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SCDF teams with Caribbean Icons to develop authentic online strategy

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In an effort to increase the reach and influence of its online platforms and leverage the popularity and networks of influencers and “creatives” to promote Carnival, the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has contracted local firm Caribbean Icons to develop a coherent online strategy for the festival.

Led by its Creative Director Téphany Baptist, Caribbean Icons is tasked with creating the perfect online marketing strategy for St. Maarten Carnival that will fit its brand identity and reach the detailed goals that the SCDF has laid out as part of it re-organization process.

Baptist and her team will are currently going through the discovery phase to be followed by in-depth research and review of SCDF’s current social media networks and online activity. Once that phase is complete, developing SCDF’s new strategy will move into full swing.

President of the SCDF Edwardo Radjouki explained that the work on the new strategy will be done simultaneously with ongoing Carnival 2023 activities. He said marketing and promotion using social media won’t stop and new aspects will be integrated on the go.

He further explained that the lack of a coherent online strategy is one of the areas that the SCDF must strengthen moving forward as part of its re-organization. “It must lead the way for us when it comes to marketing and promotion. There are strategies we are not currently using to get the full potential of St. Maarten Carnival out. Téphany now has the challenge of working her magic and releasing that potential out to the world,” Radjouki said.

Baptist and her team will create authentic and unique content to post on all Carnival social media, create behind the scenes content to highlight Carnival's uniqueness, showcase culture in short but yet entertaining ways across the most popular social media networks, shine light on Carnival village and the booth holders to help navigate customers and share their stories. Caribbean Icons will also make use of User Generated Content (UGC) to complement the strategy and ensure the posting of consistent content.

The SCDF is not only proud of the fact that it can contract a local firm led by a hard-working local professional, but it wants to harness the incredible power and reach of local influencers. Influencers and people known as “creatives”, drive the promotional narrative of major festivals all over the world and the Caribbean. The SCDF believes that the Carnival brand will gain an advantage by collaborating with influencers since they employ a personal relationship with their audience who enthusiastically follow the reviews and recommendations coming from the influencer.

St. Maarten, Radjouki explained, has local people with “massive” social media networks and, by extension, the ability to reach and influence literally thousands of people. “We can give you just three local influencers with over 100,000 followers (combined). Not just local followers, but regional and international as well. If you take our top 10 influencers in terms of followers, you easily get access to networks of over 300,000 people. We have to leverage our own,” he added.

The SCDF said it was sold on Baptist and Caribbean Icons when she immediately focused on using local resources which is important for the SCDF in terms of authenticity. She said “Locals are the key element to our Carnival season and they have more reach online than you may think. Using what you have! That is the foundation of our strategy. We have all the tools on hand to market our uniqueness. This will keep the cost low while producing authentic results.”

“We are very excited about what’s to come. We have the utmost confidence in Téphany as a local professional. Rome was not built in a day. And considering that our online presence needs serious improvement, we have given Téphany and her team enough leeway to meet objectives and deliverables. We are confident that this new relationship will yield positive results for Carnival in general,” Radjouki concluded.


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