On the PMA Podcast: Fotofast makes the right move

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Just three years after a major move to a new storefront location, Brisbane, Australia’s fotofast moved again, having watched its bottom line disappear in what should have been a prime location. A little more than a month after this latest move, Phil Gresham, a former DIMA president, joins us on the PMA Podcast to talk about what the new location has delivered in terms of costs, clients and profits (hooray!), and the restructuring that was required. You’ve got to hear what his rental costs were in the old location!

Listen in at www.pmapodcast.org, or use the player below. And be sure to look for an article about Phil and his new shop in the upcoming issue of PMA Magazine.

Financing for app developers: Free paper from Mobile Photo Connect

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Are you thinking of developing a mobile imaging app — but also thinking that the project might cost more than you have? There are financing options available, and if you want to know more about them, there’s now information ready — at no cost.

In preparation for its session on “The Ins and Outs of Funding mobile photography startups,” at the upcoming Mobile Photo Connect conference, conference organizer Suite 48 Analytics is offering a free white paper that describes photo app developers’ and investors’ considerations for financing photo app startups.

The Financing Photo Apps study draws lessons from interviews with developers with revenues ranging from less than $100K to over $20M.  The investors span the range from angel investors to investment banks.

Topics include:
•       Valuation drivers in financing transactions
•       Valuation drivers at exit
•       Characteristics of “good” investors
•       Deciding between transaction and revenue goals
•       Deciding when it’s time to get to market

The studies authors are Don Strickland, president and CEO of Strickland & Associates and adjunct professor at Imperial College London, and Hans Hartman, president of Suite 48 Analytics and chair of Mobile Photo Connect.

Several of the study participants will also participate in various panels at the Mobile Photo Connect conference on October 15 in San Francisco, including Rudy Burger, Managing Partner at Woodside Capital, and Evan Nisselson, Partner at LDV Capital.

The free white paper is here.

 

Photo Finale Inc. announces changes, plans for Lucidiom software

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Photo FinaleIf you recognize many of the names among of the leadership of Photo Finale Inc., there’s a good reason for that: we know them from Lucidiom. Now, Photo Finale, which incorporated in September 2013, is announcing visible changes to the company and brand and plans for continued development of Lucidiom software — but no interruptions or changes for dealers or consumers, according to Steve Giordano, Jr., CEO, Photo Finale Inc.  lucidiom

“Last year, after much deliberation, a select group of Lucidiom staff decided to license the Lucidiom code and take a major step toward modernization.  Photo Finale Inc. was formed.  Under a perpetual agreement, we licensed all of Lucidiom’s software, acquired the customer contracts, and took that leap at modernization of support and development,” says Giordano.

“Since the purchase of Trevoli Inc. in 2005, we have worked to make the Photo Finale software the basis for a cloud-connected retail platform.  And, it became clear that in order to meet the challenges of a radically-changing photofinishing market, our company needed to change the way we developed software, hired staff, and conducted our business,” explains Giordano.

Most importantly, says Giordano, introducing Photo Finale Inc. has caused no major changes for dealers or consumers:  “Photo Finale Inc. has supported and operated all Lucidiom customers as transferred, with no outward change or interruption to service, for the past year,” says Giordano. “For customers and retailers it has been business as usual and all license agreements remain in place.  Photo Finale Inc. is an employee-owned, debt-free company with a strong, smart team who will continue to support all our customers and to develop great new software.  I see a bright future for our industry; more pictures available for printing than ever before gives us all great opportunities.”

Photo Finale continues its transition from a provider of in-store photofinishing solutions to an enterprise-class online imaging business solution.  Since licensing the Lucidiom code last year, Photo Finale Inc. has built a complete mobile web interface, increased native app development and introduced the largest APM kiosk software update in six years.

Photo Finale’s new address is 7927 Jones Branch Dr, Ste 1150, Tysons Corner, Virginia 22102, US.  The phone number is 703-564-3400.  Photo Finale’s website (photofinale.com) will redirect to the Lucidiom website until a new one is in place.

MMIE 573: Join this campaign

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mmie 573 AMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #573 – September 23, 2014

Mom and apple pie. Gotta love ‘em both (although mom’s lemon pie is to die for, and her raspberry pie . . . sorry . . . back to the subject at hand). A number of industry groups have come together to create a pretty much ready-to-go marketing campaign for you, with free marketing materials, to make young mothers more aware of the benefits of getting (more) involved in taking family pictures.

That means not only printing more photos and creating photo products, but also investing in cameras and accessories.

The theme of the campaign is “Life Is Crazy: Hold on to the Highlights.”

The graphics are eye-catching, as well they should be, and the digital toolkit includes art files for posters, web ads, images for your site, and more. Higher res materials also are available.

There’s space in the artwork for your store logo.

Also part of the kit is staff education materials to ensure everyone is on message.

The campaign is the brainchild of a consortium of US photo industry companies and groups, including PMDA, CEA, and Innovations In Photo Imaging (IIPI), with support from PMA, which recognized sales in certain categories are declining, and most consumers wish they could take better pictures and make tangible printed products.

So, by aiming at Gen X and Y moms, the expectation is . . . you guessed it . . . increased sales, because children and family are “strong drivers” for investment in all things photographic. On top of that, these mums have the disposable income.

This “life is crazy” theme is an interesting one. The IIPI says the theme “taps mom’s feeling that life is racing by. The campaign reminds them that they need to stop, enjoy, capture, and hold on to the wonderful (crazy) moments of their lives (their children’s lives).

In addition to the artwork, the digital kit includes some limited content to educate these moms about what they need to take better photos, and do more with them – print and make photo products.

There’s a strong social media component to the campaign, as might be expected.

Delightfully, the toolkit lets you extend the concept to other audiences – “life is cool” and “life is amazing” are just two of the suggestions.

Interested? Contact Karly Davis at the Consumer Electronics Association.

So what’s your idea?

• 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.

• The archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange contain more than 1,000 marketing ideas as a resource for you: www.TinyURL.com/McCurryIdeas

Kodak Alaris unveils innovations

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It was only a year ago that “a new company was born from one of the world’s most iconic brands.” Kodak Alaris says it is now “on a mission to help consumers unlock the power of their images through innovative technology and state of the art printing solutions,” and this week it showed off some of the latest in both areas.

“In a world where we capture and share more images than ever before, we’re passionate about helping people capture, keep, share, relive and celebrate their precious moments as easily as possible,” the company says.

There’ve been more than six million downloads of its Moments app, and on the Android version they added the “Tell my Story” function that combine three images with voice-over narration. (It will also be available for iOS soon.)

The tablet version is “specifically designed to take advantage of the larger format and enhanced touchscreen functionality,” and creates photo books and prints “in an expanded range of sizes.” The company says its Smartfit Technology “preserves the complete content of pictures without cropping, regardless of format, including panoramic images.”

Kodak Alaris is also now offering retailers the ability to capability to print Square pics, “to instantly turn photos into “retro” prints.”

And the company says its “opened its worldwide Kiosk network to content providers.” This provides a revenue opportunity for retailers and third party developers while offering consumers a pathway to create physical output from their captured moments, Kodak Alaris adds. “This program removes barriers to printing by giving consumers an easy-to-use, proven way to print from mobile, desktop and web applications. They simply choose what they wish to print, pick the most convenient retail location at which to pick-up products, and place their order, all from their favorite devices at home or anywhere.”

There’s more information here.

 

On the PMA Podcast: President Jirair Christianian on the future of DIMA

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What are the goals of the Digital Imaging Marketing Association? What can DIMA accomplish? Listen in to this conversation with DIMA President Jirair Christianian, and then let us know what you’d like to see DIMA do for our members. Jirair  runs the family-owned chain of Mike’s Camera stores in Colorado and California.

Listen in at www.pmapodcast.org, or use the player below.

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.

PMA Australia’s Educational Photo Expo in Brisbane: A perspective

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Photo Expo 2014 BannerPMA Australia had a smashing success with its first Educational Photo Expo, sponsored by Canon and Nikon. This event, held over the weekend in Brisbane, drew large crowds and lots of excitement. On Sept. 6, a second event will be held in Melbourne. Here’s a look at the Brisbane expo, from the perspective of speaker John Swainston:

“More than 300 Brisbane folk braved wet and windy weather to join Australia’s PMA team and some committed exhibitors from the leading camera and accessory brands. As a speaker at many trade events for PMA over the past 30 years this was the first in Australia that embraced consumers exclusively  in such an intimate way. My topic was “All you need to know about selecting the right gear for your next travel adventure.” We took our attendees through iPhoneography, Point & Shoot, Mirrorless, All-in-one Tamron megazoom SLR photography and ‘The Works’ – f/2.8 glass where photography is the goal of the trip. What impressed me was the deep knowledge of so many attendees. But for many others, they had come to this PMA event because even with the Internet and good dealers locally, they were not getting the broad answers they needed to properly assess what would work for them. As we’ve seen at past International PMA events, and indeed PRO get-togethers in the US,  Camera House conferences in Australia, and I dare say Ringfoto member events in Germany, it’s this quest for knowledge that specialty retailers need to ramp up, to engage consumers who want to progress their image making, but don’t quite have the confidence to do it on their own. Photo Education, improved print services in many new forms were all high on the list of attendee priorities.pma_educational_pho#172C361

I didn’t get to see enough of the other presentations to be able to comment more broadly, except the fine talk on creating personal hard copy recipe books through Photo Book publishing, presented by the Momento Australia team. I loved that the illustrations were by Australian Pro photographer Penelope Beveridge, the award-winning and highly respected food and Photo Art photographer. The combination of inspiring images with useful how-to from Momento meant the audience found their way through perceived obstacles and were likely to go out and use the service. The ever present former DIMA president Phil Gresham was there presenting Fotofast’s latest services, as was the venerable Streets Imaging pro lab group.

The new Fujifilm tabletop print machine at a very affordable price, offering 8 inch paper roll print abilities attracted heaps of interest, as it opens up the world of Sweep Panorama prints from iPhone and other Smartphones, not to forget conventional digital cameras. This will work for even the smallest of Specialist retailers. Pro photographers interested in expanding their range of customer services could also use this as a custom print device based out of their studios. I came away with a strong impression that print and film to digital services  are likely to see significant improvements in the next decade as baby boomers start on consolidating their life’s images across various media.

Canon, Fujifilm and Olympus were very evident with their Interchangeable camera systems, while Nikon was represented in various retailer exhibitors, most notably Ted’s. Many people I talked with were coming from DSLR photography and especially interested in weight reduction in their future photography, as well as being less obtrusive. Vendors were able to show just how compact today’s Mirrorless offerings are, as well as demonstrate outstanding image quality and affordability.

While I can’t say I saw every aspect of the day, the overwhelming impression was one of keen excitement, exhibitors who were happy with the quality of the attendees and their interest level, as well as an affordable cost to exhibit. If resources and funds had been more extensive, a fuller PR effort might have produced even higher numbers and a few pro attendees, through that was not the primary audience. As a first effort, pretty darn good.

Next up it’s Melbourne, on Saturday September 6 at Victoria University. Another great group of speakers; my particular pick will be Canon Australia’s Jay Collier, with whom I share an August birthday. His wildlife images are something to behold. For my own part I look forward to engaging with the many new customers to more advanced photography, for whom such events are a wonderful, uncomplicated way to engage with contemporary image making, whether from a Smartphone or an advanced full frame DSLR.

John Swainston has been an active member of the photo industry for more than 4 decades, speaking widely to camera clubs and industry meetings around the world. He is a Senior Vice President at DayMen, parent company for the Lowepro & JOBY brands. He is a passionate photographer.