Disney's Marketing Strategy

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The Walt Disney Company

Marketing Management
November 30, 2010

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Executive Summary1

Chapter 2: Customer and Market Focus3

Chapter 3: Human Resource Focus6

Chapter 4: Management of the Marketing Mix8

Chapter 5: Business Results12

Appendix I: Disney Acquisitions15
Appendix II: Unique HR Initiatives, Programs, and Facts16
Appendix III: World’s Most Admired Companies – Entertainment Industry17 Appendix IV: Net Income of Entertainment Industry Competitors17 Appendix V: Top Quality Companies with Overall Rankings18

Appendix VI: Disney Park Attendance18
Appendix VII: Variation in Per Capita Spending19
Appendix VIII: Disney’s Operating Income19


Chapter 1: Executive Summary

It all began with a mouse, and from that point on The Walt Disney Company has sustained superior performance standards by excelling at customer intimacy. The company was founded in 1923 and has remained faithful to its original commitment to “produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality content and exceptional storytelling” (The Walt Disney Company). Because of this, Disney, including its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading company with four separate business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, and consumer products. Disney does not just focus on one aspect of entertainment. Over the years, the company has merged and formed partnerships with other companies in order to become the global entertainment leader it is today. The company has five resorts across the world, a cruise line, and a number of motion picture companies including Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone, and Miramax. The company also owns Disney Theatrical Productions, which is the largest producer of Broadway musicals; and also produces attractions like Disney on Ice and Disney Live. Disney has run a vast variety of media networks, such as The Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN, SOAPnet, Radio Disney, and the Disney Internet Group. (The Walt Disney Company) Every segment of the company has a slightly different focus on customer service. However, the customer service aspect is most easily seen in the parks and resorts segment and is deeply embedded in customer retention. This part of the company is structured around creating magical memories for the guests through merchandise, show, and merchantainment. The strategy is not to meet the guests’ expectations, but exceed them in every way possible. Disney has excelled at four primary management practices and multiple secondary business practices—commonly known as the four plus two strategy—to sustain superior business performance year after year. Disney has done a fabulous job at building a strategy on deep knowledge of its target customers and company capabilities. The company is a master at execution in order to consistently meet its customers’ expectations. Disney creates a culture in which it holds its employees to high performance standards and the company has created a business structure that reduces bureaucracy and simplifies work. Disney also excels in mergers and partnerships, while making sure that new companies improve existing customer relationships.

In order to attract the best employees, Disney has created a signature experience that is difficult for other companies to imitate, but allows Disney to find the right employees for the company. Disney uses their signature experience to hire the right people for the correct position (Erickson and Gratton).

In order to continue the superior business standards, The Walt Disney Company is currently working on expanding the company to meet expectations of the consumers. Disney is currently expanding the attractions and features at its different theme parks. The company is opening a family resort in Hawaii and is launching two new cruise ships in the next couple of years. It is also focusing on making branded...
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