Synergy may be of the most detested buzzwords in American business. But why such a bad rap? As the former Director of Corporate Synergy for The Walt Disney Company, I suspect it’s because no one really understands how to put the concept into action and insure accountability for results. Under the leadership of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, both open-minded executives that understood the value of synergy as an actionable reality, I created the tools that underpinned Disney’s amazing success cross-promoting its products from within, from films to television to theme parks. Developed was a detailed relational and transactional process … Continue reading Hate Synergy? Discover the Hidden Magic Behind the Word.
The article below is from the Winter 2016 issue of Italian America Magazine, the most widely read quarterly for people of Italian heritage in the United States. It is the official publication of the Order of Sons of Italy in America and covers newsmakers in science, medicine, government, law, academia, and business. As an Italian American, I am honored to have been featured in this publication. Continue reading Marketing Imagination Inside the Disney Marketing Machine
The idea in the quote below was laughed at…and not in a good way. But Walt Disney World Publicity master Charlie Ridgway had keen PR instincts and knew, at the very least, he could get a good photo out of it that would run in the local Orlando print media so he decided to do it anyway. If you spend any kind of time on idea development, sometimes your “crazy idea” does have legs. My intent with this blog post is to let every marketer know that sometimes you just need to go with your gut feelings. Usually our initial … Continue reading How One Crazy Idea Hit the Marketing Bullseye
Author Lorraine Santoli will appear on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL to discuss her book Inside the Disney Marketing Machine, airing Dec. 16-21 at the following times and venues: WROM Radio Detroit, MI Wednesday 12/16 8pm ET, 5pm PT 2am ET, 11pm PT Sunday 12/20 8pm ET, 5pm PT 2am ET, 11pm PT Click on the Listen Live button at WROMRadio.net KHDN AM-1230 KBSR AM-1490 KYLW AM-1450 Billings, MT part of GLN Radio Network Friday 12/18 3pm ET, Noon PT Saturday 12/19 6pm ET, 3pm PT Monday 12/21 3pm ET, Noon PT Share-a-Vision Radio San Francisco Bay Area Friday … Continue reading Interview With Lorraine Santoli Airing on TV Confidential Radio
According to a story in The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 7, 2015, as The Walt Disney Company planned its campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Chief Executive Robert Iger had a question for his marketing team: “How much do we really need to do?” Apparently, the feeling was that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, carries its own marketing weight that brings much to the table on its own. Having been the Director of Corporate Synergy for the Disney Company for a decade in the ’90s, and the author of the new book, Inside the Disney Marketing Machine – in the Era … Continue reading Will Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Out-Synergize The Lion King?
The Walt Disney Company is well known for more than just Mickey Mouse. It is revered in business circles for its masterful marketing expertise. In particular, how it manages to generate support for individual projects across its vast landscape of diverse business segments. Silo-busting is routine at Disney and is orchestrated with panache…and perhaps a little pixie dust. Disney’s former Director of Corporate Synergy, Lorraine Santoli, gives a first-person, behind-the-scenes account of how, under the leadership of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, she and her colleagues ignited a synergy spark within the organization that ultimately generated a firestorm of marketing wins and soaring profits. … Continue reading Profit Boosting Secrets from Inside the Disney Marketing Machine
The following story, posted today on Wired Magazine’s website wired.com, was written by Julia Greenberg and focuses on Disney synergy. As the author of the book “Inside the Disney Marketing Machine,” I was interviewed (along with others) for the story and one of my quotes was used. With ABC, ESPN, and Lucasfilm, Disney’s reach goes far beyond its animated characters. Here’s a look at some of the company’s major divisions and products that shows how franchises like Star Wars are promoted across the Disney empire. When it comes to marketing, Disney has it almost too easy. Just consider the past few … Continue reading How Disney is Making Sure You’ll Never Be Able to Escape Star Wars
“Synergy” is perhaps the most frowned up, derided, and misunderstood word in business today. According to Webster, it is defined as the action of two or more entities to achieve an effect of which each individually is incapable. Integrated into a diversified business environment it can be a spark that ignites an extraordinary divisional cross-promotion, elevating projects to new heights and dizzying corporate profits. In fact, the word “synergy” is so considered a foolish corporate buzzword that big business has chosen to disguise it with euphemisms that better capture the mindset of the 21st century such as “business intelligence,” “franchise … Continue reading Do You Think That Synergy is Laughable?
Excerpted from Chapter 21 of Inside the Disney Marketing Machine – in the Era of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, written by Lorraine Santoli, former Director of Corporate Synergy for The Walt Disney Company. The chapter is titled “Educating the Company About the Company.” Despite its synergistic history, The Walt Disney Company, like most large corporations, certainly suffered a degree of divisional tunnel vision. Executives were fervently aware of the projects happening and in-development within their own business units, but how much did they really know about the goings-on and priorities in the other divisions? At the time I started … Continue reading Can You Name All of Your Company’s Business Segments?