Catch PMA 2015 Conferences speaker Heino Hilbig’s session on Youtube

Heino Hilbig

Heino HilbigHeino Hilbig of Mayflower Concepts presented a very compelling look at the real reasons behind declining camera sales — and how the industry should respond — at the PMA 2015 Conferences in January. If you missed it, you can join thousands of others and watch it on Youtube. Also, be sure to listen to an interview with Heino about selling cameras on the PMA Podcast.

“Print it or lose it” – Internet co-inventor warns of digital image dangers

Kodak ESP 3.2 printer
Kodak ESP 3.2 printer“We stand to lose a lot of our history,” warns Internet pioneer Vint Cerf. Future generations may struggle, he says, as technology advances so quickly that old files may be inaccessible.

The Telegraph UK  reports on Cerf’s speech at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in San Jose, California.

Noting “the quantity of documentation from our daily lives which is captured in digital form,” Cerf says we “don’t want our digital lives to fade away. If we want to preserve them the same way we preserve books and so on we need to make sure that the digital objects we create will be rendered far into the future.”

Now a vice-president at Google, Cerf says technologists need to create digital formats which can still be accessed in thousands of years. He recommend a system which will not only store a digital format but preserve details of the software and operating system needed to access it, so it can be recreated in the future. “We have various formats for digital photographs and movies and those formats need software to correctly render those objects,” the Telegraph quotes him as saying. “Sometimes the standards we use to produce those objects fade away and are replaced by other alternatives and then software that is supposed to render images can’t render older formats, so the images are no longer visible. This is starting to happen to people who are saving a lot of their digital photographs because they are just files of bits. The file system doesn’t know how to interpret them, you need software to do that. Now you’ve lost the photograph, in effect. If there are pictures that you really care about then creating a physical instance is probably a good idea. Print them out, literally.”

MMIE 587: Say thanks


MIME Logo PMANMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #587 – February 10, 2015

Paul Boniface, Scone Digital Imaging, Scone, New South Wales, Australia

Here’s a simple little idea that has worked really well for Paul Boniface of Scone Digital Imaging. He hands out “thank you” vouchers to customers.

Here’s an example of a “thank you” voucher Scone Digital gives to its customers.

Here’s an example of a “thank you” voucher Scone Digital gives to its customers.

The vouchers are “given to customers as a thank you after the sale to spend when back in the store. The return visits have been fantastic.”

For example, “one customer phoned and told us a frame she had purchased had a small scratch on it. We asked her to return it, swapped the frame, gave her a $10 thank you voucher. She came back and ordered a $160 canvas.”

The vouchers are pre-printed in $5, $10, $20, and $50 values. “We determine the value given as a percentage of the sale.”

Paul notes the value of the voucher given also depends on what the customer has purchased. Items with higher markup will get a higher value voucher, he notes.

He’s done store dollars before, but “these thank you vouchers have been more successful than the store dollars, often being redeemed within a week.”

This is a classic example of perception over reality. Paul noted the “thank you” voucher made the customer think of it differently from just another $$ off coupon. This has personal significance to the customer and likely caused it’s immediate usage. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say 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

• 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:

On the PMA Podcast: David Parkinson of Wilkinson Camera on the future of retail


MIME Logo PMAN“I still believe there’s going to be a future in retail. Retail will change, and we have to change with that,” says David Parkinson, Managing Director of Wilkinson Camera. David manages ten locations in northwest England, and garnered international attention when he opened his first store in a major metropolitan city, Liverpool. He took over a four-story facility that had been occupied by Jessop’s before their bankruptcy. It won’t be business as usual in the location, as David and his team remerchandise the retail area and add a “whole new business model through the Learning Suite.” In this episode of the PMA Podcast, David tells Bill McCurry about the history of his business and how it has grown and succeeded through many changes. Listen in and access the written transcript with pictures at, or listen using the player below.

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


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, or use the player below.

MMIE 584: Make a calendar


McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #583 – January 20, 2015

MIME Logo PMANA new year, a new calendar. What’s going to grace the office/kitchen this year? Kittens? Paris? Locomotives? Memorable events in racing’s history? The historical West?

Here’s an idea: Why not promote a year-long search for the 12 (or 13) best customer-made photos, to illustrate your store’s 2016 calendar?

mmie 583

A sampling of picture calendars.

You’ve got two things going here. The first is a year-long promotional opportunity. (Okay, actually less than a year, because the calendar has to be printed before the end of this year.) Which customer’s photo will be chosen? Tout it on Facebook. Tweet it. Stuff it in bags. The second is in-your-customer’s-face advertising for all of 2016.

Our financial advisor has been doing this for years, choosing a calendar format with nice pictures, and his corporate name and contact info on every page. Use the calendar and there’s a constant reminder of him in front of you, every day.

A local real estate agent has just jumped on the bandwagon and delivered to us an absolutely gorgeous calendar, illustrated with to-die-for home interiors. Want to buy or sell? His name’s right in front of you, every day.

You get the idea. If your customer wants camera gear, finishing, framing, classes, who does she turn to? If your calendar’s there in front of her, every day . . .

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

• 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 the more than 1,000 marketing ideas, the archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange are your resource:

PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax receives PMDA Visionary Award

PMDA Dinner Gaby and Joellyn GM
PMDA Dinner Gaby and Joellyn GM

Joellyn Gray of PMDA presents PMA President Gaby Mullinax (right) with the PMDA Visionary Award.

The PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) honored PMA President Gabrielle Mullinax with its Visionary Award at the 2015 PMDA International Awards Dinner on January 5, held at the XS Nightclub at Encore in Las Vegas, Nev.

One of the highest honors awarded in the imaging industry, the PMDA Visionary Award is bestowed on individuals whose work helps shape the photo business space and blaze a trail for others to follow.

“We are delighted that PMDA has chosen to recognize and honor our newly elected president of PMA with the Visionary Award. Gaby’s leadership has been vital to setting PMA’s path into the future, just as it has been in redefining the entire concept of the photo retail business,” said PMA CEO Georgia McCabe. “Now, as she takes on her most important role yet in leading PMA as President, it’s wonderful for her to be recognized as the true visionary she is. Gaby is so richly deserving of this award.”

“We’re proud to acknowledge Gaby as a true visionary in our industry,” said Jerry Grossman, Executive Director of PMDA. “Her creativity and spirit bring a certain spark that is admired by her peers, and her enthusiasm for innovation is something that we all should emulate. The PMDA is thrilled to recognize her contributions with our 2015 Visionary Award.”

Other PMDA honorees include Person of the Year Go Miyazaki, President and CEO of Fujifilm North America Corp.; Technical Achievement Award, Wataru Otani, Ricoh Co.; Lifetime Achievement, John Clouse, Nikon Inc.; Professional Photographer Award, Joe McNally.

PMA elects Gabrielle Mullinax as President for 2015-2016


MullinaxGaby_2013In a history-making vote, PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations, elected Gabrielle Mullinax, owner of Fullerton Photographics in Fullerton, California, as president for 2015-2016, marking the first time in its 91-year history that PMA has elected a female president.

Fifteen years ago, as an entrepreneurial photographer and young mother, Mullinax bought a minilab and joined the ranks of the photo industry. At the cusp of the digital age, this was a analog film processing lab without so much as a computer onsite. With a deep, inherent understanding of her target market – women like herself – Mullinax devised creative, unique promotional campaigns and new product innovations that proceeded to turn Fullerton Photographics into one of the most successful specialty photo stores in the United States. Not only did Gaby spur remarkable growth in her business, but she also transformed the landscape of the retail photo world overall. As a leader at PMA and a speaker for imaging industry organizations such as IPI, PRO and FotoSource, Mullinax generously shares her ideas with others, many of whom have adopted them and achieved similar success.

“As the new President of PMA, Gaby is bringing not only her knowledge and experience of this industry, but also her endless imagination, her undaunted spirit and her absolute refusal to fail,” said John Segall, of Lifetouch, Inc. “Her passion for this industry and its success is unparalleled, and her leadership is exactly what the industry needs.”

Outgoing President Bill Eklund of Sharp Photo in Eau Claire, Wis., said, “Gaby is taking over leadership of PMA at the perfect moment, as we are committing to revitalizing PMA just like she revitalized her business. She is the right person at the right time. I can’t think of a more qualified leader for the job.”

In her acceptance speech, Mullinax noted, “We are taking a fresh look at the possibilities. We are envisioning what PMA would be if it was a brand new organization, coming into existence now for the first time. We are using that picture to restructure, to build something new that serves the current and evolving needs of our members today, and of our future members.

“This is your PMA, and we invite you to join with us in reinventing it. As a unified industry, we will be a powerful force for change, growth and development,” she continued. “Together, we can help consumers realize and embrace the fact that pictures matter. We can do this, because we believe in photos. We believe in this industry. We believe in PMA.”

On a related note, in December, the Board of Directors of PMA appointed longtime industry veteran Georgia McCabe as CEO and Executive Director – the first time a woman has ever held this role. Read more here.

On the PMA Podcast: Atkins Techicolour, “unwrapped and repacked”


PMApodcast_icon_sqAs the market evolves, is your company ahead or behind where your customers want you to be? The Atkins family of Adelaide, South Australia has been taking and making pictures since 1936. They did not like the trends of their business. Paul Atkins shares the how and why of their company being “unwrapped and repacked” in response to customers’ shifting demands in the first PMA Podcast of 2015. This McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange is available in audio download, as well as pdf transcript with images and links. Start your new year off right by listening to how one lab totally reinvented themselves — yet stayed the course of their historical roots.

See how to succeed in the Future of Imaging


2015_AIE_button_250x108It’s a tumultuous time for all of us in the photography industry, with constant changes in how people capture, share, print, and enjoy pictures.

To better prepare our businesses, the Future Imaging Summit looks ahead into the next five years of imaging technology and its impact on photography.

What new sensors, processors, and other technology will be in next year’s cameras? What apps, sites, and services will people use to share and view photos? How will they permanently display their favorite shots in albums or wall displays?
At the Future Imaging Summit, top imaging executives will focus on the most important trends and technology coming to market, and look ahead into the next five years of imaging. There are no presentations or sales pitches — just lively debate! To forecast photography’s future, they will participate in four in-depth panel discussions:
• Capture: Upcoming technology for taking better pictures.
• Sharing: Changes in photo viewing caused by online imaging and smartphone sharing.
• Software: Desktop and mobile apps for managing, editing, and enhancing images.
• Output: Tools, techniques, and materials for physical photo display.

mylio-blackThis year’s Summit sponsors include image management developer Mylio; print providers HP Indigo, CeWe Color, Mixbook, Mailpix, Digipix, and Kodak Alaris;  camera makers Panasonic and iON; and software providers Athentech and MediaClip.
Additional speakers from Fujifilm, Imaging Resource, Magisto, muvee, Photo Finale, Ricoh, RPI, ColorCentric, and Samsung are confirmed, with more to come.

The Future Imaging Summit is Jan. 4–5 2015, at Bally’s in Las Vegas — immediately preceding the 2015 PMA trade show during CES.

If you make a living in photography, you can’t miss out on these informative sessions.
Click here to register now!