Marketing Leverage Times – Summer 2005

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Marketing Leverage Times. Our goal is to provide you with provocative information and thought-provoking commentary on marketing and business issues to help you better leverage your investment in marketing programs, processes and people. We hope you will enjoy this regular collection of tips, tidbits and tools and we welcome your input and feedback. Tell us what you like and don’t like and what you’d like to see in future editions.


We recently returned from a family vacation to Disney World in Florida. As many of you who’ve made this trek know, such an excursion has its pluses and minuses. Florida weather in mid-July (hot, humid, hurricanes) is one of those things you just have to put up with.

Then there’s the frustration around air travel in general–the hassle of getting to the airport, with enough time to check in and go through expanded security, as well as experiencing large crowds, and less-than-excited airline employees. But the crème de resistance of airport experiences is the one that occurs AFTER you land: having to wait to retrieve your luggage in baggage claim (or filing a claim for delayed baggage and waiting hours for it to be found and delivered).

The folks at Disney, long known for their operational effectiveness, haven’t solved all the frustrations of airline travel, but they have taken a big stride forward in some ways with their Magical Express program. Guests register in advance and receive special Magical Express luggage tags. Luggage is dropped at the departing airport with the special tags and not touched by the traveler again until it “magically” appears in their hotel room at a Walt Disney World property. Upon arrival in Orlando, guests board a Magic Express bus which transports them directly to their hotel. The cost for this program: Zip. It’s included in accommodation fees.

What Disney has done is produce a win/win all around. They’ve simplified the baggage retrieval process at the Orlando airport by diverting all Disney-bound luggage in bulk and then sorting the luggage by Disney property. The company who has been running transportation shuttles in Orlando was enlisted to manage the process and transport guests, who now move much more quickly in and out of the airport. Guests now get to their destinations faster, bypassing Baggage Claim, and without lugging a ton of heavy suitcases behind, thus putting them in a much better frame of mind and encouraging them to create the real Disney magical experience – spending money at Disney properties and resorts.

The Magical Express worked well for us. Both passengers and luggage arrived when and where they were supposed to. Now if we can only get someone to work on the weather in southern Florida in the summer (not to mention airport security lines!). Any takers?

CHECKLIST: Turning Misery into Magic

  • How effective is the overall experience surrounding your product or services?
  • Is there something your customers find frustrating or less than ideal?
  • Can you identify and isolate what causes this experience?
  • What can you change or eliminate to transform the customer experience?
  • What value would your company gain by eliminating these bad experiences?
  • How can you promote and package the new, improved experience to your customers?
  • How can you use this to differentiate yourself from your competition?

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We’ve created a new feature on our website. Marketing Leverage Points are short, focused tips on specific marketing issues or problems. Each includes a checklist to help stimulate discussion and thought as you build your marketing programs and initiatives. Look for more Leverage Points each month.

Ever wonder how there’s never enough time to build the proper process to deliver a marketing program, but always time to redo a deliverable afterwards?

We all face tight, aggressive deadlines. We don’t have enough time to do everything we’d like to, given the limited resources available…Read more.

What’s Happening?

Check out our new Bay Area Marketing Events Calendar!


Need a quick Marketing Checkup? Want a more extensive program to evaluate and work through marketing issues and concerns? We now have two options for you : a one-time Marketing Assessment, or our 90-day Marketing Leverage Mentoring program. See more information.


If you were a product, what would make YOU most valuable to your customers or prospects? What business needs would you help solve? How could you position yourself vs. other available alternatives? These are some of the questions we address in our new workshop: Marketing Product YOU. This one-half day workshop can be targeted to employees planning their career development options, or for small business owners interested in better positioning their services. For more information or to schedule a workshop, contact us.


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