Press Release (ePRNews.com) - NEW YORK - Apr 20, 2017 - For years I’ve heard from people who have wondered what it was like to be employed by The Walt Disney Company, especially from a marketing perspective since the organization had always been lauded for its genius in that discipline. Having worked inside the Disney marketing machine for over two decades, from 1978 to 2000, I decided to share my experiences in a book entitled, “Inside the Disney Marketing Machine” that will provide a peek into what goes on behind the marketing doors of the Mouse House, specifically during my tenure.
Marketing is defined by The American Marketing Association as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. It is an umbrella term under which Advertising, Publicity and Promotions reside. My perspective in writing this book is derived from my personal experiences working in marketing positions both at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California (home of Disney filmmaking and the global headquarters for The Walt Disney Company) and at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
My tenure at Disney would span 22 years. In my journey, I first served as an assistant in the Publicity Department at the Walt Disney Studios, moved up to become a publicist in TV and Film Publicity, relocated to Disneyland Resort as Supervisor of Publicity and returned to the Studio as Manager of Corporate Marketing and finally Director of Corporate Synergy in my final decade with the company. I lived deep inside the Disney marketing machine from day one to my final exit.
The narrative of “Inside the Disney Marketing Machine” shines a light on the amazing revitalization of The Walt Disney Company under the leadership of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, two executives that came to Disney from different roots – Eisner having headed Paramount Studios, and Wells, Vice Chairman of Warner Bros. The story will focus on how they brought a new energy to Disney marketing by incorporating a company-wide synergy strategy to make the most of every corporate asset. Synergy, of course, underscored an organizational “working together” mindset that would cross-divisional lines and eradicate silo-based thinking. It was a concept that was initiated by Walt Disney many decades ago.
Michael Eisner once explained, “We insisted that each division help the other fellow. For the Disney company, ‘Help the other fellow’ meant the movie division would create a film…that could become a theme park ride or attraction…that could become a consumer product…that could become a television show…that could become a film sequel…that could become a cable show…that could become an international attraction…that could be become a musical on Broadway . . . it goes on and on. But to accomplish that,” he continued, “everybody had to cooperate with each other, with no place for jealousy, and no competition between divisions. That’s an unlikely reality in corporate America. But at Disney, we worked things differently.” Indeed we did, and Eisner and Wells understood that not doing so was like leaving money on the floor.
With that strategy at the forefront of their thinking, the duo led a synergy charge that brought explosive growth, phenomenal success and skyrocketing profits to Disney. Incorporating synergy into every corner of the corporation played a significant role in reaching those heights. In doing so, The Walt Disney Company became a well-oiled marketing machine where no stone remained unturned when it came to fostering internal cross promotion on priority projects.
In the process of compiling “Inside the Disney Marketing Machine” I had the opportunity to interview many former and current Disney executives with whom I worked during my time at the company. Although I have shined a light on those colleagues, certainly many, many, more were instrumental in Disney’s success. We were all a team.
Today The Walt Disney Company is the number one entertainment company in the world, employing vastly different strategies, tactics and marketing approaches to energize the organization. The synergy processes and programs put into place during my tenure at the company and described in this book, have long since been changed, and rightfully so, with current top management having successfully guided the company into the 21st century.
In that regard, this book is written from a historical perspective covering marketing milestones during the tenure of the “dream team” of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. It was a special moment in time when all the stars seemed to be perfectly aligned and everything turned to gold.
Marketing then was, in Disney jargon, an “E” ticket. (The phrase “E ticket” refers to the admission ticket system used at Disney theme parks before 1982 where the “E” ticket admitted the bearer to the newest and most advanced rides.)
Eisner and Wells charted a new course that reawakened and renewed the sleeping giant that was The Walt Disney Company in the mid-eighties and 90s. That’s what this book is about. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Lorraine Santoli, Author
Book available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Disney-Marketing-Machine-Mi…