CONNECTING WITH CUSTOMERS
Marketing Debate Is Target Marketing Ever Bad?
As marketers increasingly tailor marketing programs to target market segments, some critics have denounced these efforts as exploitive. They see the preponderance of billboards advertising cigarettes and alcohol in low-income urban areas as taking advantage of a vulnerable market segment. Critics can be especially harsh in evaluating marketing programs that target African Americans and other minority groups, claiming they often employ stereotypes and inappropriate depictions. Others counter that targeting and positioning is critical to marketing, and that these marketing programs are an attempt to be relevant to a certain consumer group. Take a position: Targeting minorities is exploitive versus Targeting minorities is a sound business practice.
Marketing Discussion Mental Accounts
What mental accounts do you have in your mind about purchasing products or services? Do you have any rules you employ in spending money? Are they different from what other people do? Do you follow Thaler’s four principles in reacting to gains and losses?
Few companies have been able to connect with a specific audience as well as Disney has. From its founding in 1923, the Disney brand has always been synonymous with quality entertainment for the entire family. The company, originally founded by brothers Walt Disney and Roy Disney, stretched the boundaries of entertainment during the 20th century to bring classic and memorable family entertainment around the world. Beginning with simple blackand-white animated cartoons, the company grew into the worldwide phenomenon that today includes theme parks, feature films, television networks, theatre productions, consumer products, and a growing online presence. In its first two decades, Walt Disney Productions was a struggling cartoon studio that introduced the world to its most famous character ever, Mickey Mouse. Few believed in Disney’s vision at the time, but the smashing success of
cartoons with sound and the first-ever full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937 led, over the next three decades, to other animated classics including Pinocchio, Bambi, Cinderella, and Peter Pan, live action films such as Mary Poppins and The Love Bug, and television series like Davy Crockett. When Walt Disney died in 1966, he was considered the best-known person in the world. By then the company had expanded the Disney brand into film, television, consumer products, and Disneyland in southern California, its first theme park, where families could experience the magic of Disney in real life. After Walt’s death, Roy Disney took over as CEO and realized Walt’s dream of opening the 24,000 acre Walt Disney World theme park in Florida. By the time of Roy’s death in 1971, the two brothers had created a brand that stood for trust, fun, and entertainment that resonated with children, families, and adults through some of the most moving and iconic characters, stories, and memories of all time. The company stumbled for a few years without the leadership of its two founding brothers. However, by the 1980s, The Walt Disney Company was back on its feet and thinking of new ways to target its core familyoriented consumers as well as expand into new areas that would reach an older audience. It launched the Disney Channel, Touchstone Pictures, and Touchstone Television. In addition, Disney featured classic films during The Disney Sunday Night Movie and sold classic Disney films on video at extremely low prices in order to reach a whole new generation of children. The brand continued to expand in the 1990s as Disney tapped into publishing, international theme parks, and theatrical productions that reached a variety of audiences around the world.
ANALYZING CONSUMER MARKETS
Today, Disney is comprised of five business segments: The Walt...