Due to the fluid nature of property development projects, the Growth Driven Design methodology of designing and building websites was perfect for this client. As well as overcoming lots of red tape, we managed to design an authoritative, effective and insightful website. After reading the submission, check out https://www.bermudiana.com/
This blog post was submitted for a HubSpot Impact Award under the Web Design category in Q4 2019.
A luxury holiday home is a dream for many families. A holiday home on a luxury island, even more so. When prospective owners visit the island of Bermuda, with its pink sand beaches and laid-back lifestyle, as long as they have the budget, you don't need to sell the island - just the property.
But when the lion’s share of your target market is based on either side of the Atlantic, you’re competing with plenty of other luxury holiday home destinations.
For the American and Canadian market, they’re often considering the high-class lifestyle of the Northeast Seaboard or ever-popular Florida. Or maybe a tropical haven in the Caribbean.
Whereas your UK market has options close to their home too. Classic locations such as the Cote d’Azur, Algarve or Canary Islands.
Even asking Awareness Stage prospects to point out Bermuda on a map can be tricky. Add in the complexity of trying to market some properties that aren’t even built yet and you already know designing a successful website is going to be tricky.
The website has to sell the location, not just the property.
First and foremost, the website needed to add credibility. If we’re marketing something that is currently still just a design on a piece of paper, we need to establish trust.
Secondly, we’re not just marketing a property to potential buyers, we’re also marketing the location and lifestyle. We needed to address the aforementioned problem of selling Bermuda as a place, not just the property offering on the island.
Thirdly, the data gathered from the website needs to be accurate, timely and insightful. It needs to give a top-tier experience to those visiting it and it needs to arm the sales team with the right knowledge to only spend their time talking to worthwhile prospects.
An on-location sales team of two on such a small island can’t waste valuable time speaking to pipe-dreamers.
Finally, all the while, the strategy and delivery of the website and marketing materials needs to be agile and flexible.
The website launch needed to be phased strategically. It would be dependant on the development process of the 90-condo estate. Planning stalls, problems are unearthed (sometimes literally) or funding is delayed on most development projects - and this one was no different.
It was and still is vital that the marketing and website project can be flexible.
To do all of that, Russell Bragg, Co-developer and Marketing Consultant, found the HubSpot CMS and Marketing Hub to be the best option.
The next challenge was “finding someone good enough to drive this Formula 1 car.”
After replacing the temporary holding site, we launched with a homepage which features a video of the stunning island coast before entering one of the properties. All part of selling Bermuda as a place as well as the properties as an option.
Growth Driven Design suited the client perfectly.
Something else worth mentioning in order to establish context is that the development project was being completed in conjunction with the Bermudian government and Hilton Resorts.
Working with two such huge and powerful entities inevitably means there are lots of steps involved in getting anything approved and live.
This is why Russell and Digital 22 both knew that the GDD approach made total sense.
It takes time to get a development project of this scale off the ground. Or, rather, it takes time to get shovels in the ground and work underway. There are stages of planning to get through before anything concrete can happen on-site - both the construction site and the website.
That meant we began with a tiny launchpad site and phased the growth of the site from there - to match the ongoing progress of the development project itself.
Fast-forward to the launch of the full launchpad site in September 2019 and all sides have gotten into a smooth way of working.
Branding, design and general content requirements are routinely being passed by the powers that be at Hilton’s end, wherever required. Their trust has been earned throughout the year.
For Russell, day to day, the entwined inbound marketing and GDD process with Digital 22 means that as the development project itself pivots, he can get effective features actioned on his website quickly. “That’s the main impact, for me,” he said.
This includes things like developing sophisticated code to help users pick and choose their desired property. Of course, all the while, informing the sales team of where a prospect’s interests lie.
Better yet, the database which powers this has been built in such a way that the front-end experience can be altered and updated quickly and easily. As plans change in terms of which properties are available or new types are added, it’s vital the property picker can be updated accordingly.
The beauty of Digital 22 producing both the marketing materials and the website itself is that one fully immersive experience is created. The same video and content teams produce organic traffic-driving content for the blog, social and email streams as well as what’s used to build strong UX on the website.
The client is delighted with the impact and there's only more to come.
After going live properly in September, it’s safe to say we’re still in the early days of this whole project. But the signs are overwhelmingly impressive.
More and more inbound content is now going live on a website which is always being worked upon. It means sessions have by circa 50% over the quarter since going live and the experience waiting for users who are being driven to the site via organic, PPC or offline marketing is working well.
“Any website we have has to look fantastic,” explains Russell, “But that’s only part of the story. The second part of the story is that it has to function really well.
“The user experience has to be really good, people have to be able to find their way around quickly. And we’ve managed to achieve that with the design we’ve come up with.”
The main job of the website is, of course, to actually drive sales. The prettiest website in the world is great, but it’s there to help sell properties.
Together, we’ve worked to design and build the website with well-placed CTAs that instantly notify the sales team of any interaction users have with them.
“It’s measured to within the nth degree within HubSpot and sent straight through to the sales team,” said Russell. He describes it as being “off to a great start.”
Already in the short period since the website went live, as explained by Russell, “We’ve got 30-40 genuinely sales qualified leads and one reservation… so we’re delighted.”
Given that next year will see the first inbound campaigns started to gain organic traction and be being built upon and the second phase of GDD getting underway, all parties are looking forward to accelerating the originally intended four years sales process of all the properties.