Valuable Lessons From President Karl

Valuable Lessons From President Karl

Last summer, Disney Cruise Line launched their inaugural Norwegian cruise. It was the first time they offered an itinerary that sailed around Norway.

Here’s a trivia question for you: Who was the very first passenger on the very first Disney Norwegian cruise?

Answer: Yours truly!

That’s right. Here’s how it happened…

We sailed Disney’s Baltic cruise prior to the Norwegian. That cruise terminated in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is where the Norwegian began. Since we were going to re-board the same ship, they had us go to the terminal in Copenhagen and wait there until the ship was cleared and cleaned. As passengers who had been on the previous cruise, we were allowed to re-board earlier than everyone else. Turns out, I was first in line going back to the ship, and I was the first one to scan my key to board. Alas, there was no special perk for being first, just a story to tell to you!

Disney Cruise President Karl HolzAnyway, every night, they have a stage show at the main theater on board. One night, we walked in early and chose our seats next to another family. We got to chatting with the gentleman next to us. Turns out, we were chatting with Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line!

Karl is a tremendous guy, both in stature and personality. He’s about the size of an NFL lineman, and he’s very personable.

So we got to talking about what the future holds for Disney Cruise Line. After all, since we sink an insane amount of money into the Disney machine, we wanted to get a little insight as to where we were going to be in the world when we did so. He did give us a little bit of a glimpse.

I have no idea if this is “confidential” information. I assume it’s not, since he told a total stranger about it, but it’s also not yet common knowledge. Karl told us that Disney absolutely plans to offer sailings in China and Asia in the future. Not surprising, really, considering the size and wealth of that market, and that there are two Disney resorts in Asia, with a new one in China to be opened this year. But what he said next was not expected…

One of the challenges they’re trying to overcome is to accommodate the shopping culture in Asia. They want to be sure to offer an experience that appeals to Asians, and that meant having to modify how they do things while still maintaining that “Disney Magic.”

Being Asian myself, I can attest to that shopping culture. There’s another lesson there that I’ll talk about another time. But for now, what Karl said about modifying the experience to appeal to the marketplace was a valuable lesson for me.

One of the mistakes that us offline marketers make is that we tend to homogenize what we do. We give the same experience to everybody, regardless of the characteristics of the marketplace. This is especially evident in prospecting and cold outreach campaigns.

For example, if you’re offering a social media management package, what some marketers do is offer it to everyone with a pulse, without regard to the market. What marketers don’t often consider is, does my offer make sense to that market? I’ve seen people send outreach campaigns to septic tank companies for social media management. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, that scene in the movie “Meet The Parents” when the back yard was flooded from an overflowing tank was hilarious. But outside of that, there really isn’t much that is social media-worthy about septic tanks.

So there are three takeaways from what Karl told me.

First, consider the characteristics, needs, wants, and pains of your market. Make sure that what you’re offering addresses it, as opposed to trying to shoe-horn an offer that doesn’t make sense. This lesson alone will help you boost your sales, simply because of the match between your message and market.

Second, this does not preclude you from going after markets that don’t exactly fit your offer if you choose to do so. You just have to change how you’re presenting it. For example, you can still offer social media to septic tank companies. However, it might have to be social media advertising, or it may have to be Facebook page maintenance as a secondary service to another offer, like PPC lead gen.

Third, when you approach ANY business on a cold campaign, you should be offering a result or outcome. You don’t have to talk about social media, SEO, reputation management, or any of the technical aspects of your service. Talk about what they will ultimately achieve by entering into a relationship with you. Will their phone ring more? Will more people walk through their door? Will they increase the dollars they earn per customer without any additional budget? That’s what they’re after. They’re not after SEO. How you get the result or outcome is up to you, and may very well include a service like social media for septic tank companies. But lead with the outcome, not the service.

I’d love to work with you to help you refine your message to your market and increase your sales. Head to and let’s see how we can help you grow your agency to make this year your best ever!

Lee Nazal
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Lee Nazal

Bestselling Author and Client Generation Strategist. Helping adventure-loving entrepreneurs to impact the lives of others by providing the guidance to build an extraordinary, empowering lifestyle business.
Lee Nazal
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