At the time of writing this, my social media feeds are drowning (pun intended?) with the news of the Titan submersible.
If’n you live under a rock (or are seeing this so far into the future that this news story has forever left your memory banks), here’s a quick recap:
OceanGate is a company that runs underwater tours. At least, that’s the gist. I tried checking out their website today, and it looks like they’ve taken it down—I don’t know if that helps or hurts this PR nightmare they’re going through.
And they recently lost a submersible containing 5 humans. They officially ran out of air this morning (at the time of writing, NOT at the time of you reading). I obviously hope they get discovered and rescued, but the reality is that these 5 folks are unfortunately long gone.
While my social media feeds are overflowing with people talking shyt because the 5 individuals inside are wealthy (and at least one’s a billionaire)—not to mention, I live in a very blue part of Ohio where wealth is seen as a greater evil than anything—I have a slightly different take on it than most takes I’ve seen.
After doing some admittedly very light research, I found that each of the 5 people in this submersible paid at least $250,000 to, well, and excuse my crudeness, die.
Which is a pretty expensive way to day, if’n you ask me.
Of course, they weren’t supposed to die. OceanGate has offered these “tours” for at least a few years, and nobody has been lost or drowned to death yet. And they’ve always been as expensive as they are now, at least based on my limited research.
But it made me think…
Imagine paying $250,000 to see a tour of the Titanic—with an obvious and very real risk of danger and death—but being scared to either charge clients what you're worth. Or the flip side: To pay your Feelancers what they’re worth.
It puts stuff into perspective.
Sure, I do charge “outrageous” fees.
But they ain’t a fraction of the outrageous $250,000 fee to have a brutal and terrifying death.
I don’t think you could think up a more horrible way to die… where you slowly go crazy trapped inside a minivan-sized submersible where everyone trapped inside used the bathroom in utterly disgusting ways (I believe the tour was only supposed to be 5 hours and it’s turned into a multi-day thing), drowning to death because you run out of oxygen, and hoping and praying against all odds that you can get rescued before Mother Nature has her way—and where, in all likelihood, they were probably crushed to death under the force of around 375 atmospheric pressures.
But alas, here we are.
All that said, I’m eager to see how OceanGate handles this. I imagine they’ll shut down, and that may be for the best.
But their business plan wasn’t a terrible one, as many people would lead you to believe.
They knew their market: Wealthy mfs with more money on their hands than time.
(And this is sumtin’ both a lot of ecom biz owners and freelancers trying to become Feelancers should take note of.)
Often, if a marketing campaign fails, your first thought is that it didn’t work because of price.
But price ain’t the most important factor in a campaign. And usually, price is a symptom of a larger problem: Going after the wrong audience.
If you target PWM (Players With Money) as Gary Halbert called ‘em, then, well, as OceanGate proved, you can charge a lot more for a lot less.
Not only did it cost $250,000 for this tour to see the Titanic, but they’d only get to see it out of a tiny window. The submersible they were in was controlled by a $29 logitech controller, which looks like a PS2 controller. And they obviously had to sign waivers where “death” was mentioned prominently several times.
Despite all this, they still got multiple people (far more than 5) to fork up a quarter of a million dollars for this excursion.
And you think someone doesn’t have an extra $100 to pay for your product or a few thousand dollars to pay for your expertise?
Sumtin to let marinate with you as you go about your day.
Need help targeting more PWMs, using email to get your customers to fork over absurd amounts of cash, and creating an email strategy that makes your customer base so loyal that they may even have your back after an absolute PR nightmare (maybe not as severe as 5 people dying, but everything up to this point)?
Book a call here, and let’s see if working together makes sense.