The PMA InnovationNow Photo Business and Technology Summit launched yesterday with a mind-bending array of speakers, demonstrations, and networking opportunities.
The conference kicked off with Scott Brownstein, of Brownstein & McCabe Associates, setting the stage with an overview of the challenges facing the photo output business. Part of that was the reality check that, unlike the analog era, the photo business is not being driven by traditional photo industry, but by high-tech players like Apple, Amazon Photo, and Google.
Despite this, Brownstein says the tech companies have solved many of technical challenges – like curation and cloud access – that photo companies have not. And now the photo industry can capitalize on this growth by riding the wave of this growth, by providing ancillary products.
Keynote speaker and customer-service author Micah Solomon inspired the crowd with a wake-up call how consumers have changed the landscape. “Customers have woken up, where they stopped letting marketers tell them what to buy,” he said. The “Mad Men” style of marketing has become passé, as consumers do their own research, and have become “in-charge” of the buying prices. “Consumer know they are in charge.”
He also described the impact of millennials on the marketplace, noting this coveted demographic is driving technology adoption across other market segments, like Baby Boomers and Gen X.
“Today’s customers expect ‘digital parity,'” he said. “Every business in the real world needs to as good in the real world as the best of online: easy-to-use, as fast and have as wide as a selection.”