How Disney Influences Small Customer Segments for Major Impact


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The art and science of engaging customers segments via influencer marketing or blogger outreach has emerged as a necessity for marketers. The success of this strategy depends on focusing on specific customer segments rather than broad blasts.

In ERDM learnings from 15,000+ hours of VoC Interviews, we have reported that engagement is now the critical competitive differentiator for companies.

  • Marketers now have unpresented opportunities to connect with both existing customers and new prospects by engaging, listening to, and acting on customer feedback and insights.
  • Make customer listening a part of every functional area and deliver high quality experiences in every channel.
  • Communications should reflect the “personalities” of the individual media used by customers to engage with your brand.

According to a poll of marketing professionals conducted by Tomoson.

  • 59% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets over the next 12 months.
  • Influencer marketing was rated as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.
  • Influencer marketing and email tied for first place when marketers were asked for their most cost-effective online customer-acquisition channel, narrowly beating organic search./p>
  • Businesses are making $6.50 for each $1 spent on influencer marketing.

Disney Connects with Social Media Moms

Disney, known for making an impact in big ways, is now going grassroots with a social media outreach they call “Social Media Moms.“ It not only is a portal for information, photo sharing, and planning but more importantly, it is a small movement with big influence. The program includes outreach to specific bloggers, events, information education and incentives.

The “Social Media Moms” network comprises approximately 1,300 carefully chosen parents that spread the enthusiasm and influential power of Disney’s marketing message for families. “For a big chunk of our guests, it’s the moms who are making [travel] decisions,” said Tom Staggs, Disney’s chief operating officer.

As a part of their outreach program, Disney runs a yearly Social Media Moms Celebration for its influencers. This year’s event in May generated 28,500 tweets.

Pescetarian Kitchen Uses Analytic Insights to Build and Grow

Pescetarian Kitchen is a Pescetarian food blog offering recipes and healthy eating lifestyle tips. There little left to chance for Matthew Barby, founder of Pescetarian Kitchen, who used research for every aspect of building and growing his blog. “The term “pescetarian” is searched more than 70K per month in Google …. this seemed like a huge opportunity to tap into a very specific niche.”

Barby explains their successful strategy:

“We [had] key online communities that we wanted to be present within, and made sure we were engaging in them and shared our content there a lot. We spent a lot of time engaging within Reddit which gave us a ton of traffic. … we [prepared] content for BuzzFeed which ended bringing through 10K+ visitors to our blog and a flurry of email subscribers … we [also used] Facebook and Twitter ads to acquire new email subscribers.”


  • Think of influencer marketing as a strategy of viral marketing as opposed to mass marketing, to reach select consumer groups with targeted messages built on data, but conveyed with the kind of emotional tone that makes it “shareable.”
  • Understand that influencer marketing is a conversation. Develop methods for two-way communication that cultivate a sense of community and belonging with the brand.
  • Research where and how your niche market is spending time in order to be able to run concurrent paid marketing initiatives that build audience and generate customers.

Traditional push marketing does not deliver the type of engaging one-on-one conversations that are now essential when thinking about fully rounded 360-degree marketing. Listening and responding is now the #1 goal that every marketing plan needs to address in order to influence both brand opinion and brand value.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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