A $50 Trillion Opportunity…
My name is Doug Gollan. For over a quarter century I have been involved in media, first travel related, and for the past 16 years focused on Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) consumers.
Private Jet Card Comparisons – Know Before You Buy
PrivateJetCardComparisons.com is the Kelley Blue Book of prepaid private aviation and private jet card programs. The site compares over 100 programs across 65 variables, including price, corporate structure, management, additional fees such as taxi time and surcharges, plus policies, including for reservations and cancellations. UHNW consumers and businesses typically spend $100,000 to $500,000 on these programs, but only 3% use a consultant. Most decisions are made based on recommendations of a friend of some basic online research, even though because of the variances, your friend’s jet card might not be right for you.
DG Amazing Experiences, weekly CEO-style e-newsletter for private jet owners
I am Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DG Amazing Experiences (DGAE), a weekly “CEO-style” travel and lifestyle e-newsletter reaching over 20,000 private jet owners and C-Levels at companies that operate private jets. Our readers’ sources of wealth is primarily self-made and their businesses range from finance to farming, distribution, manufacturing, construction, retailing, Fortune 500s, finance, medicine, legal and virtually every industry you can think of.
Launched in December 2015, the newsletter has generated a loyal readership of UHNW/Super Rich consumers who get it right on their smartphones, meaning we reach them wherever they are from and wherever they happen to be. The unique style and delivery runs counter to traditional perceptions about digital marketing, however, it has been very successful with open rates ranging from 17 to 42 percent.
Case studies have shown a high level of recall (as high as 79 percent), and that after reading our articles, there is a large increase in awareness and intent to purchase.
Northrop & Johnson’s Navigator Magazine and Event Partnerships
While there are lots of nice magazines out there, the key is who is actually reading them? This is critical if you are selling luxury products. Lots of people like to look at luxury. Few can afford to be regular buyers. Leading yacht charter broker Northrop & Johnson is leveraging their database of over 45,000 current and past customers (consumers who bought and chartered yachts), plus over 25,000 industry contacts, from yacht designers and captains, to create unique opportunities in print and digitally via email for luxury brands to reach their UHNW audience…average net worth $163 million. It is exciting to be working with them on the content and marketing side. The magazines they produce are truly beautiful as well!
Travel Market Report, The Voice of the Travel Professional
I also serve on the Management Board Member of TravelMarketReport.com, a leading B2B information provider to North American travel agents, helping with business strategy, including editorial, marketing, sales, and website. In the first 60 days we recruited a new team, and in 16 months we have grown both visitors and pages views by nearly 300%, while increasing sales 400 percent in the first year and we are on track for 400% growth again in 2017. We have also risen to a very strong second place in readership in our category, including being ranked #1 for quality and useful content in a recent survey.
I love to write, particularly business reporting, which is where I started, and it is a thrill to be a contributor for Forbes.com where I cover private jets, yachting, and luxury travel, with an emphasis on luxury hotel groups and retailing of luxury travel.
Sirius Business Publishing, Serendipia
Sirius Business Publishing is the Paris-based company founded by Pierre-Yves Poulain, creator of Luxury Society. I am serving on the Board of Directors and am a minority shareholder. The company has the license to publish Serendipia, a quarterly “Mook” for the UHNW customers of Traveller Made’s award-winning travel designers.
Combining inspirational magazine content in the format of a beautiful hard covered booked, each individually numbered copy will be delivered to qualified UHNW consumers, engaging them and inspiring new adventures in travel and life.
Travel Agent Magazine
In the 1980s I cut my teeth covering the airline industry for Travel Agent Magazine. In my early 20s I was interviewing CEOs of the world’s largest airlines as they waged fierce battles for business supremacy. I had sit down interviews with industry legends such as Robert Crandall, Frank Lorenzo and the late Colin Marshall. General news reporting also gave me access to the top executives of global hotel companies and cruise lines. Needless to say, it was an educational experience.
From there I got into the sales side of magazine publishing and eventually worked my way up to management. I was part of the team that took Travel Agent from seventh in market share in our category to one of the Top 10 magazines in the world five years in a row, ranked by ad pages by Advertising Age Magazine. We also won numerous awards for excellence from Folio:, HSMAI and other industry groups.
We also started supplier correspondence course training (Disney, British Airways, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Jamaica, etc.) for travel agents, first by inserts in the magazine, direct mail and then online. Previously training meant having a supplier come to a travel agency office or having travel agents go to an off-site meeting, both expensive and time consuming.
Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
In 2001 I co-founded Elite Traveler. We were ahead of the curve, pioneering short form editorial in the luxury lifestyle magazine category. We did things no other consumer magazine had done before. Instead of 800 numbers and websites, we gave our readers email addresses and phone numbers of actual people as the call to action for our articles.
We realized that despite the stereotypes of the Super Rich, they were actually very diverse in their interests and backgrounds. We developed an award-winning editorial package that appealed to the broadest possible portion of the global UHNW audience, from rappers and sports stars to royalty, the CEOs of global companies, owners of some of the world’s largest privately held businesses and their families. We also understood that for a significant part of our readership (and some of the biggest consumers of luxury) English probably wasn’t their mother language.
We understood that these very rich readers probably already had favorite magazines (often industry trade magazines) so we had to give them something different both in content and presentation. We featured pictorials of the inside of top suites (something never done before as a regular feature) giving detailed information, including the General Manager contacts. We used our oversize format to entice readers with pictures of luxury goods and services arranged by various themes with just enough information about the products we featured to answer basic questions and hopefully gain their interest.
It worked! In survey after survey of private jet and fractional jet owners, 90% said they were regular readers, 95% said Elite Traveler was higher quality than other magazines they read, over 90% purchases products and services they read about in Elite Traveler and about 70% said we were one of their 3 or 4 favorite magazines. With an editorial product and format that generated appeal with this diverse audience, Elite Traveler became the first and only magazine claiming majority private jet distribution to be successfully audited without interruption by BPA or any other audit bureau. The audit is the key to assuring advertisers the publisher is actually printing and distributing the magazine as claimed, so the fact that nobody has been able to replicate our worldwide distribution to private jets (despite multiple attempts) makes me particularly proud.
Since leaving in February 2015, I am consulting with companies that are trying to increase their business from the Super Rich/UHNW segment. In August 2016 I published my third book, “Sales Superstars: Secrets of Selling to the Super Rich” with co-author Michael Calman, former CMO of Bergdorf Goodman and Citation Air.
In 2015 I helped launch Galerie, the luxury lifestyle platform of Essentially America’s China Edition, targeting the hard-to-reach Chinese repeat visitor to the U.S. In this role, I helped the Owner/Publisher create a positioning strategy, developed the sales decks and proposal content and generated publicity to my database of over 14,000 luxury and travel marketing related executives and via my extensive social media footprint. I also generated editorial coverage of the launch in both Luxury Daily and Skift. Moreover, I provided introductory meetings for the Owner/Publisher and his sales rep to key contacts at luxury watch, fashion, jewelry and real estate companies.
My expertise on the UHNW/Super Rich market
In launching Elite Traveler, I was surprised at the dearth of research about the Ultra High Net Worth segment, a group that is typically defined by having a net worth of at least $30 million. By good fortune, I met Russ Alan Prince, who at the time was a columnist writing about the Super Rich for Institutional Investor and had also authored several dozen books advising lawyers and financial advisors for UHNWs. Together we partnered for one of the first studies that looked at consumer spending by these wealthy families. The results of over 600 interviews with private jet owners was published in 2007 in “The Sky’s the Limit: Marketing to the New Jet Set.”
With R.A. Prince & Associates we completed nearly a dozen various research projects. I also am a vociferous consumer of any research on the affluent and rich I can find. Virtually always research that is billed as being about Super Rich consumers is mainly conducted with Mass Affluent participants (Household Income under $400,000).
In my more than decade involved in operating all facets of a magazine for the Super Rich and my exposure to top executives and consultants around-the-world who sell or advise those who sell to UHNWs, I have always wanted a single place to go to where the conversation is only about the Super Rich. After all, with some $50 trillion at their disposal, unlike many consumer segments, price is not a factor, but the question is how can we better motivate them to spend on what you are selling.
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