Six Flags, or Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, is one of the biggest companies in the sphere of entertainment targeting average-income families. It is an amusement park company that was founded in 1961 in Texas, the USA. Nowadays, it is one of the most famous and prosperous entertainment corporations in the world with annual revenue of almost $1,500 billion. The company’s business sector is the tourism and hospitality sphere; it is a theme park industry with amusement parks in America, Canada and Mexico, which is now included in the top ten of amusement park corporations.
Hofstede cultural analysis of the company allows for defining the American management model of Six Flags. There are many similarities between American cultural characteristics and the management model of the company. For example, the management of Six Flags has a short-term orientation, and its members are primarily interested in achieving individual goals (unlike in the Japanese management model where collectiveness is the primary concern). The decisions are taken by the management; the company hires both full time and seasonal workers, as theme parks usually become popular tourist attractions in summer.
Today, the theme park industry is growing continuously, as clients all over the world seem to be attracted by the entertainment sphere. Therefore, many amusement parks, including Six Flags, are highly visitor-oriented. Consequently, such companies focus on clients and define corresponding business strategies (Pelsmacker, Tilburg and Holthof, 2018).
For example, as Milman (2017) suggests, big entertainment companies tend to pay a lot of attention to crowd management policies, improvement of booking systems and enhancing the use of digital and social media marketing. In this business report, the business model and marketing strategies of Six Flags Entertainment Company, such as social media platforms and possible marketing information systems, are going to be described and studied through qualitative research.
Six Flags Marketing Strategies
Marketing is an essential part of the company’s success in the sphere of business. The research of Felix, Rauschnabel and Hinsch (2017, p.119) suggests that “both the type of industry and the type of product influence the impact of social media marketing”. The amusement park industry is a sphere of high competition; for example, similar successful companies in the US are Disney’s California Adventure and Universal Studios.
Every company dealing with growing competition needs to conduct a lot of marketing research in order to be successful in its segment of business, and today, with the development of technologies, marketing has become digital. As Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick (2019) mention, there are five important parts of digital marketing: digital devices, digital platforms, digital media, digital data and digital technology. All of them deal with media and the internet, which are especially popular channels of information in today’s world.
Six Flags is not an exception, and the company uses digital marketing regularly. In different periods it used TV commercials, often with cartoon characters (for example, some Looney Tunes characters). In the year of 2007, it became the owner of 40 % of Dick Clark Productions (Lieberman, 2007). It gave Six Flags access to different shows and therefore allowed it to reach a wider audience. As social media is an important up-to-date source of information, Six Flags regularly uses such platforms in addition to commercials, banners, internet advertisements and other digital marketing strategies. Targeting teens and young adults with children, the company promotes itself through the most popular media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Marketing Management Information Systems
For a big and complicated organization like Six Flags, it is necessary to have an appropriate marketing management information system (MIS). From the perspective of business, MIS focuses on “providing useful information and advanced solutions” (Zhang, 2016, p. 281). As Keshtegar and Vakili explain, “managers are not interested in knowing hundreds of activities done satisfactorily, but they are interested in knowing the factors out of control or are soon out of control” (2018, par. 9). Information systems in marketing include the use of different technologies to transfer information within the organization or to its customers.
Six Flags application is the system that allows the company to simplify the process of management. The role of content is essential: the application provides information about the rides as well as about prices, sales and other details of the company’s services. Systems of evaluation both in the application and social media can also be considered the way to simplify management as they define the quality of services and allow to receive feedback from clients.
Six Flags Integrated Marketing Campaign. The Role of Social Media
It is hard to deny that every big company needs to use different ways of self-promotion to achieve all marketing goals. Six Flags is an example of a corporation that pays attention to advertising in different spheres (like media, internet and licensing) and therefore uses an integrated marketing campaign. As Key and Czaplewski (2017) suggest, the target audience, the channel of distribution and thorough research play an important role in defining marketing platforms. The target audience of the analyzed company is children, teens and young adults; therefore, social media content plays a vital role in Six Flags’ marketing campaign and in defining the market position of the company.
Six Flags promotes its services on most of the most popular social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. The content provided by the company is usually connected with advertising (including information about prices or sales), detailed information about rides, queries and news about the company’s services. It is important to note that small questionnaires took by the company allow it to see if its customers are delighted with the services provided. Queries and feedback on Facebook or Instagram help the company define if it needs to improve any of its services and also create a positive attitude of customers towards the corporation.
Nowadays, the sphere of business has expanded a lot and has become very broad. It is difficult to enumerate all kinds of companies and different types of services and goods that are provided around the globe. In the world of modern business, it is important to create an appropriate business plan and follow a good marketing strategy that would correspond with the chosen business model.
Six Flags is an example of a company that uses different kinds of promotions to achieve its business goals. It is hard to deny that in a big company with such a high number of employees it can be difficult to provide effective management; however, the company’s focus is its clients, and the corporation pays a lot of attention to visitor-oriented marketing. To sum up, the success of Six Flags company depends on the wise use of different marketing strategies and choosing an appropriate business model.
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019) Digital Marketing. 7th edn. London: Pearson.
De Pelsmacker, P., Van Tilburg, S. and Holthof, C. (2018) ‘Digital marketing strategies, online reviews and hotel performance’, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 72, pp. 47-55.
Felix, R., Rauschnabel, P.A. and Hinsch, C. (2017) ‘Elements of strategic social media marketing: a holistic framework’, Journal of Business Research, 70, pp. 118-126.
Keshtegar, A. and Vakili, N. (2018) ‘Comparison of management information system and decision support system and Its role in the decision-making process of managers of economic affairs and finance of Zahedan’, International Review of Management and Marketing, 8(1), pp. 93-97.
Key, T.M. and Czaplewski, A.J. (2017) ‘Upstream social marketing strategy: an integrated marketing communications approach’, Business Horizons, 60(3), pp. 325-333.
Lieberman, D. (2007) ‘Dan Snyder buys Dick Clark’s TV, music company’, USA Today. Web.
Milman, A. (2019) ‘Visitor management in highly-visited attractions: lessons that practitioners can learn from the U.S. theme park industry and the national parks’ in Pechlaner, H., Innerhofer, E. and Erschbaner G. (eds.) Overtourism: Introduction to the topic. Oxford: Routledge, 1, pp. 89-110.
Zhang, Y. (2016) ‘Management information system’, Proceedings of the 2017 2nd International Conference on Machinery, Electronics and Control Simulation (MECS 2017), Taiyuan, China, 24-25 June. Paris: Atlantis Press.