Marketing for the future.

Golden Coast has been a part of the wet leisure industry for more than 35 years. During that time, the family run business has seen many changes, so is it any wonder they are currently leading the way when it comes to the use of online and social media marketing within the industry?

In 2010 Golden Coast set about making a shift in their marketing activity. Having always worked hard to promote their innovation, knowledge and commitment to the industry, they wanted to take this to the next level and develop their online presence.

In the same year the company appointed a new strategic marketing director, Aren Grimshaw, and they underwent a complete marketing overhaul. A number of the team were interviewed; customers were asked for anonymous feedback, and mystery shopper visits were undertaken.

Following the full analysis of the industry, a marketing strategy review was produced and recommendations, much of which focussed on the need to develop an online presence across a mixture of platforms, as this was something that was missing in the marketplace.

Golden Coast invested heavily in researching, developing and launching a new suite of websites and online presence. This included developing profiles on Facebook and Twitter, groups on LinkedIn and videos on YouTube. They developed e-newsletters, completely redesigned their corporate website and launched a selection of consumer facing websites, as well as a trade only web shop.

Lights, camera, action

One of their biggest successes has been their videos on YouTube. Golden Coast created a series of short videos in response to frequently asked questions from the trade about common mechanical and electrical tasks needed to service or install a range of pool, spa and sauna equipment. The videos have received more than 15,000 views since their launch.

In July 2011 Golden Coast unveiled their new corporate website, they also launched a site dedicated to the trade, and their first consumer website, a guide for anyone who owns, or who is thinking of buying a pool.

All of the new sites are easy to navigate, they rank high on search sites and provide free, useful information. The sites have grown considerably during the past year and now include many articles and guides for both the trade and consumers.

Any Golden Coast customers can register on the Wet Leisure website and they will appear as a listed supplier on their consumer websites, complete with contact details. At present there are more than 300 registered users on the Wet Leisure site, each benefiting from a free listing on the consumer site. In addition to this, there are more than 60 articles on the Wet Leisure website for the trade, including advice on business planning, marketing and sales.

New consumer facing web sites

The consumer website, also provides articles and advice for consumers on owning and buying a pool. Golden Coast creates articles for this website which can be attributed to the registered suppliers featured. The website is designed to give consumers the best advice to help them make their purchasing decisions. The site then refers consumers to suppliers in their local area, meaning that both the consumer and trade benefit from this useful resource.

Towards the end of 2011 Golden Coast launched two more consumer websites, for people interesting in hot tubs and spas and for people interested in saunas.

The consumer websites are designed to become a one stop shop. Although Golden Coast don’t sell direct to consumers, they can use the websites to direct consumers to their retail customers who do.

In June 2012 there were around 1,500 unique visitors to the consumer sites, generating more than 2,500 page views. Traffic to YourPool grew by 130%+ and YourSpa by 400%+ (month on month) during the time of the drought issues.

Trading on-line

To complete the new website portfolio Golden Coast unveiled their trade only Web Shop, in April this year.

The shift to online marketing is a change in direction for the family run company, Jamie Adams said, “We have been in the industry for more than 35 years, and quality is at the heart of everything we do. We spotted a gap in the market for an authoritative and impartial resource for consumers and decided that we should develop websites in this area to provide factual information and encourage consumers to find their local suppliers.

“In addition to the websites we have also invested heavily in social media, which was highlighted at SPATEX though our free social media seminars each day. I am confident that the overhaul of our approach to marketing will help us and our trade customers move forward and help us continue to grow in what is undoubtedly a difficult time for the industry.

A winning combination

“Finding new and innovative way of marketing which show real return is a challenge, but we have found that through our approach we are delivering added value to our customers and their customers making it a win win situation for all. I am really keen to work with the industry to improve what we can offer so I’d encourage them to get in touch and let me know if there is anything we can be doing to help them at this time.”

Jamie concluded, “We’re not finished yet, we have lots of plans to continue to develop our online activity. We have more than 50 videos on the drawing board to be uploaded to our YouTube channel and we have just launched a new sub group within the Wet Leisure LinkedIn group for people to buy and sell old / obsolete stock to colleagues within the industry.

If I have one word of advice for the industry, it is to make the most of online technology, it can be a really cost effective way to transform your business.”