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May 29, 2008


John from TheDisneyBlog.com

Hello and thank you for the link.

I can think of a thousand ways Disney could have ended VMK that would have respected the community they nurtured over the last three years. Alas Disney chose a different way, the easiest way, just turning off the lights.

Now those core users and community members (and anyone who bothers to google about VMK's end) are once-shy. While there may have been many factors in Disney's decision, they still need to get it right the next time or risk losing many more of their user base.

Sean Williams

John -- to some degree, I see here the "marketing" mindset being played out, rather than the "relationship" mindset. The most interesting activity for a marketer is a campaign -- fresh, new, creative, exciting -- and focused on generating new impressions and sales. It's typically focused on non-customers and is most concerned about winning them over. In the relationship mindset, we're not trying merely to win new customers, we're trying to keep and deepen the ones we have (and the newbies). When you measure the success of a campaign, you're done -- X impressions equals Y in sales. When you're measuring relationships, it never stops -- that's why the new reality in PR (see the USC/Annenberg study) is less focus on output and more on outcome -- particularly reputation and ongoing relationships.

John Bell

@John @Sean - thanks for the comments. Given your own/John assessment of the marketing dynamics of the company - they favor the transactional vs. relationship side of marketing (which is what Sean is saying, I think) - I wonder if they believe in the risk we are all talking about or does that just change the transaction equation. E.g. if they piss off "community members" they will re-jigger theor marcom spend and go acquire more. After all, Disney is a beloved brand, right? ;-)

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