Mile2Marathon.com — Dev, Design, Strategy
March 22 2020 // Vancouver, BC
When Dylan Wykes mentions managing 150’ish athletes on-boarding & monthly payments with Google Forms & Sheets, I throw up in my mouth a little bit.
Despite being buried deep in an ambitiously torrent pace of work on the road, I hear a business owner lay out a pain point like that, and I simply can’t help myself. We start what we think is a pretty straight forward monthly subscription build with design support for the re-brand and user interface.
But a stolen logo obtained on Fiverr, and a global pandemic later, turns simple into the most demanding project of my professional career where every single skill I developed over the years comes into play to manage staying on this bull of a project for the 8 seconds required to get it to launch.
Business Strategy & Project Discovery
A bit of a two part process jammed together, ran synchronously with the WordPress build, as we test features in real time along the way. It works well.
The largest of the moving pieces are handled with WooCommerce Subscriptions, and I am left to build the custom email notification triggered, Athlete / Coach matching, and on-boarding system.
The on-boarding system sets up and initiates billing, guides through various waivers and forms providing the right information to the right person at the right time. With a simple way to respond for Coaches & Admins to keep an Athlete moving through the system smoothly, it works exceptionally well reducing the Admin roles on the team to white glove very few Athletes.
Web & Identity Design
M2M Identity Design
During some inspiration hunting based around the new logo I just received from our designer, I find every project managers nightmare … our logo.
Long story short: A stolen logo obtained on Fiverr by a hired designer leads me to finishing production of the final logo, building out a complete Mile2Marathon identity based on the new logo and provided colours already approved.
Web design support is now all in my lap. Scope expands, I swallow all demands from the new requirements after losing the designer from the team.
I integrate as part of the team, collaborating with co-owner Elly Woods on business decisions, designing and producing marketing assets, developing a complete merchandise line, managing fulfillment, bringing the teams social media in-house, training of system admin staff, and more. All with the goals of building out processes, tightening up the code base, and then iterating from there.
Saucony Solo Series — Marketing Strategy, Design, Photography
It’s COVID-19 lockdown season across the country, our delayed merchandise from Saucony has arrived, and we need a marketing strategy.
Elly and I come up with the Solo Series as a play on how everyones training and time trials feel. It also makes for easy marketing assets as I can do a lot by myself with a remote trigger and some patience.
We don’t sell the items out, but with zero in person events resulting in no opportunity to get these incredible pieces in peoples hands, it’s hard to sell the non-value prices. The staples sell out, the fringe pieces we knew would be tougher sell at least 50% or better on initial launch.
When you are isolating and want a retail feel to the product photos for the e-commerce site, you get a couple prints made, and turn your bedroom wall into a boutique run store … ish.
Nearly a year after launch, we not only have a flexible system that handles various iterations of in-person and virtual coaching as M2M dances through restrictions being adjusted in multiple provinces, but a clear funnel from workouts to athlete on-boarding provides a cohesive M2M brand experience.
A quick recap:
- Complete re-brand project that runs as smoothly as your first mile race
- Full modular site design reflective of the new M2M identity and business goals
- A WordPress/WooCommerce based monthly subscription billing & invoicing system
- Custom notification driven coach matching on-boarding & registration system
- Multiple membership levels/abilities providing gated functionality throughout the site
We define the business model of M2M in the process, have a sustainable growth plan laid out for the future, and a tool to scale those memberships.
— Elly Woods
We couldn't have even on-boarded all of those athletes by hand before.
The highlight of my work with Mile2Marathon is when Elly and I discuss the one year anniversary of going live, the $425K+ in revenue rang through the automated billing system in that year all but running itself now, and we both mention Lauren Andrews.
A new Coach with M2M, that went from no athletes to a full roster of over 20 in but a couple months, maybe a bit longer. Regardless, Elly laughs when she says “we couldn’t have even on-boarded all of those athletes by hand before” … let alone do it automatically, billed monthly with zero copy & paste involved.
The project has since been handed off, and who knows what will become of what was a heck of a build. I never was afforded the luxury of building Mile2Marathon.com into the complete product it could have been. It really is a shame white men act like the white men patriarchal capitalist society raises us to be. Elly and I built a rocket ship … that will forever sit on the launch pad 🚀
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