Menai Holiday Cottages
”Toby what would we have done without you?! Calm, steady, informed, relaxed, unassuming, good bloke, lovely wife, great dog and knows what KPI’s are!”
How it started:
I was contacted by Adrian Keeling-Look, a web developer I had worked with on a big website and ticketing system project in the past. He was just about to start work on a new website for one of his holiday cottage clients and felt I could add some value to the project as well as their marketing strategy. I was introduced to the business owner, Bun Matthews, at their base on Anglesey in North Wales and am still working with them to this day.
Menai Holidays are a successful and growing, family run, holiday cottage agency in North Wales. When Bun took over the business there were just 25 cottages on their books. When I got involved they had 250 and today they have over 500. Filling this growing list of cottages is an exhausting marketing task, and it has been great working with Bun, William, and the marketing team over the years to achieve some impressive results.
Menai is a company with old-fashioned values and a real focus on giving people amazing holidays in their beautiful corner of the world. I visit several times a year and have fallen in love with the place – the dramatic mountains of Snowdonia, the long sandy beaches of the Llyn Peninsula, the ‘away from it all’ feel of Anglesey. They are my longest standing client and good friends.
How I helped
Menai and I have been on a journey together:
- New website: The first thing Menai asked me to do was project manage the build of their new website. Mobile traffic was increasing and they wanted a really well thought-through responsive website that allowed people to easily search for, and then book, their perfect holiday cottage. I worked with Adrian the developer, Kieran the designer, Sarah the marketing manager and Bun to keep the project on track, manage communications and make sure we kept a focus on the objective and not get drawn down too many rabbit holes. The launch went well and – as with any website – the real test of its success panned out over time. In the five years since the website began it has performed well, continued to deliver good growth and been adapted and tweaked by A/B testing, heat maps and regular new and refreshed content – something I believe very strongly about. Five years later I helped them with another new site. This had a number of extra features including a customer login where guests could view and manage their booking, as well as a huge section called Explore, where the Menai team listed hundreds of walks, beaches, attractions, activity providers, cafes, restaurants, and events.
- SEO: Organic traffic is a key channel for any business and on and off-site SEO and outreach has been an ongoing campaign for the Menai team and 3WhiteHats, the SEO agency that supports them.
- PPC: This was one of the first things I helped them change, and after switching to 3WhiteHats and restructuring the campaign we could see an immediate and significant improvement on the ROI.
- Reporting: I am a great believer in getting good reporting in place via an easy to understand business dashboard. Objective data makes for good decision making and working with Menai we have made this process a part of the day to day culture in the business.
- Strategy: I have helped set a long-term marketing and sales strategy that supports the business’s continued growth.
- Sales: I have advised on the internal sales process, use of a CRM, phone systems and written a sales process.
- Content: Using a publishing schedule template I provided we brought much more structure and process to the vast amount of content Menai produce on an annual basis and made sure it was in alignment with the strategy.
- Misc: Amongst other things I have advised on print, design, signage, email marketing, list management and helped them put a brand book together.