A quick browse on the Internet will show you that as an industry we seem to be lacking in the digital marketing department compared to any other travel industry. The vast majority of the superyachts in the charter fleet do not have their own website, let alone an up-to-date one, and only a handful have any sort of social media presence. If you were looking for luxury hotels with out-dated websites or no online presence, would you be convinced? Gradually, the superyacht industry is sitting up and taking notice of the power of digital marketing and its ability to brand a yacht and give it a unique personality – one that is defined by the crew, the atmosphere on board and the experiences it can offer.
One of the most well-known figures in the new generation of the superyacht ‘Twitterati’ is Captain Carl Sputh of motoryacht Starfire, who places a great importance on his own role in promoting charters on the yacht, and does so by being active on social media. “As a captain, my role involves more than just being able to safely dock Starfire in the harbour,” he explains. “In fact, one could say that a superyacht is a boutique luxury hotel where the captain is the hotel manager. To be able to provide the best level of service to my guests, I need to be a leader in my community – the luxury industry. It’s important for captains such as myself, with years of experience in luxury travel, to share their knowledge and to keep up with new trends by listening to what the community is saying. I want to show that Starfire is more than just another superyacht; it's a luxury lifestyle experience that goes beyond the seven-day charter.”
"I tweet lots of photos of all the operations of the yacht including the service, maintenance, day-to-day operations and, most importantly, the food. I think it adds to the many other ways of marketing."
Captain Jonathan Chell of motoryacht Firecracker is in agreement with these goals. “I’ve been solely using Twitter with the aim of generating interest for the charter side of the operation,” he concurs. “I tweet lots of photos of all the operations of the yacht including the service, maintenance, day-to-day operations and, most importantly, the food. I think it adds to the many other ways of marketing and keeping the yacht up-to-date and current with modern methods. Most importantly it provides exposure and best of all it’s free. It shows the mindset and is an insight into the personality of the crew, and hopefully puts us in front of like-minded potential clients.”
But should crew other than the captain take an active role in marketing the yacht and their services? “Let's face it, the crew on a superyacht can rotate at an alarming rate,” Captain Sputh continues. “I take pride in keeping my crew for years but it's not always the case. My suggestion is to focus on the captain and the key members of the team who have been on board for a few seasons. Saying this, it should be a team effort, so it is important to ask the crew for their opinion. You might be surprised with what they come up with.”
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Find the full article in issue 72 of The Crew Report – download now.