MMIE 602: Choose the right photographer as class teacher

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MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #602 – May 26, 2015

Brian Mundy, Octane Creative Media, Philips Ranch, Calif.

Brian Mundy was part of the focus of last week’s MMIE because he was the speaker at an event at Paul’s Photo in Torrance, Calif. Combine that with his long-time connection with DIMA, and you’ve got someone with some strong opinions about what kind of photographer a retailer should hire to make presentations at classes. mmie 602

There are some amazing people in the business, he notes, people with vast quantities of knowledge. Equally important, as far as Mundy is concerned, a teacher should be something of an entertainer. No, he’s not talking about one-liners or stand-up comedy routines, rather personalities that grab attention, keep people engaged. You want the class to be alive.

Some photographers with lots of knowledge deliver dry presentations, says Mundy, and lose their audience.

So, if you’re searching for someone to teach a class at your store, here’s what you should look for, Mundy advises:

  1. The photographer must be knowledgeable.
  2. The photographer should be an easy-going people-person who keeps you engaged, who makes you enjoy the class and thereby retain the information delivered.

Say, doesn’t that sound like two-thirds of the requirement for a good sales person working the store’s floor?

But if you’re thinking of shoving one of your salespeople in front of a crowd, remember some people are terrified speechless of being in front of a large audience. Many salespeople are great one on one, but a bit apprehensive talking to a group. We remember one retailer who had a salesperson who was great with customers but didn’t want to teach classes. The store started her doing one-on-one personalized classes, then groups of two or three at a time, then larger groups . . . and the rest, as they say, is history.

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 CEO Georgia McCabe responds to Bloomberg Business “Fastest-Fading Business” article

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PMA CEO Georgia McCabe

It is interesting that on April 30, Bloomberg Business posted an article entitled Twilight of One-Hour Photo, America’s Fastest-Fading Business. Of course, those of us who live in the photo business know that far from being, dead, consumers today are taking more pictures than ever before. In fact, just last year consumers captured and shared more than 10 times the number of personal images than were taken at the peak of the analog photo business, back in the early 1990s. Clearly the consumer’s “love for photography” today is stronger than ever. Personally, I believe that the opportunities in photo are actually greater now than they were back in the late 1800s, when George Eastman first evangelized photography to the mass market. Eastman had to educate the consumer about the value of personal photography. Today, that is a given – and photography pervades all aspects of everyday life. Posted personal images are by far the largest source of traffic in the exploding world of social media. Our challenge is to make it possible for consumers to enjoy connected photography and at the same time, preserve and celebrate their special images with a wide variety of exciting digital photo output products. The problem has been that while many of the new players in digital photography understand the tremendous appeal of personal imaging, they often have little knowledge or concern for the responsibility of capturing and storing those most important moments of everyday life. That is what real consumer photography is all about.

But don’t just take my word for it; here are excerpts resulting from discussions with knowledgeable imaging industry analysts.

Hans Hartman, President of Suite 48 Analytics and Chair of Mobile Photo Connect, sums it up rather succinctly:

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Hans Hartman

Really it’s quite simple:

  • Thanks to smartphones…people take more photos than ever before
  • Thanks to smartphones…people are engaged in photography at an earlier age than ever before
  • When offered innovative photo products and easy apps, smartphone photographers often order photo products. Major photo retailers, such as Shutterfly and Walgreens in the US, and CeWe and Photobox in Europe, all report double digit percentages of their orders coming from…smartphone users!

Frank Baillargeon, President of F/22 Consultants offers his own unique take:

Frank Baillargeon

Frank Baillargeon

We are living at a time during which mass market photography has gone from the occasional (8-10 times per year) purchase of a roll of film and a bag of prints, for those with the means, to an ever-present part of the lives of virtually every adult on the planet. Photo is central to the business models of the new titans of enterprise (Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.). As consumers, we capture with ease and no cost, share instantly with family and friends, edit creatively as we choose, (increasingly and most importantly) save and organize our precious images in the cloud to enable us to create and order fabulous new products from online retailers, and, yes, from tens of thousands of traditional brick and mortar photo retailers as well.

And then there is this statement, from Vint Cerf, Google VP and “father of the internet” (really!):

Vint Cerf of Google

Vint Cerf of Google

Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of

information – on our hard drives or in ‘the cloud.’ But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution.

I worry a great deal about that, you and I are experiencing things like this. Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed.

And so what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is or where to find it.

Photo printing is far from dead. It is staging an exciting rebirth, born on crests of both product and manufacturing innovation, advances in mobile technology, and software innovations that connect us instantly and intuitively with create and order capabilities directly from our connected devices to product solutions from scores of retailers, both online and in-store. Simply stated – printed photo output matters to all of us. Not the bag of prints that were our only way to preserve and share, but exciting and valuable new products that tell and preserve our stories in a richer, more personalized fashion. The end of film processing is hardly the end of the photo output story. It was simply an important chapter in the continuing effort to preserve and share what’s most important to all of us.

As Mark Twain so aptly said, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Those of us who have spent our careers in photography refuse to break our sacred pact with the consumer…this is a challenge that we at PMA understand well, and intend to continue to make good on.

Georgia McCabe

CEO, PMA

The new issue of PMA Magazine is here

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The new issue of spreadsjpg-Q1PMA Magazine — Connecting the Imaging Communities is here! In this issue, meet PMA’s new leaders, President Gaby Mullinax and CEO Georgia McCabe, and learn about Coulter, PMA’s new management team. You will also see the excitement of the PMA 2015 Conferences in our story of the event in pictures.

Also in this issue:

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.

On the PMA Podcast: PMA President Gaby Mullinax on the new PMA

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PMApodcast_icon_sqIn January, during the PMA 2015 Conferences, Gabrielle Mullinax of Fullerton Photo became president of PMA – where in the past month, a new CEO has been installed and a new management company has been hired to help create fresh growth and opportunities for PMA and its members.  In this episode of the PMA Podcast, Gaby talks about the recent developments, and all the changes yet to come, in creating the new PMA. Listen or download at www.pmapodcast.org, or use the player below.

PMA President Bill Eklund speaks on PMA Board’s “bold moves”

PMA President Bill Eklund shared the Board of Directors' "bold moves"
PMA President Bill Eklund shared the Board of Directors' "bold moves"

PMA President Bill Eklund shared the Board of Directors’ “bold moves”

In Monday’s Official Business Session, held as part of the PMA 2015 Conferences, outgoing PMA President Bill Eklund spoke on the recent “bold moves” made by the PMA Board of Directors. He said:

I woke up last year, the morning of my acceptance speech as I was to be nominated President of the Photo Marketing Association International. I thought, Wow, what the heck have I done? Why did I step up to this awesome position at this difficult time in the photo imaging industry? What’s the future? A train of emotions hit me in the face.

The questions that struck me that day, 364 days ago, were, “Why am I a PMA member?” “Why is anyone a PMA member these days?” and “Ultimately, what makes PMA relevant to its members?”

Relevancy. Over the next few months, I asked and listened. Early on, I set up a Relevancy Committee on the Executive Board to study what relevancy PMA has to its members. The committee had difficulty coming up with answers, other than the convention, the great networking that happens here, and the trade show. But is this enough reason to be a PMA member? My struggle went on.

In the mean time, PMA struggled too. We cut costs. We downsized the staff several times. And it became difficult to run the old organization’s infrastructure with the smaller staff and deliver the services we once did. Your volunteer PMA Executive Board had run out of ideas, and we were lost in the wilderness of cost management. In a recent accounting review, PMA’s accountant issued a concern about PMA’s financial situation. On top of all that, we lost our vision — and our overworked staff had no time to work on it either.

Many of us in the room have experienced a similar situation in the last several years. You are probably sitting here today because you changed your business model. You probably attended PMA last year and I’d bet you picked up an idea or two that helped you hang in there. Some of us are hanging on. But some of us are flourishing! Some of us have seen opportunities and have had the wherewithal to fight back and change and grow again. It’s time that PMA made some changes to its business model, too.

Still seeking answers on PMA’s viability, I was introduced to Georgia McCabe. Georgia has quite a resume in the digital photo industry. She has worked with IBM, Kodak, and served as FujiFilm’s first female Sr. Vice President and General Manager. Recently Georgia has been the digital imaging industry’s go-to social media marketing expert. She showed interest in helping PMA — and your PMA Board seized the opportunity to get her input.

Last October, just over two months ago, Georgia agreed to dig into PMA. She signed an NDA and we opened up our financials, our membership list, our struggles and our soul, so she could dissect them and help us find relevancy. Through this process, Georgia uncovered problems — but most importantly, she spotted opportunities. Not just opportunities,but ideas, paradigm shifts, and new markets that were not on my radar at all. In fact, she was so excited and eager to attack these opportunities that I was blown away.

Today, I am “stoked” about the future possibilities of PMA. By the end of her research, I knew we had to have Georgia on our PMA team. Your PMA Board quickly decided to make several bold moves and revitalize your PMA with new leadership and new ideas, led by Georgia McCabe. And should you decide to elect Gaby Mullinax as PMA’s next President at tomorrow’s election, we can deliver a one-two punch that should get the attention of the world of photography and imaging. Many of us in this room are second-, third- or even fourth-generation PMA members. But this is not your grandfather’s PMA anymore.

Bold move number one: Georgia McCabe was hired as PMA’s new CEO and Executive Director just few days ago. She has jumped into the fire and is busy changing things up. I think you’ll see some changes here during this conference. And I can’t wait to see your faces a year from now.

Bold move number two: PMA has hired Coulter, an association management company. Utilizing a highly skilled management team will help PMA deliver more services to the members, while cutting redundant costs. With Coulter’s manpower, we will have the depth of staff PMA once had, at a fraction of the cost. You’ll see a re-energized look, a new, useable website and member benefits only a large organization can supply. In addition, the management tools available to the Board to help manage the organization will be second to none. A management company also frees up our Executive Director to manage our vision, and not day to day operations.

Bold move number three: PMA needs to change our By-Laws. We need to be more inclusive and allow members from other sectors of the photo industry on our Boards. With input and leadership from experienced and connected Board members, we can see each other’s needs. A more diverse Board will have more have a say in governing their association. This is a motion we will be voting on tomorrow morning.

Bold move number four: The election of PMA’s first woman president, Gaby Mullinax, if you vote for her tomorrow morning. Personally, I don’t look at the sex of the leader. I look at the capability, the vision and the drive. At this point in time, I can’t think of a better candidate to lead the imaging industry into the next 90 years.

The easy thing to do would have been to maintain the status quo, downsize the staff again, reduce our services even more and eventually fade away. However, your PMA Board is making these bold moves to give this organization its best chance to not only survive, but flourish. And thank God, Georgia is willing to take a chance, with a fresh outlook on things, and revitalize PMA for the future.

On the PMA Podcast: PMA Official Business Sessions speakers Colby Jubenville and Bill McCurry

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PMApodcast_icon_sqColby Jubenville says being unique, agile and fast is paramount to your success in business. The co-author of “Zebras and Cheetahs,” he has suggestions to help you rethink your approach to being unique. This episode of the PMA Podcast features Jubenville on the McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange. Listen and discover that just as every zebra has unique stripe patterns, every successful business can use its strengths and collective passion to be unique. On January 4, 2014, spend some time with both Colby Jubenville and Bill McCurry at the Official Business Session during the PMA 2015 Conferences at Bally’s Las Vegas. Get ready to kick start your business to move at cheetah speed with agility to respond to whatever 2015 holds for your organization.

PMA Podcast launches with new ideas to grow your business from the McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange

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PMApodcast_icon_1024The brand new PMA Podcast is here! On this inaugural episode, listen to a great McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange interview.

The PMA Podcast is the podcast for anyone whose business revolves around imaging and pictures. We’ll cover topics like increasing sales, new imaging technology, the latest in picture framing, business management tips, advances in photo output, high volume photography, and much more. Designed for members of PMA and its international community of imaging associations — AIE, DIMA, NAPET, PPFA, PSPA, and SPAA — the PMA Podcast is your weekly source of information to help you grow your business. If you’re a fan of the DIMAcast or the AIE Imaging Executive podcast, you’ll find all the great content you’re used to and lots more, now all in one place, on the PMA Podcast at www.pmapodcast.org.

And now, on with the show!

When the landlord wasn’t cooperative to renew their lease, Calagaz Photo and Digital Imaging found a new location, remodeled it, fixtured it and moved in — all within 30 days. Most impressively, they changed the ambiance and tenor of the store to attract more female shoppers with bigger budgets. Pauline McKean shares how they escalated the “Wow!” factor to delight their customers. The microphone then switches to Alex Christianian of Mike’s Camera, who shares advice on setting realistic expectations for satisfied customers. Mike’s displays and training help ensure the customer understands what they will get for their money. Two progressive retailers share philosophies and strategies you can use during the inaugural episode of the PMA Podcast.

The new issue of PMA Magazine is here

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Magazine_issue092014_700x388I’m excited for you to see all the great articles in the new, September/October issue of PMA Magazine – Connecting the Imaging Communities, which is now available online. In this issue, you can read about PMA’s newly refined mission statement, and discover new and continuing ways we will bring you the tools and information you need to keep growing your business into the future.

You will also learn the fascinating story behind Orms, a whole community of imaging businesses in South Africa, which all began in a Cape Town garage. It’s truly a remarkable story that you won’t want to miss.

Also in this issue, be sure to check out:

  • The sweet spot – With a small-town, big-heart philosophy, Picture This Jackson deserves its great success
  • Bringing photo chaos to order – How APPO members are helping consumers get organized – and find those “printworthy” pictures
  • Calumet makes bold moves – Thriving in four European countries, Calumet sets its sights on more markets, including a return to the U.S.
  • Deep dive into social imaging – A new report from InfoTrends makes an in-depth examination of consumer imaging behaviors
  • Easy, beautiful, archival – With its simple subscription print model and unique packaging, timeshel’s time has come

Coming soon: The new PMA Podcast

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PMAlogo_CMYK_smallI’m excited to announce that we will be launching the new PMA Podcast in September!MIME Logo PMAN

The PMA Podcast is the podcast for anyone whose business revolves around imaging and pictures. We’ll cover topics like increasing sales, new imaging technology, the latest in picture framing, business management tips, advances in photo output, high volume photography, and much more. Designed for members of PMA and its international community of imaging associations — AIE, DIMA, NAPET, PPFA, PSPA, and SPAA — the PMA Podcast is your weekly source of information to help you grow your business.

If you’re a fan of the DIMAcast or the AIE Imaging Executive podcast, you’ll find all the great content you’re used to — including our friend Bill McCurry‘s monthly McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange podcast and transcripts — and lots more, now all in one place, on the PMA Podcast.

Look for the first episode on September 8, followed by a great new interview every week.