MDL Marinas

Website re-design

Background

For MDL, digital is a key channel to engaging with prospects and members. It’s a channel serving the audience’s preferences, the needs of marina staff working throughout the UK and Europe, and the business budget.

Over the years, however, as the business has continued to evolve and grow, its online and digital presence needed a complete overhaul. Its Excel-based Sales Management System was out-of-date, not user-friendly, and really feeling the strain, and was a real burden on marketing staff as it was so difficult to work with.

Challenge

The Challenge MDL had set us was clear. Firstly replace and integrate ad-hoc offline sales-quoting activity from 21 different marinas and multiple offline reservations and berth booking systems. And secondly, to take a fragmented and confusing website, that was difficult to use for both customers and marketing staff, and transform it into an online hub that truly connected yachtsman with the marina teams.

Solution

Our approach covered the systematic overhaul of two key areas. The Sales Management System (SMS), and the website. We also created a mobile app.

Sales Management System

Our digital team worked closely with MDL’s Head of Technology to refine the brief and work out exactly what would serve the business best.

It was an interesting project that saw us meet the needs of non-expert users, and mobile workers. The resulting system is intuitive and user-friendly, and doesn’t skimp on features. Now, in just a couple of clicks, MDL sales staff can:

Generate quotes for all MDL service offerings.
Provide sales and customer contact history with a fully featured sales management system.
Access the system from both internal and external locations – with no compromise on shared, consistent and secure data.

The system was built in PHP, with core models and customising components from Drupal – a user-friendly and flexible open-source content management framework.

The key benefit of using a web-based framework to power the systems was in its accessibility, enabling both internal and external access via any device capable of displaying a webpage, from desktop computers to mobile phones.

Website

We’ve created a website that acts as a central hub, connecting yachtsman with marinas and marina staff across the UK and Europe. Built using Drupal (PHP based, open-source CMS), the site integrates seamlessly with the Sales Management System we created previously.

For yachtsman and other customers – Berths can be booked at any marina, and quotes requested through the site’s self-service booking engine. The customer portal allows access to marina specific content, detailed weather and tide information, and the ability to arrange liaisons such as swaps, with customers at other marinas.

For marina staff – administering quotes and enquiries; updating content specific to each marina, and managing bookings and reservations can now all be done on the same site. The staff workbench portal gives a one-pass publishing tool allowing for easy newsletter compilation involving integration with Mailchimp.

For Partner businesses – access to the MDL customer base through offers and directory listings.

For retail promotion – marina-based properties can be listed.

Mobile App

We also created a mobile app, which extended the key functionalities of the customer portal, to users out and about.
 

Result

Average time spent on site increased by 82% since launch, based on year-on-year results.

In ten months since launch, over 8,000 registrations for 'MyMDL' portal

Over 3 years, the sales management system has processed over 26,000 quotes, generating over £4.5 million revenue