Disney’s primary target market of 4-12-year-old boys and girls, is widely diverse, including the younger half that are still children and the older half that are on the peak of their teenage years (Mintel). This segment is considered primary because they have the greatest influence over their parent’s decision-making and are most excited about the brand.  These children are also heavy-users of the brand in that they experience the thrill of rides, wear Disney memorabilia, and use the brand as a source of entertainment.

In 2010, Disney’s primary target market contained around 24.8 million kids and represented approximately 8 ½ percent of the U.S. population (Mintel).  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, these statistics are expected to rise to about 26 million, or 5% by 2015 (Mintel). This segment enjoys biking and swimming, surfing the Web, watching TV, playing video games, and participating in organized/partner-oriented sporting activities (Mintel). Boys and girls in this market also “seek healthier alternatives,” due to the increased obesity of the market, and are trend seekers (Mintel). In addition, research shows that Hispanic children between 6-11-years-old are expected to increase 40% by 2015, and will then represent 25% of all kids within the primary target market age group (Mintel). Marketers will have to take this into consideration and develop new ways to market to this group, to increase brand awareness and use.   

Media consumption is on the rise with Disney’s primary target market of 4-12-year-old’s (Mintel). According to Mintel, the younger and older half of the primary target market is being exposed to an increasing amount of digital media. Although digital media usage is more prevalent amongst 9-12-year-old’s, the younger half of the segment still engages in digital media usage, but to a lesser extent. On average, this segment averages seven hours and fifty-one minutes of media usage daily; they watch around 3 ½ hours of T.V. each day, and for an approximately an hour per day, listen to music, through the use of iPods and MP3 Players, play video games, and use the computer (Mintel). In addition, within this segment, 9-11-year-olds are the predominant group that downloads and plays video games online, and 6-11-year-olds visit favorite Websites and search user-generated content; disneychannel.com, YouTube, and Google are the most commonly used sites amongst 6-11-year-olds (Mintel). According to Mintel, 1/5 of the primary target market owns cell phones and the number continues to increase; marketers are now looking to designing mobile campaigns aimed toward this group, to tap into a new, potential market (Mintel).

Disney’s secondary target market consists of men and women between 35-55-years-old. This segment is considered secondary because they have already experienced the traditional Disney atmosphere. Disney strives to cater to small children who have not experienced the initial thrill of Disney like the primary market has.  Disney must advertise and appeal to this segment because they are the money markers and make the Disney experience available to their children.

These men and women are a part of the younger era of the baby boomer category, referred to as the trailing-edge boomer subgroup, and made up 9% of the total population and also captured 36% of the entire baby boomer segment in 2009 (Demographic). These individuals, born between1955-1964, had a “child-centric upbringing, believe in meritocracy, are green and concerned with fitness, praise individuality and youthfulness, are spenders and travelers, and seek fun and educational experiences for themselves and their adolescent children” (National).  Trailing-edge boomers are pragmatics, technology-savvy, but search for simplicity in life (National). This category is affluent, educated, and has average HH incomes averaging $56,500, with an estimated spending power of $1.1 trillion (Baby Boomers). This demographics digital media usage is growing, with 55% of 35-55-year-old households owning computers (NTIA).  The 35-55 segment is the fastest growing demographic and has the greatest growth in social technology adoption, with more female than male participation due to a greater number of stay-at-home moms (istartegylab).  According to an online source, 22% of the secondary demographic uses the internet, primarily for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging and the numbers continue to increase (LDS).  E-mailing, texting, and surfing the Web, as a source for information and shopping, is quite popular amongst this group. 

Disney’s primary and secondary target markets are very trusting of Disney’s brand due to its exceptional customer service and wide array of offerings, including TV programming, movies and music, cruises and hotels, theme parks, retail stores, and toys that satisfy both segments wants, needs, and desires (Mintel). According to Mintel, “Disney also offers a number of innovative online initiatives, including iPad applications, online games, and uses Facebook as a sales platform and an outlet to connect with their consumers” (Mintel). In addition, Disney has strived to create a wonderful experience for everyone, also through their vast array of product offerings, and “with their transformation in design, quality, and product innovation; Disney has been able to improve consumer perceptions of their brand significantly” (Consumer Products).  

Disney’s primary and secondary target markets both affect purchasing decisions.  For example, parents 35-55, our secondary target market, are more inclined to purchase merchandise that is associated with kid programming they enjoy; however, the primary target market usually has more control over purchasing decision that affects the entire family”(Mintel). Our primary target market has a large say over what their parents buy, “in particular food and entertainment” (Mintel). “One in four parents (24%) say they buy their children what they ask for most of the time, and 75% say they do so, some of the time” (Mintel).