Every marketer should read Fast Company’s amazing story on the creation of Disney’s MagicBands. While much of the article focuses on the arduous technical and creative processes, there were several paragraphs that detailed how Disney uses the bands for consumer data and analytics.
The long-range sensors would allow Disney to track guests as they navigated the park. The potential benefits were manifold. By monitoring where crowds were forming, the company could better optimize flow. Say the sensors noted that one section of Magic Kingdom was becoming overwhelmed with guests: Operators could immediately respond with a character parade around the corner, to disperse traffic and ease strain on cast members (as Disney calls all its Parks employees). This kind of traffic management wouldn’t just be a service to customers — it could also help Disney fit more guests inside its parks.
The MagicBand would also collect valuable consumer data. Insiders say the company historically knew little about its guests, even its most loyal ones. “We just treated everybody as a giant blob of people,” says the former longtime manager involved with NGE. “It was time to figure out who our customers were so we could better serve them and stop delivering this one-size-fits-all experience.”
While the article alluded to this, it would be interesting to see the degree to which Disney uses the bands to attract repeat customers, build highly personalized vacation packages, and integrate the bands with mobile devices. For example: Disney could see from the data that a guest stayed at the Swan or Dolphin hotels, but visited Magic Kingdom rather than Epcot which is right next to the resort. Conceivably, Disney could re-target this guest with a vacation special at the Grand Floridian Hotel (which is closer to Magic Kingdom). It could also send an SMS or app notification to the guest halfway through the day encouraging them to purchase a Park Hopper special to visit other parks.
In short, the possibilities of wearables are endless. Disney’s marketers has never had so much consumer data at its disposal. When combined with primary research, it’s easy to see how wearables like MagicBands can become powerful tools for Disney and other theme parks like it.