To Improve the Marketing of Hong Kong Disneyland for Domestic Tourist Research Paper

Pages: 10 (4530 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 14  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Disneyland Hong Kong

Opened on September 12, 2005, Disneyland Hong Kong initially failed to meet the expectations of Walt Disney Company's executives and planners for visitor counts and profitability. The park occupies just 55 acres compared to Disneyland's 160 acres and the entire Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California encompassing 500 acres that includes California Adventure, Downtown Disney and two hotels. Disneyland Hong Kong therefore failed to literally measure up to the expectations of Hong Kong residents as a replacement to the original Disneyland (Marr, Fowler, 2006). With just four lands compared eight at Disneyland and just 26 rides compared to 55, Disneyland Hong Kong also failed to meet the minimum expectations of the cities' residents who sought a comparable experience to visiting the original in California. Much for fundamental than these factors is the fact that the multi-channel marketing that is so successful in the U.S. And increasingly in Europe is non-existent with many of the Asian, specifically Hong Kong guests to the park (Balfour, Einhorn, 2009). Visitors to the park have no frame of reference of what the rides or characters represent, and do not know how to enjoy the park for fun (Marr, Fowler, 2006). Companies who excel at service marketing are capable of setting and exceeding customers' expectations on a consistent basis, regardless of the variation in individual expectations there are (Bosque, San Martin, Collado, Salmones, 2009). From a services marketing standpoint this is the greatest challenge for Disneyland Hong Kong as there are inaccurate, incomplete expectations today.

1.0 IntroductionBuy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Paper on To Improve the Marketing of Hong Kong Disneyland for Domestic Tourist Assignment

At the center of any successful services marketing strategy is the defining of accurate expectations and their fulfillment through the consistent and thorough execution of guest-facing strategies (Bosque, San Martin, Collado, Salmones, 2009). The concepts of mass customization when applied to services indicate that guests of entertainment events and venues are more interested in the experience and the totality of the event and less in any specific aspect such as entertainment or food (Morgan, Elbe, Curiel, 2009). What makes services marketing so difficult in an entertainment context is the wide variation in expectations customers have, even from within the same metro or urban area (Freire, 2009). For amusement companies who enter foreign, unfamiliar markets as Disney did in Europe with Euro-Disney and also in Hong Kong, the need for having service recovery strategies in place is critically important. A service recovery strategy is defined as the series of processes, procedures and steps used for transforming customers' negative service experiences into a positive ones (Swanson, Hsu, 2009). The use of service recovery strategies in theme parks has proven to be very effective in minimizing customer defections and churn and also enabling greater brand stability over the long-term (Lewis, Clacher, 2001). From the initial faux pas of serving shark fin soup, which angered environmentalists to the lack of frame of reference for Chinese children visiting the park from Hong Kong, Disney has had to redefine their service recovery strategies from an Asian mindset as a result of their initial struggles with Disneyland Hong Kong (Marr, Fowler, 2006). The intent of this analysis is to evaluate the target market for Disneyland Hong Kong locally in addition to evaluating the marketing mix and making recommendations as a result of the analysis.

2.0 Target Market of Hong Kong Disneyland

When the target market for Hong Kong Disneyland is analyzed within the region of the amusement park using data from the Census and Statistics Department, Government of Hong Kong the following demographic segmentation is generated. The following data was originally collected during the 2006 census. The largest potential demographic target markets are males and females 18 -- 44 with males and females below 18 being the secondary market segment. This is consistent with what Disney is finding in other parks, and also consistent with their multichannel marketing communication strategies of concentrating on young families as well (Fowler, Marr, 2006). The results of this analysis are shown in Figure 1: Hong Kong Age Demographics, 2009. When combined with Figure 2: Domestic Households by Monthly Household Income, 2006, the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a market to Disney is evident. Young, wealthy families are what Disney most likely based their expansion decision on.

Figure 1: Hong Kong Age Demographics, 2009

Market Segment


Males 18-44


Females 18-44


Males <18n


Females <18n


Males >45


Females >45


Source: Census and Statistics Department, Government of Hong Kong (2009)

Figure 2: Domestic Households by Monthly Household Income, 2006

3.0-7 Ps of Marketing

For a marketing strategy to be effective, it must encompass seven specific areas or attributes which are often referred to as the 7 Ps of marketing. These include the product itself, price, place or distribution, promotional strategy, people involved in creating, distributing and purchasing the product or service and the processes involved in delivering the products or services as well. In addition to these, marketing strategies need to take into account the experience of using the product or service, often called the physical attributes. Each of the 7 Ps also contributes to the positioning or branding of a product or company, as taken together they communicate the market position and unique value proposition of the product or service as well. Each of these 7 Ps of marketing are defined within each of the following sections of this analysis, followed by their implications for Hong Kong Disneyland.

3.1 Product- Definition and application to tourism operation

In the context of the 7 Ps, the product can be either a product or service, with the only requirement being that it delivers values to the customer. Products are often services or the implied commitment to deliver services or an experience. The defining, managing and fulfillment of expectations around products is one aspect of exceptional marketing as well.

As with services businesses, Hong Kong Disneyland's products are actually its four lands of Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street U.S.A., in addition to its restaurants and shops that together form a compete entertainment experience. The levels of customer service delivered and satisfaction with the actual total experience of an amusement park is more important to long-term profitability of any entertainment business than the incidental products sold or incremental margin gained from ancillary services, the experience is the product (Milman, 2009). This is especially true in amusement parks where patrons often rate as much higher the experiences that can be personalized, therefore consistent with mass customization of the experience, than in the en mass, undifferentiated experiences theme parks provide (Thach, Axinn, 1994). This area of the differentiated experience is where Disney has traditionally excelled, yet as is evident from an analysis of the Disneyland Hong Kong, this is not the case in the new park (Balfour, Einhorn, 2009). The Walt Disney Company's initial efforts to define food and entertainment specific to Hong Kong did not reflect the preferences of the audience in this metro and urban area originally, hence the lower-than-expected attendance rates and lack of planning and anticipation fro Chinese-specific holidays that did sell out the park yet were completely unanticipated (Marr, Fowler, 2006).

3.2 Place - Definition and application to tourism operation

The second P. In the 7 Ps is place or distribution. This P. specifically refers to the place where customers come to buy products or obtain services. From a marketers' perspective this also refers to the channels of distribution used for selling their products or services. Multichannel management strategies seek to manage distribution strategies through several different channels including the Internet, retailers and wholesalers.

Integral to any amusement parks' value proposition is its location or place. Consider the location of Walt Disney World in the middle of an expanse of land in the middle of Florida near Orlando, or what was a once a large orange grove in Anaheim, California which is today Disneyland. Place or location is key to the success or failure of any amusement park or large entertainment venue. The selection of Lantau Island as the site and the reclamation of a section of Penny's Bay may the location of Disneyland Hong Kong made the park accessible via the public transportation system for the city, in addition to be accessible via mass transportation from the Hong Kong International Airport. The many cultural lessons learned Disney had in creating, launching and running Euro-Disney were relied on in the planning, building and operating of Disneyland Hong Kong as well. Disney designers worked to ensure the metrics of key buildings had 888 square meters in size, as 8 is a revered number in Chinese culture that is often associated with good fortune. The company also worked to respect the fact that the number four is considered bad luck in Chinese culture and designed buildings so this number could be ignored in numbering floors. Finally feng shui consultants were brought in also design the park's entry and position so that it would be consistent with the local environment (Marr, Fowler, 2006). Disney project managers also had the land blessed and incense burned at the culmination… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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