Who is Fish Tale Sales & Service?
Fish Tale Sales and Service began in the early 60′s when Fort Myers Beach was little more than a sand bar. There was a boat ramp, a fishing tackle store, and Dolly the Dolphin (a porpoise that could do tricks). At the time, the only access to Fort Myers Beach was by boat or a swinging bridge on the north end of the island.
The Fricke family purchased the dealership side of the business in 1996 forming an entirely separate entity – Fish Tale Sales and Service. Since then the dealership has transformed into the largest single Grady-White Boat dealer and the #2 Garmin dealer in the United States.
Fish Tale Sales & Service needed a website that would increase leads and a design to communicate a look and feel that was in line with Fish Tale’s impeccable quality of boats, sales and service experience they provide. They also needed a better way to manage the website and reduce the amount of time the company spent on website management. They did a quick search for Fort Myers Web Design and found Atilus.
“Our company had come to a point where it made more sense for a marketing firm such as Atilus to handle our website as opposed to making it a duty of an employee on payroll. The opportunities for increased business and increased web exposure far outweighed the cost barrier.”
Atilus took on all aspects of the website with the new launch. With a focus on search engines and compelling design built for the target market, the new website exceeded expectations and has had a huge effect on Fish Tale’s profit margins and the time burden of their leadership.
Fish Tale already had a website, but up to the middle of 2012, they kept it “in house”. Knowing their future growth required them to grow technologically, they needed a team that not only could take the website to the next level, but would also help them focus on bottom-line profitability. Perhaps most importantly, all of the work on the old website was being done by the company’s leadership. They needed a way to execute marketing and general updates more quickly, in order to help reduce the internal costs of the website. From a marketing perspective Atilus’ biggest concern was keeping the already high search rankings for the site. These all created specific, unique challenges on top of the desire to make the website look amazing and attract the dealership’s target audience.
How We Helped
There was no question in anyone’s mind that Fish Tale’s needs would mean the site had to be fully custom, from the design all the way through the coding process. While WordPress could provide a functional back-end system, there would still have to be extra work to make the fully custom site fit with their business. Everything would have to fit together seamlessly and mesh with an easy-to-use inventory system and a growing social media presence – all planned and implemented on top of WordPress.
Renovation for Optimization
Our team came in and went straight to work on the design. The target market (retirement-aged individuals with significant personal net worth and either well educated on the final product or looking for information on the final product to personally educate themselves) had to be wowed by the design and be able to easily find the information they needed to decide to purchase.
This situation called for a completely custom design. Starting from a blank sheet of paper, the dealership’s site was designed for aesthetic value and easy usability, with just enough content for their information-hungry audience to educate themselves and make a decision to contact.
Built for Ease of User Customization
A feeling, however, wasn’t enough. The site had to push for action. Atilus knew that WordPress’ back-end framework would already be pushed to its limits, but online shoppers had to have a way to see the lines of boats and brands Fish Tale offered – along with all custom options.
There was no way that they were going to sell boats online, sight unseen, as the cost of the boats were simply too high for anyone to do that. In this situation, a shopping cart structure would be completely inappropriate. However, utilizing the tools at hand, Atilus was tasked to find a way for shoppers to fully research and learn about all available boats, both new and used. They needed to understand the difference between a Grady White Boat and a Chaparral; between dual-console and center-console fishing boats.
Just because Fish Tale Sales and Service no longer had the time to keep projects like this in-house did not mean that they wouldn’t ensure an accurate and up-to-date inventory for their online viewers. This would be something that they would have to continue to manage. Again, Atilus knew that anything pre-built would simply not work; not for design or development. Everything had to be custom coded from scratch to enable the unique design to fit with WordPress’ back-end Content Management System (CMS). In a creative workaround, Atilus turned a section of the blog into an easy-to-use inventory system that the boat dealership could continually and quickly update. It allowed for publishing and un-publishing boats and boat lines and moving boats from the new inventory over to the used when it was brought back for resale.
“What a pleasure it has been to work with the Atilus team! It’s not that often that you run into a marketing company that actually employs its designers in-house rather than outsourcing. That allowed us to develop a personal connection with not only our sales rep but also the designers and support team. I knew what we wanted to say but it was up to Atilus to convey it through our website. Their ability to learn our business has translated into real results!”
-Travis Fricke, Vice President of Operations
Long Term Website Strategy with Analytics Data
Since launching the site in June of 2012, a consistent and key-word focused blogging strategy, combined with a well-used Google AdWords strategy has netted Fish Tale Sales and Service with page one placement for major keywords such as “Grady White Boats” on not only a local but also a national level. Atilus is proud that a lot of the credit for the search engine’s success is because of a solid SEO (search engine optimization) strategy and good site training since the boat dealership is responsible for most of the regular updating. Atilus has provided key updates and continual analytics monitoring of the site since launch. By creating a team atmosphere between the two companies, Fish Tale’s success as only increased.
Based on the time spent building the old website, the cost for the software, and opportunity cost estimates their old in-house website cost Fish Tale an estimated $50,000! Atilus was able to provide an updated and upgraded website less than a fifth of that total cost. When factoring in the marketing and sales numbers Atilus & Fish Tale have communicated over the year, the site reduced costs by nearly 80% and increased business by 233%!
In the summer of 2013, Fish Tale came to Atilus again to build a new website for their bi-annual Grady Boat Festival, Grady Fest (www.gradyfest.com) and at the beginning of 2014 reached out to Atilus to start working on plans for the next round of upgrades to their site. These upgrades could potentially include a move from WordPress over to Orchard allowing for the site to run on a stronger and more secure back-end engine, an enhanced inventory system and mobile-first responsive design; not to mention added boat lines (Grady White and Chaparral are adding new models to their brand).
For more information on Fish Tale Sales and Service and see about getting the boat of your dreams, visit