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Marketing Moves at the Mouse House


I worked for Walt Disney World in Florida for several years before business school, taking a variety of positions in operations, entertainment, and sales. Although I spent my summer interning for a consumer packaged-goods company, I wanted to follow my passion back into the entertainment industry after I'd obtained my MBA. I utilized my Orlando contacts to get my résumé into consideration for open positions throughout the company and was fortunate enough to interview with the Disneyland Resort.

I'm an associate manager, product marketing, for the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. Each of our theme parks and segment divisions has its own marketing group. My job responsibilities are to develop and manage the marketing strategy behind new attractions and events.

SHIFTING APPROACHES. Currently, my primary projects include the launch of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction and its accompanying interactive online component on disneyland.com/buzz, the relaunch of the Space Mountain roller coaster, marketing for the Downtown Disney District, and introducing Block Party Bash, a new interactive parade at Disney's California Adventure Park. I'm also involved in the launch of Disneyland's 50th birthday celebration at all of our parks around the world.

Having worked for the company before, I had a pretty solid understanding of the Disney culture. The biggest learning curve I had was approaching problems from a marketing, rather than operations, perspective, where most of my past experience had been.

5:30 a.m. -- I head to the gym to meet friends from work. In many cases, these are the same people who run in the Disney Triathlon or MS150 Ride for the Cure. I just try to keep up.

8 a.m. -- The e-mail onslaught begins. I begin working through various questions and voice mails. Occasionally, I might be at Operations' morning meetings to talk about marketing plans for our new attractions or shows.

9 a.m. -- Strategy meetings, where we bring our marketing plans to a cross-functional executive team to approve before moving forward. Today, we present our rollout plan for the relaunch of the popular Space Mountain roller coaster. To keep things interesting, my manager and I dress up as star fields by putting glow-in-the-dark stars on our clothing (creativity counts here). Many questions are asked, some elements are removed, some added. Lots of follow-up, but the overall feeling is positive.

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