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 ...view middle of the document...
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 Disney Studios, which creates films, recording labels, and theatrical performances; Parks and Resorts, which focuses on Disney’s 11 theme parks, cruise lines, and other travel-related assets; Disney Consumer Products, which sells all Disney-branded products; Media Networks, which includes Disney’s television networks such as ESPN, ABC, and the Disney Channel; and Interactive Media. Disney’s greatest challenge today is to keep a 90year-old brand relevant and current to its core audience while staying true to its heritage and core brand values. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger explained, “As a brand that people seek out and trust, it opens doors to new platforms and markets, and hence to new consumers. When you deal with a company that has a great legacy, you deal with decisions and conflicts that arise from the clash of heritage versus innovation versus relevance. I’m a big believer in respect for heritage, but I’m also a big believer in the need to innovate and the need to balance that respect for heritage with...