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 610: Stretch it

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #610 – July 30, 2015

Robert Bagliolid, Bell Arte Camera foto source, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Everybody’s got an iPhone, and it hasn’t been lost on Robert Bagliolid of Bell

Sign outside Bell Arte Camera, announcing the availability of wide prints at a special price.

Sign outside Bell Arte Camera, announcing the availability of wide prints at a special price.

Arte Camera that those smartphones make super panoramic images. So he bought a used silver halide printer capable of 36-inch prints, and he was away to the races.

He promoted the new printer and wide prints with a special price, $C11.99 (roughly US$9.25), put up a sign outside the store, and added signage inside the store, talked it up on Facebook and sent out an e-blast.

“It took off,” he says. And sales are still going strong. He had one customer order 40 panoramic prints.

Another neat thing about this: add-on sales of frames.

Robert Bagliolid with sign promoting panoramic prints from iPhones.

Robert Bagliolid with sign promoting panoramic prints from iPhones.

 

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

On the PMA Podcast: CloudCutout uses math formulas to improve background knockouts

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Danish startup CloudCutout came to Vegas in January to learn if PMA 2015 attendees would be interested in the automatic background removal software they had developed. After discovering a need for greater detail preservation with green screen knockouts, particularly among school photographers, the founders changed tactics and launched a professional background knockout service.

On the new episode of the PMA Podcast, founder Jonas Pilgaard explains how CloudCutout’s technology, based on mathematics rather than color correction, preserves image details, such as individual hairs, even from white and gray backgrounds. Download the interview at www.pmapodcast.org, or listen in using the player below.

Photo retailer a catalyst for change

Staff members of Buckley's, which is benefiting from a new shop local initiative

 

Staff members of Buckley's, which is benefiting from a new shop local initiative

Staff members of Buckley’s show off their shop local sticker

— by Chris Wilkinson

Joanne Hall, owner of well known New Zealand photo retailer Donald Buckley Photographics has been a driving force behind her township’s goal to regain local goodwill and customers for its businesses.
The Love Gore – Shop Local initiative is part of a major program that’s designed to help retailers adapt to meet their market, build capability and re-engage the community with its stores and services. The initiative has seen support from across the commercial and consumer sectors — and led to an awareness that without support, town centers will be under threat.
Sponsored by Gore District Council and developed by town center strategists First Retail Group, the plan is to continue building on the program by listening to customers and helping retailers become ‘on radar’ with their marketplace.
Lorraine Nicolson, First Retail Group’s project lead, has been especially enthused by Gore’s early success with the strategy. “While we deliver these programs across the globe, Gore’s community has especially embraced this,” she said, citing the 130+ people that attended the recent launch.
Hall’s business knows a thing or two about adaptation and meeting its market. The much loved retailer has been developing the memories for generations of local residents and continues to diversify as it meets the needs to today’s consumer. The GoRetail program is helping reawaken people to stores like Donald Buckley Photographics, and the retailer is already seeing an increase in customers walking back through its doors.

In wake of data breach, PMA calls for industry initiative to provide secure imaging services; InnovationNow is the starting point

PMA Logo new Coulter 2015
PMA Logo new Coulter 2015

In the wake of leading North American mass retailers temporarily shutting down their photo websites due to a reported data breach at a third-party service provider, PMA is calling for an industry initiative to provide consumers with easy-to-use and interoperable platforms enabling photo enthusiasts to experience their memories anywhere, any time and to order innovative picture products securely and efficiently.

“The recent breach brought the online photo business of some of North America’s top brands to complete halt,” says Georgia McCabe, CEO and executive director. “As the only international photo association representing the creative and photo product industries, PMA stands ready to lead and to facilitate the transition to more attractive business and technological solutions.”
At the upcoming  “InnovationNow” Photo Business and Technology Summit, Sept. 27-28, 2015, at the Hilton Parc 55, San Francisco, Calif., PMA will provide a platform for top executives from imaging and retailing companies, independent experts, photographers and Silicon Valley technology firms to discuss new business models for the industry, as well as new and unique ways of serving consumers who experience their pictures on social and mobile networks.
The Background
“When the mass adoption of digital cameras began in 2000, many mass retailers relied on specialty companies to quickly start their online photo retailing activities and without the need to deal with the actual transactions, merchandising models and hosting services,” explains McCabe. “As a result, there has been no mass retailer taking the lead to drive these services forward. This temporary security issue should be taken as a wake-up call highlighting to the whole industry that a comprehensive business model is now long overdue. The rapidly evolving demand for providing relevant services to the exploding population of connected smartphone consumers is only a further call to action.”
The InnovationNow Photo Business and Technology Summit represents the necessary first step on a journey to inform, to ideate and to implement the kind of products, services, mass-market awareness and ease of participation that was responsible for driving the analog photo business to historical levels of sales and profitability.

InnovationNow is designed for leaders in the photo industry, and those who aspire to become industry leaders. Read more about the conference and speakers here. For more information and to register, visit http://www.pmai.org/register/.

Be ready for your future with PMA’s InnovationNow Photo Business & Technology Summit

InnovationNow 2015

InnovationNow 2015The greatest opportunity you will have this year to take your business to new levels of success is here. PMA announces the InnovationNow Photo Business & Technology Summit, September 27-28, 2015, at Hilton Parc 55 in San Francisco, Calif. – leading into Mobile Photo Connect in San Francisco on September 29.

No one needs to be told that our industry has undergone massive changes, and as technology continues its rapid and relentless march forward, radical and disruptive developments will not stop. It is for this reason that your participation in InnovationNow is critical to the future success of your business. Designed for leaders in the photo industry, and those who aspire to become industry leaders, InnovationNow will gather in one place the people who can help you discover, understand, and apply what you need to know to reinvigorate and drive future success for the photo service and products market in today’s connected world.

Micah Solomon

InnovationNow keynoter Micah Solomon is one of the world’s leading authorities on customer service, company culture, and the customer experience.

Keynoting the conference is Micah Solomon, one of the world’s leading authorities on customer service, company culture, and the customer experience. He’s an award-winning, bestselling author, consultant, and keynote speaker. Solomon is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and his expertise has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC, and the Harvard Business Review.

A business leader and entrepreneur himself, Solomon built his own company into a market leader in the manufacturing and independent entertainment field and was also an early investor in the technology behind Apple’s Siri.

Among many other top speakers at InnovationNow are:

  • Robert Nunn, co-founder and CEO of Digital Yearbook Page, as well as co-founder of Live Portrait, a service created for professional photographers that uses video to enhance the value of print – instantly turning the client’s photograph into a live video moment that will be cherished for years to come.
  • Dr. Reiner Fageth, Head of Research & Development for CEWE, which boasts 11 highly technical production operations and a staff of around 3,200 employees in 24 European countries.
  • Marion Duchesne, CEO of Mediaclip. Founded in 2005, Mediaclip is a privately-held company headquartered in the heart of Montreal.
  • Kevin Gilbert, an award-winning photojournalist, teacher, entrepreneur, and now Digital Memory Evangelist for Mylio, Gilbert has been shooting news and features of the world for over 30 years.

The conference will include several networking breaks that will allow you the chance to do business and interact with other attendees. In addition, it will feature The Out of the Box Awards, being presented on September 28 – the final evening of InnovationNow and just before the start of Mobile Photo Connect – at a reception being hosted jointly by both conferences. This exciting evening will honor some of the brightest, most innovative and creative thinkers in the photo space as they are recognized for their achievements. Learn how they focused not on challenges, but on solutions, and by doing so created greater opportunities for us all – and leave inspired to think outside the box about your business.

Designed for leaders in the photo industry, and those who aspire to become industry leaders, InnovationNow gathers the people who can help you discover, understand, and apply what you need to know to reinvigorate and drive the future in today’s connected world.

Make the most of this opportunity by attending both InnovationNow and Mobile Photo Connect – a special discount is available for attendees of both events. For more information and to register, visit http://www.pmai.org/register/.

We look forward to seeing you there!

MMIE 609: Sales = vanity; Margin = sanity

MIME Logo PMAN

MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #609 – July 21, 2015

Remembering back about three years, comments made by Australian industry guru John Swainston during a PMA session ring as true today as they did then:

“Top line sales may make you feel good and feed your vanity, but bottom line profits are your sanity check on reality.” John Swainston

The context was the then huge boom in unit volume growth of P&S cameras and DSLRs, but the observation that they were being sold at tiny or even negative margins for the retailer and were just tying up more and more working capital.

In his presentation, John outlined the areas of service opportunities for retailers, such as education, frames, albums, accessories, photobooks, etc., all of which tied up much less capital and provided real returns.

Amen.

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

MMIE 608: Offer customized cameras

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McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #608 – July 15, 2015

When an email hit our inbox bearing the subject line “Custom DSLR cameras for sale,” we were intrigued. Seems online retailer and blogger Chase Tankson, dba Chase’s Cameras, is offering customized cameras, such as the Nikon D750. The customization, as you can see from the images accompanying this post, are visually striking graphics. mmie 608 AWe won’t go into the technical details of how it’s done, just noting the designs are printed on the camera’s bodies.

Interesting idea. And it led us to think about DSLRs and interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras, how they are almost infinitely customizable. Yes, there are cameras with colored bodies, but that’s just one type of customization. Just thinking about lenses, from both the camera manufacturers and lens manufacturers . . . how many different ways could you configure a camera? (And that’s not counting the Frankenstein’s monsters we’ve seen created when oddball lenses are grafted onto cameras via adapters…)

So that leads us to think you might be able to easily drum up some business by touting your store’s ability to make “custom” cameras just for your clientele. Heck, you’ve already got all the parts… and what you don’t have can be ordered and in your hands very quickly.mmie 608 B

 

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

New Zealand’s Snapshot triples its size with new location

snapshot camera

A big congratulations to our friends Graham and Jill Boswell and their son Sam. The Boswell family has owned Snapshot in Hamilton, New Zealand, since 1946. They have outgrown their space and are moving a few blocks to a new location that offers three times the floor space. The bigger store will provide a greater opportunity to become Hamilton’s photography destination — offering education, printing services, photo gifts and personalized image decor, reports Stuff.co.nz.

The new space will featuer a dedicated lecture room, studio, and a comfortable seating area; as well as sit-down, mobile-friendly kiosks, and room for new, state-of-art printing and restoration equipment. Snapshot will also be adding staff to handle additional new services.

The new store is slated to open in August.

snapshot camera

PMA transfers ownership of PPFA to Monarch Expositions

PMAlogo_CMYK_small

PMAlogo_CMYK_smallThis week, PMA has achieved another exciting goal — transferring ownership of the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA), which has been a PMA organization for about 15 years, to Monarch Expositions, effective immediately. Monarch Expositions is owned by Deborah Salmon and Bruce Gherman, principals of the West Coast Art & Frame Expo and publishers of Picture Framing Magazine.

The past several months have been a time of significant transition for PMA. It has always been PMA’s goal to provide an excellent level of service to all our members. After a long period of gathering information and analyzing the best ways for us to serve our membership, the PMA Board of Directors voted in May on new strategic initiatives for PMA.

Because the newly established strategic initiatives are directing us to focus our full attention on our core members – businesses in the photo imaging space – we made the decision to look at other avenues to ensure PPFA members would be well served and have their needs catered going forward.

We could not have asked for a better new home for PPFA than Monarch Expositions. PMA has partnered with the leadership of this excellent organization for the past few years, co-locating the PPFA conference with the West Coast Art & Frame Expo and National Convention. Just as the photography industry is PMA’s core focus, the framing industry is theirs. We are very confident this move is in the best interest of both PMA and PPFA members.

A membership in PPFA has always been a subset of membership in PMA. For that reason, current PPFA members will remain PMA members, and be afforded all PMA membership rights and benefits, for the duration of their current membership year. All PPFA membership rights and benefits are now being administered by Monarch Expositions.

What does this mean for your PMA membership? This agreement allows our resources—both staff and fiscal—to be directed solely to you, our core members. As we look to build a new PMA, we will tailor our events, programs and services to businesses specifically in the photo imaging industry, giving you the resources you need for your business to thrive.

We recognize several PPFA members are involved in both the photography industry and the framing business. For those in that category, we are joining with Monarch Expositions to create a special discounted package for dual membership in both organizations. More information about this membership arrangement will be forthcoming.

As always, thank you for your support of and membership in PMA. We look so forward to the thrilling future that lies ahead!

MMIE 607: Give it away

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #607 – July 7, 2015

Gabe Cano, Color Services, Santa Barbara, Calif.

The headline probably made you ask: “What the heck have those McCurry guys been smokin’?” Rest easy, we’re not suggesting you give away the store. No, but how about your Instagram account? Check out what Gabe Cano has to say about Color Services’ idea:

For one week at a time we invite a photographer to take over our Instagram account. We’re calling this the Photograph Your Love Instagram Takeover. Basically we give them the login information for our account and they post on our behalf for the entire week. Each takeover starts on Monday morning and ends on Sunday night. We want to spotlight and feature a series of photographers who we’re inspired by and we feel embrace the meaning behind our tagline, ‘Photograph Your Love.’ Because we’re a company that processes and prints photographs, we believe it’s our job to encourage our community to create and share meaningful photos. mmie 607 (2)

Although my business partner Glen Hodges and the rest of our staff may highlight individuals they think I should consider, I’m the only person deciding. The criteria? 1. Are they a customer? 2. Are they creating work I think our community would be interested in? 3. Photographically speaking, do they have a voice and are they passionate about taking pictures? 4. Could they inspire our customer base to take their picture taking to a higher level? 5. Does their work serve as an example of what it means to ‘Photograph Your Love’?

The photographer gets exposed to the rest of our followers, but more than that, the way we’ve crafted this, its validation for them. We get an opportunity to connect with our customers in a very cool way. Asking them to become a participant has really transformed our relationship with many of our clients. Also it helps with the constant need for content. They’re providing it and we get to sit back for the week and enjoy it along with everyone else. It’s truly been a wonderful community building project.

In addition to that we make it a point to create a blog post for each takeover participant once their week is over. Usually it’s a quick recap of their takeover week. We’ll then share that blog post on the various social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Again more exposure for all.

We all know by now that every company has to be it’s own media company as well, and this helps create a steady stream of content that’s needed for that. We are far away from reaching that goal of being our own media company however we feel this helps our the entire marketing ecosystem. Of course we follow up with a nice thank you card which includes a gift certificate for Color Services.

Have we gotten any new customers from this? Yes. We’ve had a few new faces show up in our lobby and may have found us because of our Instagram takeover. Online it’s so important to establish some credibility as a legit company. What each participant is actually doing is giving us that credibility and needless to say, in a way they’re endorsing us.

I think we started this in the late part of January. So it’s been about six months now. It was actually one of employees that came up with the idea. I thought it was a great idea, so we ran with it.

We started off with 186 followers and now we’re at about 560. We’ve seen some other business accounts grow at much quicker pace than ours but for us, this seemed like the right approach for us. We don’t see this project as any sort of growth hack. It feels honest to us and what we represent as a company.

[Editor’s note: Gabe and Glen are always breaking new ground building community. Unless you know your customers like they do, if you try something like this your best bet is to have log-ins which are random number/letter combinations that no one could guess, and you may want to change your log-in ID/password each time you pass it from one customer to the next. Never know when someone with your log-in information might decide to do something beyond what you expected.]

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