About Jennifer Kruger

Jennifer Barr Kruger is Director of Communications for Photo Marketing Association International and Publisher of PMA magazine. In addition, Kruger is editor of PMA Newsline and PMA Newsline Weekly, and was previously the editor of several other industry publications. She is a contributor to both the DIMAcast (www.DIMAcast.com) and the Imaging Executive Podcast (www.imagingexecutive.com). Kruger is a 2010 ADDY Award winner for podcasting. She joined PMA in 1994.

MMIE 596: Give it a green light

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #596 – April 14, 2015

Shoppers are influenced in their purchasing decisions by the location of products, signage and display.

In one study, products were labeled as good, not so good and worst using a traffic-light color system. Green for good, yellow for not so good, and red for worst. With the products in exactly the same position they had been before the study began, sales of items wearing the green label increased, and sales of those with the red label decreased. mmie 596 A

Don’t know about you, but we’d be reluctant to label products we were selling as “worst,” so we’d opt to use green check marks, or smiley faces – one for lowest, two for medium and three for best. Memory cards, for example, or batteries, come to mind.

Changing the physical layout bumped sales of the “best” products even higher. Moving them forward sommie 596 B they were more prominent saw a 25 percent increase in their sales.

Your customers are impressionable and can be influenced by signage (give me a good reason why I should by this one and not that one), and prominence of product display. If you want to sell something, don’t hide it.

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now it’s your turn.

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax honored with Small Business of the Year Award

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MullinaxGaby_2013PMA President Gaby Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, Calif., is having a good year. In January, she was honored with the PMDA Visionary of the Year award, and, of course, the following day, she was elected president of PMA – becoming the first female president in our 90-year history. Now, she is being honored again, this time with the Small Business of the Year award, presented by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business of the Year award recognizes businesses for extraordinary achievement in a number of key areas, such as involvement in the community, service above self, outreach, ethical business practices, length of service, innovation, leadership, environmental awareness, and ability to promote wellness and learning for employees.

“Those of us in the imaging industry are very familiar with Gaby’s remarkable vision, her business acumen, her creative genius, and her generous spirit, so it’s certainly no surprise to see her being recognized once again for her achievements. That she is now being honored by her local community with the Small Business of the Year award is just another reason for us to be proud and confident to have her leading PMA as president in this critical year of reinvention,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe.

The Small Business of the Year award will be presented to Fullerton Photographics at the Chamber’s Business Achievement Awards Dinner on June 17.

MMIE 595: Use the right words

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mmie 595 BMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #595 – April 7, 2015

Out for a walk this morning, listening to the Springtime song of the birds, calling out to prospective mates, using sizzle to sell the steak. It reminded me of my university days, and the local burger joint, where they did use sizzle to sell the steak (okay, hamburgers). You’d hear the mmie 595 Aguy taking the order call out to the chef “Hey Freddy, put another juicy, super-tasty burger on the grill,” or words to that effect. I don’t know if it was psychological or not, but I still remember how good those burgers tasted.

We’re not suggesting you yell out “Freddy, ring up another one of our superior Nikon D7200 kits, with the high-performance 18-140 VR lens.” But . . . what words are you using?

We know one retailer who makes sure her staff say to those coming in the door “Are you here to make a book today?” rather than “May I help you?” – and how’s that for starting off the conversation on the right foot?

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now it’s your turn.

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

A message from Georgia for all members of PMA worldwide

Georgia McCabe favorite
As you all know, the past few months have been a time of transition and research for PMA.

I’m happy to say this important period of gathering information as we seek to move forward has been very fruitful. Since January, PMA President Gaby Mullinax and I, with the help and support of your staff and Board of Directors, have held many, many meetings, interviews, in-person visits, and phone calls. We have attended industry conferences, and we are currently conducting a series of surveys of our members, specific target groups, former members and non-members.

Great ideas emerged from the PMA Strategic Retreat held April 1 and 2.

Great ideas emerged from the PMA Strategic Retreat held April 1 and 2.

We brought this mass of data to a pivotal event that occurred last week. On April 1 and 2, about 20 leading photography business leaders — representing major segments of the industry internationally — gathered in Falls Church, Va., for a Strategic Retreat, the goal of which was to help chart the path for the new PMA. As a group, we carefully considered the current state and needs of the industry, and brainstormed on what the immediate and longer-term goals of PMA should be.

I’m excited to say the picture of our future is now taking shape. We have identified key audiences, determined much of our near-term and long-range focus, and are in process of fully defining a robust business plan for a brand new PMA. You will be seeing a more detailed announcement of our specific plans, including an exciting spate of new member benefits, coming this month.

PMA can and will become the organization our members need, bringing new opportunities and resources for decades yet to come.

In the mean time, however, there is another issue I would like to address. Unfortunately, it seems there has been some confusion and misinformation in recent weeks regarding the future of PMA members who are outside the United States. As your CEO and Executive Director, let me assure you that PMA members worldwide have been, and will continue to be, a vital part of Photo Marketing Association International. As your Board of Directors, your PMA staff, and I have been working diligently to develop long-term strategies for the best ways to move forward, our members overseas have absolutely been included in that plan.

I am thrilled to share again the wonderful news that Coulter, the company that is now managing the day-to-day operations of PMA International, has merged with Geneva, Switzerland-based MCI Group – which means we are now part of the largest non-profit management company in the world. Even better, MCI Group has offices in 31 countries, and will become a valuable additional resource for PMA members globally. MCI Group specializes in professional education and event management. We can look forward to many exciting PMA events ahead in Australia, Europe and elsewhere.

In short, PMA remains very dedicated to all our members, all over the world, and we are taking every step to ensure PMA International remains a thriving organization, serving our members everywhere for a long, long time to come.

Lastly, I want to thank you for your patience as we work through this period of transition, rebuilding and moving forward in to a bright future.Georgia sig

MMIE 594: Launch an email newsletter

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #594 – March 31, 2015

Hats off to Dale Farkas, Dale Laboratories, in Hollywood, Fla., who has been plugging away for years with his email newsletter. Dale, the rest of the world has caught up with you. Apparently email newsletters are back and, according to a recent article, “in a big way.”

The article notes newsletters are “a great way to build an audience for yourself or a company and offers a way to personally reach people in a place that they’re most likely to read: their Inbox.” mmie 594

The article looks at what a newsletter should be about, software, how to write the newsletter (i.e. figuring out what to write), audience, subscriptions, determining success, and feedback, among others.

It’s a good read, quick, and to the point. Say, isn’t that what a newsletter should be?

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now it’s your turn.

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

PMA holding Strategic Retreat — please complete your survey now

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PMAlogo_CMYK_smallSomething exciting is happening next week! PMA is holding a Strategic Retreat near our offices in McLean, Virginia. We have invited about 25 people, representing all segments of our industry, from around the world, to take part in this two-day event, where we will be planning the new direction of the PMA. We will consider communication strategies; a new, consolidated website; and the “big picture,” which could include a new audience focus, new brand, new name, new events, new mission, and more.

We need your thoughts and opinions before this meeting happens. Yesterday, in preparation for the Strategic Retreat, we sent out a survey to our entire membership, allowing everyone the opportunity to weigh in on what services and resources matter most, and what needs we can meet for our members going forward. Please be sure to complete your survey as soon as possible — no later than March 31 — so you can have a part in designing the new PMA. You can access the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/pmamembersurvey

Your input is critical. With your guidance through the survey, and that of the industry leaders who will be taking part in the Strategic Retreat, we can rebuild PMA into the organization you need most.

Read tributes to PMA Australia’s Les Brener in Photo Counter

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les_brener_pmai_300dpiLast week, we shared the sad news of the passing of our friend Les Brener, who was so very instrumental in the foundation and growth of PMA Australia. Photo Counter has published tributes to Les — you can read them here:

http://www.photocounter.com.au/2015/industry-mourns-and-celebrates-les-brener/

http://www.photocounter.com.au/2015/a-great-man-les-brener-1931-2015/

 

MMIE 593: Discover these secrets

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #593 – March 24, 2015

The purpose of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange is to offer you marketing ideas your peers have tried and found

Photo courtesy of Patrik Goethe, unsplash.com

Photo courtesy of Patrik Goethe, unsplash.com

successful in generating new business. To make it even better, the ideas are offered to you for free, no cash involved. All we ask is reciprocity; if you’ve got an idea that worked, tell us.

But let’s back up, look at the big picture (we’re not talking 30-by-40 inches), and that’s advice on how to run a business. Go to your local book store (if one still exists in your town, ‘cause they’ve got the same problem we do with online sources) or library and peruse the business/management section. There are countless authors offering their secrets to success.

Let us save you a few bucks. Take just a few minutes and read “The best business advice from the last 30 years.

It’s a synopsis, an executive summary, along with a “lesson learned.” And if something sounds good, the author has thoughtfully provided the full reading list. But how about a teaser? Okay, there are seven categories:

1. Find your why.

2. Make the “work,” whatever it is, come first.

3. Plan. Do. Repeat.

4. Forget about “efficient.”

5. Tell a good story.

6. Change your expectations about creativity.

7. You’re irrational, and that’s okay.

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now it’s your turn.

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

In memoriam: PMA Australia’s Les Brener

Les Brener and his wife, Jessica
Les Brener and his wife, Jessica

Les Brener and his wife, Jessica

PMA and the entire industry have lost a great friend: Les Brener, who served as the first Executive Director of PMA Australia, died on March 20.

“Les made so many contributions to the industry, and was vital to the establishment, growth and success of PMA Australia,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe. “We’d like to extend our condolences to his family, and his friends all over the world. He will be greatly missed.”

“He did so much to establish PMA in Australia that he will be remembered by many as ‘The Father’ of the organization in this country,” said Peter Rose. “He was a good man and passionate about the members and the organization he worked for.”

The funeral will be held Sunday, March 22 at 12 noon at the Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, North Ryde, NSW, Australia.

MMIE 592: Sales good, profit better (yes, we are back already)

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McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #592 – March 17, 2015

MIME Logo PMANNOTE: Last week, we announced the MMIE would be going on a brief hiatus… and it was very, very brief! We’re already back. Did you miss us?

mmie 592

The contents of this old leaflet still hold true.

We say thank you to Neil McBain, McBain Camera, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for sending us on a trip down memory lane. Neil’s dad, Ross, was digging through some of his old files and came across this piece of wisdom from the ‘50s. And doggone, it’s still worth reading! It was produced by a firm called Spencer & McMullen, a Canadian photo equipment distributor of the time:

“When a dealer gives away half his profit margin, he often overlooks the fact that he must make TWICE as many sales to come out with the same profit as ONE sale at full list.

“However, in order to make TWICE as many sales, he must carry more merchandise. More merchandise means greater investment. It means more shelf and storage space. It means more record keeping. It means more stock handling. It often means more sales clerks. And all that costs more money!

“Therefore – instead of two sales, it is certainly a fair estimate to say that it requires 2-1/2 to 3 sales at half-profit to come out with the same profit as one sale at full list.

“This is surely worth thinking about seriously. Many dealers would actually be better off at the end of the year if their sales volume were down a bit – but net profits were UP!

“This sounds like strange talk from a distributor whose business is to produce volume sales for the manufacturers he represents. But it’s not as paradoxical as it seems. When dealers focus on sales but forget profits the entire photo retail structure is weakened.

“The photo industry can prosper only when dealers are strong. And PROFIT is the strength-producing life blood of this or any industry. Focus on sales – but focus on PROFITS too!

Remember – there are 10 good reasons for being in business. No. 1 is PROFIT. (Nos. 2 to 10 ain’t worth a d**n!)

By the way, anyone know what “full list” means? Wink, wink.

(And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you leprechauns, especially in Savannah, Ga., and on Tybee Island.)

So what’s your idea?

We’ve given you hundreds and hundreds of marketing ideas, now it’s your turn.

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to editor@McCurryAssoc.com.

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• And if you want to take a look at more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas