When building in Alabama's storm-prone Gulf Coast, Lundy Wilder wanted her home "as hurricane-proof as possible." This meant the flooring needed to survive getting wet. She sought out a fabricator to make durable cement tiles like the bold, ornate designs she'd seen from Cuba and Spain. Realizing that there was a niche market of consumers who were also seeking an alternative to standard tiles, Lundy founded Villa Lagoon Tile. She launched their first website in 2008 and began offering custom cement tiles to residential and business customers.
As an online business, Villa Lagoon Tile relies on digital marketing to bring customers to their virtual storefront. “Initially, we only got calls from consumers who had a history with cement tiles. With the web, we’ve been able to expose our products to people who have never seen them before. Now we’re getting calls from customers everywhere under the sun,” says Lundy. Digital advertising comprises 90 percent of Villa Lagoon Tile’s marketing spend, and AdWords, Google's advertising program, accounts for 25 percent of their business. “AdWords is really perfect for matching clients and vendors in a niche market,” says Director of Technology John Adams. “We could never compete with big-box stores on standard tiles. But we can compete for cement tiles thanks to Google search and advertising.” They also use Google Analytics to “measure where our traffic is coming from and find stumbling blocks where visitors are getting lost,” John adds. Google Custom Search Engine powers their internal website search, YouTube helps bring the Villa Lagoon Tile experience to life, and G Suite supports their office operations.
Today Villa Lagoon Tile stocks 150 different products, many of which have been designed by Lundy, and their warehouse carries over 60,000 square feet of tile. International shipments drive 15 percent of their sales as business continues to grow in North and Latin America, Asia, Europe, and most recently the Middle East. "There's been an explosion of interest in these tiles," Lundy explains. “Architects and designers who love our product will use our tiles job after job.” And as they’ve expanded, they’ve been able to give back to their community by donating tiles to local non-profits. “We are a small town on a big beach,” Lundy says. “Small businesses like ours are everything to this community.”