting,” says Brilliant Digital Marketing Manager Nicola Elkington. “We can see trends and successes and react straightaway in ways that will deliver a better return on investment for the business.”
Analysis of TMG web traffic shows an exciting upwards trend in the last year, a direct result of the power of digital marketing.
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