How yacht marketers achieve incredible results in luxury marketing

This content is produced by a member of The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

In this strange and unprecedented Covid-19 world, where so many industries have been turned on their heads, luxury brands are scrambling for ways to stay relevant to their consumers’ changing lives.

Nowhere has this been more the case than in the travel industry, with many big names in the luxury sector calling in the help of specialist marketing agencies to help kickstart a very difficult year.

With conventional marketing tools such as international shows and press trips being off the cards, it has never been more important to make sure that a brand’s approach to marketing luxury travel is world-beating. Often this will mean employing the help of an industry expert – but how do you know if you have found the right one?

Yachting is a significant part of the $545bn luxury travel industry, estimated to be worth $6.5bn in 2020 and reach $9bn in 2025, and for that reason, specialist yacht marketing agencies have been springing up for several years now. After all, yacht marketeers are integral to the success of this small yet powerful industry.

Having worked in luxury marketing, with a niche in yacht marketing, for over a decade, I can happily say that there are some truly fantastic yacht marketeers around today. However, you have to know what to look for to find them.

Here are five things that make yacht marketeers worth their salt:

1. Experience

First and foremost, any great yacht marketing agency should have prior experience and proven results in the uber-competitive world of luxury yacht sales and charters. The multi-billion pound industry revolves around no more than 10,000 superyachts in the world, and everyone knows everyone within this tight-knit sector, so it’s not hard to find out which agency has worked with whom if you ask around. As a yachting brand searching for an incredible marketeer, why not look at your competitors who are really excelling and find out who is responsible for their success; that way you can be confident you are securing a yacht marketing agency who will get results.

Ultimately, in-depth knowledge of the superyacht industry is imperative to provide valuable insights and information about yachting that a client’s UHNW audience demands. In such a specialised field, there is no room for bluffing.

2. Global reach

Members of the yachting industry live all over the world. The superyachts currently in action are spread out across the globe, as are their owners, prospective buyers and charter clients.

To know everyone who’s anyone in yachting, you need to be close to the ground, wherever that ground may be. This means that any good yacht marketeer should have offices in major yacht hubs across the world. Key hubs include Fort Lauderdale and Monaco, with spots such as Mallorca, Miami and Singapore also being important.

Great yacht marketing agencies will also have multilingual staff that are able to speak and produce intelligent and coherent copy in a number of key languages such as English, French, Italian, Russian and Chinese, depending on your target audience.

3. Experience in working with UHNWIs

If you consider that there are only about 10,000 superyachts in the world, the pool of potential clients means that you are dealing with a tiny percentage of the population. But with the average superyacht costing around $275m, these people are not your average client. A successful yacht marketing agency will have experience in dealing with UHNWIs and an understanding of what makes them tick, the values that are important to them, and how to sell to them.

4. Digital services

Never before has it been so important for yacht marketing agencies to offer digital services, including web design, digital marketing, SEO and social media services. With crucial industry events such as the Cannes Yacht Show being cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis, the onus is on brands to ensure that their digital marketing strategy is well-structured and captivating – otherwise, they risk dropping off their clients’ consciousness. This will be a lot easier to do with a specialist digital agency by your side, particularly if you have typically focused on more traditional marketing methods.

5. Passion

But you will not get anywhere without a real passion for yachting from your marketeer. As with any leisure activity, the superyacht industry is driven by individuals that are truly passionate about yachts, sailing, and travelling, and any yacht marketing agency with its weight in gold will share the same passions. Find yourself an agency who is completely in love with everything yachting.

That concludes my five-point checklist for great yacht marketeers – of course, there is no reason that these cannot be adapted when searching for any luxury marketeer with a specialism in HNWs and UHNWIs, with each of my points resonating within any industry. To discuss what makes a fantastic luxury marketeer in more detail, please get in touch.

Rumble Romagnoli is chief executive officer at Relevance.