Merlin’s structure

  • Check out our feature on Merlin Entertainments’ Nick Varney – the marketer in charge of a £2.25bn business here
  • Discover Varney’s six point growth driver plan here
  • Varney says: “The most efficient channel for us is publicity”, read why here
  • See APR chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America Rosanna Fiske’s response to this feature here
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The company is split into three operating groups: Midway; resort theme parks; and Legoland parks.

Midways are indoor attractions with a visit time of several hours, such as the Dungeons brand, Sea Life or Madame Tussauds. They are organised geographically, such as Midway North America or Midway Europe. Within each, there is a marketing team using tactical promotions for all the brands in that region. But above the geographic divisions, there is a brand marketing director for each attraction, eg Madame Tussauds or Sea Life, ensuring everything is true to that brand.

Resort theme parks are attractions set up for longer visits of one or two days. These include Alton Towers and Italian theme park Gardaland. Each park is defined as a ’division’ and has its own marketing director. So the marketing director of Alton Towers reports to the divisional director who manages that business. Beneath each marketing director is a consumer marketing manager focusing on individual visitors and a trade marketing manager, targeting groups such as schools or corporate customers.

Legoland parks are a homogenous global set of attractions on the theme of Lego bricks. These have a similar marketing structure to the theme parks but they also have an extra marketing director for the Legoland brand to ensure consistency across multiple continents.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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