The Walt Disney Company, the entertainment giant, is tapping into the power of “consumer foresights” as it seeks to identify future growth opportunities.

Jill Estorino, EVP/global marketing and sales for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Masters of Marketing Conference.

“In the last two years, we have stood up a Consumer Foresight research department,” she said. (For more details, read WARC’s free-to-access report: Consumer foresights prepare Disney for future growth.)

“This small team is really focused on trends, identifying opportunities, and actually anticipating where we need to move as a brand.

“And this understanding has really helped us think about new ways to engage with our consumer, and to allow them to actually be an active explorer of our brand, versus a passive consumer of the magic.”

Such an initiative neatly aligns with the CMO Growth Council, a body co-sponsored by the ANA and the Cannes Lions (a sister company of WARC), and that pledges to “lead disruption to drive growth through a global growth agenda".

During the ANA Masters, Estorino was named as a member of a dedicated “Brand Experience and Innovation” committee forming part of the CMO Growth Council.

And foresight, she told the ANA delegates, will play a central role in shaping Disney’s future, even as she argued that the Burbank, California-based enterprise must retain the essence that has typified its activity for over nine decades.

“A lot is changing,” she said. “But I’ll say, for the Disney consumer, a lot is the same. The Disney fan wants great storytelling and they actually want stories with heart. But they want to engage with these stories in new and innovative ways.

“Consumers are also empowered and their expectations are even higher … So, for us at Disney, the key here is balance, because we want to embrace all this disruption that’s happening in the marketplace and with consumers, but we also want to stay true to the core values of the Disney brand.”

Sourced from WARC