Batenborch International talks with Tim Scheerboom

Tim Scheerboom is the Global Director of Retention Marketing at


What are the main factors that contributed to your success as a marketer?

My curiosity. I am a ‘numbers person’ with a strong interest in data and fact driven strategy. However, when I found myself working on a brand positioning project as a young consultant, I got super intrigued by marketing. Marketing turned out to be more data and fact-driven than I had expected, but it was the part of irrationality and emotion that fascinated me. Long story short, I decided to switch careers and learn about marketing. When working in marketing, you have to be curious to be successful, as every context, product, market and its consumer is different. When you understand your customers, the product, its business drivers and the talents and skills of the people you work with, you can define a strategy and plan that will drive your success. If you are not curious enough to understand the essentials, you may hit a wall.

"If there is an issue, you should fix it as soon as possible to enable other people to reach their results. In other words: choose the short-term pain for the long-term gain.”

Tim Scheerboom

How did your career influence your personal development?

I think my career contributed significantly to my personal development. When I was fresh out of school, I thought I quite knew it all. It is only when you find yourself active in a professional environment that you come to realize the complexity of things. That realization made me humbler, but it also drove me to continue to learn. I am lucky to have worked closely with a few very good people, who learned me a great deal. It is funny, you can apply an 80-20 rule there. For sure, I have learned more than 80% of 20% of these people. Imagine not having met that 20% (laughs). Besides, what you learn from other people, working in a solid professional environment develops your ability to constantly self-reflect, as you make mistakes, get feedback, observe behaviors towards your actions etc. Solid self-reflecting is at the core of development.

What aspects of your job give you energy?

Taking steps forward. From achieving goals and big milestones in the plan, to the daily small wins like having a good discussion or team session, or noticing that other people grow. Moreover, it is not only about getting energy, but also about using it in an efficient way. You should know when to sprint and when to relax.

What challenges is currently facing?

Being the fastest growing company in the Netherlands, we need to hire a lot of new people. Since we are very picky, it is a time-consuming process, but that is the price we need to pay for being successful in the long run. In hiring, we should be very careful not to make concessions on quality to accommodate the speed of growth because I truly believe that may undermine long-term success.

Within marketing, effective collaboration amongst departments can be challenging. Since alignment or collaboration is not a goal in itself, it is about finding the right balance between being aligned and still remaining action-driven and effective. That is sometimes a hard balance to find. Other than that, there are so many things we can do better. To me, these are all opportunities for growth, but it is a challenge to decide what to do first.

Is marketing nowadays more complex than 10 years ago?

During my early days as a marketer, we did a lot of TV commercials, some print and outdoor, but those days are over. Today, marketers need to be up to speed with all digital channels. That is why we prefer working with ‘T-shaped marketers’ who specialize in a certain field, but also have an understanding of the other marketing channels and fields.

What is your general piece of advice for young marketers?

Do multiple internships to explore what role and company would best suit you! Your first job shapes you a lot, so it should be a conscious decision. Afterwards, do not decide to change companies too quickly. For example, do not exit a company right away if you don’t get the promotion are hoping for. Promotions and different positions within one company are the best proof of success you can show on your resume. Still, I see too many young marketers switching companies too quickly. Before you do, take a bit more time and make a small study out of these decisions, it is worth the investment on the long run.

At the same time, we all need to change the way we organize teams. We no longer can expect graduates to take on a role for three years. Nowadays, teams with a bit more specialization, which allow a quicker rotation, better suit the needs of young marketers.

My final piece of advice? If you have the chance to start at a headquarters, do it. You will be more challenged on an intellectual and strategic level.

What makes so attractive as an employer for young talent?

Working at a unicorn in the Netherlands is pretty unique. There is so much to learn, and you have the chance to contribute to writing a part of the company’s history. has an intelligent and hands-on mentality. It offers a fun and informal workplace with diverse teams. If the above-mentioned arguments haven’t already convinced you, we also go on ski trips… with 1500 employees (laughs).

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