Profit Boosting Secrets from Inside the Disney Marketing Machine

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

How Disney is Making Sure You’ll Never Be Able to Escape Star Wars

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

Do You Think That Synergy is Laughable?

“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?

WORLD CLASS MARKETING SECRETS REVEALED

What companies do you think of when you hear the phrase “world class marketing?”  I may be biased, but I had a 22-year marketing career at the one that I consider #1 in that discipline – The Walt Disney Company.  It is an organization that is known for being perhaps the most marketing savvy in all of corporate America.  It is also known for many “firsts” upon which they have built their amazing reputation including: the world’s first synchronized sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse the world’s first theme park, Disneyland the world’s first full-length animated film, Snow White … Continue reading WORLD CLASS MARKETING SECRETS REVEALED

Can You Guess What the Most Underrated Leadership Skill Is?

Leadership has so much do to with skills that you will never learn in school.  And all the degrees in the world won’t necessarily make you a great manager.  According to Forbes, chief among the less valued qualities of a great leader are things like honesty, confidence, and commitment.  But the most underrated leadership skill of all is one that engages at all levels, and that is a sense of humor. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet once said, “I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.” Laughter isn’t just the best medicine, it’s also the secret ingredient to … Continue reading Can You Guess What the Most Underrated Leadership Skill Is?

Are You a Crazy Idea Person? Go With Your Gut.

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 Are You a Crazy Idea Person? Go With Your Gut.

Don’t Tell Me What to Do!

One of the greatest obstacles to making synergy work is by issuing decrees.  By that I mean that no marketing executive should tell a business segment of a corporation what to do when it comes to driving internal cross-promotion on a given project.  It is counterproductive. Suppose business “A” has a project that is a major priority for the overall organization.  The company CEO has placed that priority in the number one spot for cooperation across business barriers.  In some corners of corporate America, business “A,” initiating the project, decides to use the leverage of having the CEO behind the … Continue reading Don’t Tell Me What to Do!

“Inside the Disney Marketing Machine” by Lorraine Santoli – Book Foreword by Sam Tuchman, Ph.D.

Foreword I was Lorraine Santoli’s first boss and mentor. I am honored that she asked me to write the foreword to this book, not only because we met at the beginning of her career and have remained friends for so … Continue reading “Inside the Disney Marketing Machine” by Lorraine Santoli – Book Foreword by Sam Tuchman, Ph.D.