What you’re about to read is a hypothetical demonstration of how I’d make a whole lot of money in one day, by matching a very high-end product with a very high-end market. Although this specific scenario hasn’t happened (yet), the thinking is 100% sound and based on things I’ve done many times before.
The only difference here is this involves a business I’d love to work with, instead of one I’ve worked with before.
At dinner last week with the attendees of my copywriting workshop, I mentioned a local company I would love to do work with.
I don’t personally know any of the executives or owners at the business yet. I don’t really have any major advantages to writing in their industry.
But I do bring something incredibly valuable to the table.
I’ve worked hard to understand their market, and have identified some unique ways to reach them.
The company is Duncan Aviation. And they’re one of the country’s preeminent servicing companies for privately-owned airplanes. Corporate jets. Personal jets. The works.
What the heck is a business like that doing in Lincoln, NE?
You know, I wondered that too. What advantage does Lincoln, NE have in terms of servicing private jets?
Well, Lincoln has a huge advantage. It’s the same advantage as we had in the early days of telecom, that made us (and Nebraska in general) a major telecommunications hub. And planted major financial services and insurance companies (among others) right in my back yard.
We’re in the middle.
Location, location, location.
But I didn’t realize how important this was for aviation until I ran into an ex private pilot at the Titans of Direct Response. He saw my name tag and city, and mentioned he’d been to Lincoln a ton of times. But only to our airport.
You see, there are a huge number of cross-country flights that happen every day. Especially between New York and LA. Major airliners can carry enough fuel that they don’t have to stop in the middle. But smaller private jets do have to make a pit stop to fuel up.
Having a relatively open runway (in commercial terms) about halfway across the country made Lincoln an ideal spot. These smaller private planes could come and go easily, getting the fuel they needed, and continuing on with their journey.
But as every bump in the road knows, there’s business that can come from that. What starts as a gas pump turns into a maintenance shop. Then the maintenance shop adds a few services here and there, and suddenly you have a real serious business.
From what I understand, that’s what happened with Lincoln’s aviation industry, especially Duncan Aviation.
And so now you have this incredibly successful business that folks in town know well, and folks in the industry know really well.
And they primarily provide services that pilots buy — tune-ups, check-ups, maintenance, instrument upgrades, and all those little technical things.
But they also provide services that the owners themselves demand — or perhaps the executives who get ferried here, there, and everywhere in the jet.
The superficial stuff.
Fixing upholstery being the tiny jobs.
Gutting the interior and doing a complete refurb being a much higher-end and more profitable gig.
Now I don’t have any direct experience here. But it’s something I’ve thought about for a long time. And not just on airplanes.
You see, I think I’ve told you before that my grandparents retired onto a 32-foot sailboat. They actually sailed it from Indianapolis, down the rivers to the Caribbean, and all the way across the Atlantic to South Africa and back.
True modern-day adventurers.
And over the course of the 18 years they lived on that boat, they got to know a ton of interesting characters in the boating industry.
Including a guy who specialized in gutting private yachts for the purpose of installing big-screen TVs that were so integrated into the decor that you’d assume the boat was built around them.
Basically the same interior work Duncan Aviation is doing to private jets.
Now one time I was talking to my grandpa, and I almost got a job with this friend of theirs. He was in a situation where he had customers lined up around the marina, waiting to spend $100,000 or more on these refurbs, but not enough reliable labor to do the work.
It was the right decision not to move down there and take the work — although I sometimes wonder about the alternate reality in which I did.
But it got me thinking about how much money some folks spend on things like this.
After all, spending six-figures on a boat remodel to account for a $5,000 entertainment system? Wowza!
It stuck with me, obviously.
And then these two worlds collided in my mind recently, when I read an article from Target Marketing Magazine on marketing to the mega-rich.
It detailed a program from the publisher of a periodical called Yachting Pages.
This is a publication specifically catered to ultra-rich Yacht owners. It’s limited to the upmarket with a simple measurement — your boat has to be at least 79’ for you to qualify to be a subscriber.
Now they don’t work in volume. Rather, they only have about 2,000 subscribers.
But the publications are — under agreement with the marina managers around the French and Italian Riviera — hand-delivered onto the yachts by courier.
Also, an additional 1,300 copies are distributed at yacht shows in Antibes, Cannes, and Monaco.
Now, they also offer a program for marketers looking to reach this high-end group. They’ll wrap up their publication with something called a freestanding insert.
That’s a separate brochure, catalog, etc., that’s delivered inside or along with their publication — but printed and bound separately.
The cost of delivery to reach these 3,300 yacht owners and buyers? Quoting Denny Hatch’s article from Target Marketing, “US$17,331.00 or $5.25 a pop.”
Here’s where my mind started playing connect the dots — and it’s a big lesson for you.
Who owns a 79’ yacht?
And what else do they own?
(C’mon, I made this as simple as can be.)
That’s right — it’s rich people that own those huge yachts. The same kind of rich people who are likely to own a private jet.
Now, the obvious connection here is if you sell yacht stuff, you spend the $5.25 per copy to get your marketing message delivered to these yacht owners. And given the right economics, you’re likely to want to do that all day long. They’re big-spenders. Give ‘em the right offer, and you’re likely to make many times your $17k invested in getting the message to them. (Another idea: ONE luxury watch sale would pay for that expense.)
But let’s imagine you’re doing private jet interior renovations. And your average bill is $250,000 — $100,000 of which is margin after materials, labor, etc.
Keeping the math simple, you could invest in 5 separate deliveries of your marketing message at just under $20,000 each before you’re simply breaking even on that marketing expense.
But with a hyper-targeted market — and a good offer, and a good ad — you’re likely not going to have to put your message out there 5 times before you have a bite. In fact, until you get saturation in the publication, you’re likely to capture a few hyper-responsive folks — so the math might work the other way. Which means you get 5 jobs with $100,000 profit each for every ONE $20,000 insert run.
And you can be sure Yachting Pages is only ONE such opportunity that exists.
And here’s the thing. When you’re dealing with such a targeted audience, with an offer that will make total and complete sense to a small portion of them to take advantage of immediately…
Well, you don’t have to work that hard to put the advertising program together.
You could maybe do it in an afternoon, especially if you could leverage marketing assets already in place.
Then you put it out there, test it, and perhaps I’ve just described a way you could make a ton of money in one day — by simply using the right thinking.
And by the way — if you’re with Duncan Aviation and you’ve just read this and this makes total sense — email me at [email protected] and we’ll schedule a call. 🙂
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets