Tom Kerkhof’s passion for sailing unexpectedly led him to the world of social media marketing. When his intimate knowledge of sailing impressed his sailboat rental customers, they offered him a job that combined his people working in the sailboat rental space, and so he began his first ever marketing job. He’s become a master of all things social marketing ever since.

Tom discusses the important role Facebook groups play in the success of Navico. Even though brand awareness is an important part of Navico’s social media ecosystem, Tom notes how Facebook communities in which customers and sailing enthusiasts help one another are extremely valuable in the customer experience and, ultimately, customer satisfaction and retention. 

In this interview, Shaheen Samavati asks Tom how marketing has evolved in recent years, how to leverage less polished but extremely authentic, real-time content, how Navico strategically speaks to customers in various parts of the world, and how to be a standout marketing professional.  

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, and listen to the podcast on Apple or Spotify.

Rapid-fire recs

  • Source of inspiration: Malcolm Gladwell. “He really deepens out things you would have never thought about. And in the end, he’s pretty scientific. I like people that have really dug into their research and come up with facts. He has a podcast called Revisionist History about things misunderstood or overlooked in history.”
  • Favorite app: You Scan. “It’s an app that uses AI to determine the sentiment of conversations across the Internet and social media.”

“Just like when you win a championship, there’s only one perfect minute where you can post [certain things]. If you don’t do it then because your design team is not ready yet and the photo is not perfect enough, you’ll lose half of your reach just because someone else will put it up or the news is already fading. Typically, the only value lies in the fact that it’s here and now.”

Connect with Tom and Shaheen on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Jamie Albert.

For more insights into social marketing, check out:

The power of social listening – Giuseppe La Paglia, content marketing manager at StubHub

Shift to social selling – Jake Potter, London-based social media specialist

A diverse range of experiences is powerful – Sarah Evans, social marketing pro

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.