Case Study - Howard Mitchell

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Howard Mitchell Group

Over £2.7m turnover from a £4k initial personal investment

Services include: Web Design, App Development, SEO, PPC, Sales, Procurement, Contracting, Supply Chain Management

Howard Mitchell Group (aka HMG) noticed a gap in the market. There were plenty of people searching for construction related products and services, specifically the steel door sector, but many providers were really bad at the digital / inbound side of sales.

The idea was to create a digital first construction brand, initially targeting steel doors, before expanding into other construction related sectors.

This way, we’d be able to leapfrog your traditional B2B tradespeople and companies, who I had been trying to sell digital marketing to for years.

If you didn’t know, the construction sector as a whole is painfully slow at adopting tech, reluctant to ‘upset the apple cart’ because they’ve ‘always done it that way’. It was a hard sell, but an open target.

Becoming a disruptor

Our research showed that there were a lot of low hanging fruits in the shape of local enquiries.

In order to achieve the required disruption – i.e. ranking top for local SEO terms – we had to think outside of the box. We wanted to capture these enquiries but were unable to with a centralised, brand new website, unless we spent on paid ads targeting the locations.

That’s when we designed a network of 100+ individual, location targeted, hyper localised micro sites, specifically structured to both skip to the top of search (primarily Google, where the most traffic is) and to convert at a good rate. We did both, with some sites ranking literally within hours of going live and an impressive enquiry rate of over 20%.

We used our knowledge of web psychology to tailor the colours, the messaging and other factors, such as local virtual phone numbers, clear call to actions and unique selling points, all to encourage an enquiry.

To supplement the ‘free’ enquiries generated via the SEO sites, we also setup a network of Google Ads campaigns (PPC – Pay Per Click) with their own specialised landing pages.

We know all the tricks to drive down bid pricing on Google Ads, so, of course, we did that using the landing pages, combined with the same psychology used on the micro sites.

Growth through the toughest of times

Despite personal disruption within HMG, including the passing of two close family members, the emergence of COVID closing down the building sector, and the lingering cost of living crisis, we’ve been able to deliver repeatedly for them over the past 6+ years.

As the enquiries rolled in, more locations were added to SEO and PPC targeting, and scaling became the next issue.

Manufacturers and suppliers were slow to reply to quote requests, taking over a week sometimes.

This is far too long in the digital world, where everyone expects things straight away. We needed to craft a solution which solved volume and return time issues. A bespoke quotation app was the answer.

The addition of the app, named ADB (Awesome Door Builder), to the company was a gamechanger – the team could now handle 4 times more volume and quotation times dropped 99%, from several days to 5 minutes.

We knew that customers liked drawings of the bespoke doors on offer, so we built that into the app as a feature. Now the quote doesn’t need to go to another team for CAD design straight away, as the indicative drawing scratches that particular itch for the customer.

The app, combined with the marketing model, grew the company to an annual turnover of over £700k. All from a £4k initial investment into the ads, over the course of 4 months.

Bigger jobs came in, such as tenders and main contractors. Our contracting and purchasing experts, who are CIPS qualified and highly competent and experienced, helped improve terms and conditions to protect the business, advised on contractual disputes and assisted in obtaining better pricing from suppliers and subcontracted installation teams.

Today, HMG regularly turn over in excess of £500k per annum between a team of just 3, with most tasks automated and expedited by our bespoke model and apps.

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