Ask Mr. Marketing

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Those clever folks at Disney.

We stopped at Downtown Disney for lunch recently.

Wandering through the shopping area we encountered RIDEMAKERZ — a relatively new store allowing shoppers to build their own toy car or truck with choice of body, wheels, tires, sound effects, paint details, radio controllers, and body parts.

Think Build a Bear on wheels, and it obviously ties into the new Cars Land.

We noticed an interesting pattern among the customers, too — 95 percent were male, and most under age 15. My bride’s observation: It counter-balances the “princess factor” among girls.

Granted there were some girls shopping at the store, but how many boys go shopping for princess accoutrements?

This was David Ogilvy’s philosophy in action — “The best ideas are usually simple ideas.” Because unless I’m mistaken, many generations of young men will customize their wheels at this store.

This provokes a key question about your business, since Disney’s imagineers can teach us all something important.

Regardless of what you sell, you’re probably overlooking a potentially lucrative audience. In Disney’s case it was young boys lacking a targeted product to glom on to.

So what trick are YOU missing — and how much money are you leaving on the table?

Disney obviously corrected its oversight by reviewing its marketing efforts to determine if it was adequately speaking to all audiences. You can do the same by analyzing your customers by age, geography, language, gender, and other demographics.

Compare your customers and offerings, and keep an open mind. Remember that audiences aren’t homogenized. Someone claiming Hispanic heritage might speak any of 13 Spanish dialects — or none at all. Ditto customers who are Japanese, Chinese, etc.

I’m old enough to remember television with just three networks. Today they’ve splintered into 1,500+ cable channels, each targeting a minute segment of the buying public.

Assume your audience is homogenous, and your business, too, may be threatened.

Bottom line: Don’t be goofy. Disney is a $41 billion company and growing, and its ability to find ways to open new markets is an integral part of that success.

You can duplicate their results by recognizing who you’re talking to, figuring out who you’re missing, and finding a way to engage them.

Done right, it should improve your long-term opportunities significantly.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Mr. Marketing helps turn Mickey Mouse operations into profitable ventures. Get his help at www.askmrmarketing.com.

   
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