10 Secrets to the Innovative Disney Marketing Strategy
Do you make continuous improvement a focus of your marketing strategy? Most of the best marketing strategies we study and follow certainly do, and that is an awesome way to do marketing. Yes, the innovative Disney marketing strategy is making their business better and better all the while. And their growth is all about their marketing strategy. Of course, if you are a family with children or grandchildren you certainly know this.
Have you noticed? It is hard not to notice, isn’t it? Let’s examine the reasons their marketing strategy is so effective:
Youthful, magical, fun, and family oriented and true to the brand.
While establishing a differentiated meaning for a brand is tough, perhaps the greater challenge facing marketers today is the growing number of places consumers touch a brand. It’s become incredibly more complicated to execute a brand promise. This is what we call bringing the brand to life. Consumers are interacting with brands in myriad new ways, but brand organizations have to move much faster, with greater agility and responsiveness to consumer actions and reactions, which can be at warp-speed in this rapidly changing environment.
The heart of Disney’s marketing strategy is their brand. The brand is built into and reflected by its tag line … the happiest place on earth. They clearly understand that their brand is not about them. Rather it is about how the potential client community sees them, feels about them, and talks about them. They realize that their brand represents their current and future relationships. Their goal is to deliver emotional connection to their services. And they are doing it very well.
Build excitement: Let’s face it; Disney is not a low cost vacation. By providing custom touch points filled with useful and exciting content, unique to each families’ post-purchase, Disney is helping to build excitement. It works, and it’s brilliant.
Personalize: All customers are unique, have different needs, especially in travel. Since this is not a one-size-fits-all world, what everyone needs is different from just about every other person. Disney knew that and deliver a book that is unique for each family. They send a book that was specific to their hotel and reservation details … all the information needed in a custom 15-page book. It works, and it’s brilliant.
Times have changed since Walt Disney’s days but his marketing ideas are still amazing. Let’s take a look at a few of Disney tactics:
Continuous promotion – If there was one thing Walt Disney did well it was promoting his business. And he did so continuously. He made sure he kept his organization in your mind. When it came time to think of going on vacation, to a movie or any of a number of other things Disney always came to mind.
Build lifetime value – Go to a Disney attraction today and find people who have been coming back for decades and many times at that. Disney keeps their customers so happy that they keep coming back, again and again.
The Disney web sites are the physical center of this firm’s marketing. Their designs are very user friendly, yet contain the means to integrate all the strategy elements we discuss today. They encompass several ways to allow two way client engagements, including live chat, email and telephone.
Again little to no selling, as they let their products do the marketing. Their strategy reflects the belief that pushy sales pitches turn customers off, but personally relevant and interactive engagement switches them on. You can’t help but notice that all the material is put into the language of the client community.
Innovative Disney marketing … it’s the stories
The story is king – Walt knew that the story was the real reason people enjoyed his attractions. Even today, every Disney feature has a story behind it. People relate to these stories. It’s just part of the human condition. They are great at engaging people on a human level. Their stories abound at every turn.
Always something new: Disney fans keep coming back because there’s always more to see. Disney’s motto isn’t “Lots of Rides”—it’s “The Happiest Place on Earth”. And Disney maintains constant interest by making sure there’s always something else to notice.
Interesting, interactive queueing areas for the rides.
Sporadic “spontaneous” performances by Mary Poppins or Alice and the Mad Hatter at various times of day.
Rides like the Jungle Cruise that are strikingly different at night.
Holiday theming. Different fireworks displays. “Limited-time only” eatables.
In the experience
Continuous theming: If you take away the theming, there’s nothing particularly special about Disneyland’s rides. Tame roller coasters, generic log flumes, perfectly ordinary carousels—off-the-shelf mid-range rides you could go on at any theme park. In fact, several nearby parks have far more extreme and exciting rides.
The thing is, Disney’s theming isn’t just slapping a few cartoon animals on the sides of rides. It’s all about the unique experience, complete and, in its own way, classy.
Engage customers directly: Disney was often seen walking around Disneyland talking to visitors. At other times he’d go to see a Disney movie and get people’s reaction to the picture. This was one of the ways Walt did his market research. You can follow this model also. Don’t always use a marketing research firm or some kind of online research tool, such as Google Analytics. While these are very worthwhile, there’s no substitute for interaction with customers. Get views about your products and services straight from the people who use them.
Details and more details: Enter any Disney property and you will see attention to detail everywhere. You know that something special is ready to happen. This is a key element of any content marketing campaign. Even the street signs on Disney properties pay attention to detail. They are rabbit ears with arrows on them. The company could have used normal street signs but where’s the magic in that?
Adapting to change
Disney parks are in a state of continual change with new entertainment. A very progressive company which keeps up to speed on consumer trends and needs. Certainly always eager to adapt their parks expertise to new areas. And certainly always looking to try new things, to include marketing.
Disney utilize all the main social media channels/platforms to engage potential clients. All channels are used to engage and share all their material in a conversational manner. They always looking to engage and learn and serve customers.
Short and sweet messages
80-90% of Disney marketing messages are short and to the point. As we said previously, many topics are used to produce many messages so as not to over saturate the market with the same messages.
Integrating the elements
All of these strategy elements complement the firm’s brand and messages. The integrating elements? The brand and the client educational element. The key is to have a central theme to the brand. In Disney’s case, the themes are all built around a family focus, fun, dreams, and happiness. Integration of all elements is the most important part of the strategy.
Walt Disney was a genius in many ways. His technological prowess is storied but it was his marketing genius that set him apart from everyone else. Use a little of Walt’s business insight in your content marketing campaign and enjoy renewed and continuous business success.
Here’s the thing, the Disney dream isn’t just a new way of marketing, and it’s really a new way of running a business. They certainly understand this concept well and are using social marketing to rapidly promote their business.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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