McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #611 – August 7, 2015
Typical reason why photo retailers got into the business? Because they liked cameras and taking pictures. Mark Comon of Paul’s Photo has nailed it. Not only does he run a successful photo store, but he also gets to go on these fabulous trips all over the U.S. and the world, leading a small group of picture-takers who have shelled out big bucks for the opportunity. Better yet, he gets to help them improve their photography. Even better, they buy all sorts of stuff from his store in preparation for the trip. And the pièce de résistance, he has opened the bookings to other retailers.
Mark was just back from an Alaska safari with seven students when we caught up with him. He was tickled because half of the students had already started posting pictures to their Facebook pages. “They’re selling next year’s trip.” He was even happier because “everyone bought a new lens for the trip, most bought a new bag, four bought a new tripod, and all bought memory cards and batteries. And all from us.”
Those purchases are “the whole reason for doing the trips.” While the enrollment cost to go is high, it’s not enough, says Mark. The whole reason for the trips “is to bring customers into the store and give them a reason to spend money. And it keeps them shooting.”
The store has opened the trips up to other members of PRO. “We encourage other members to link to our trips.” The benefit to them is they don’t have to organize the trips themselves, “and we commission the sales. On top of that, the other retailer gets the revenue from the sale of the accessories the student purchases at their store.
Mark notes each trip has an equipment list, items each participant is recommended to have, “and most of the time we sell what’s on the list to them.”
For participating retailers, it’s a turnkey deal. They don’t have to assemble the expertise or do all the arrangements, and that includes some “pretty stringent requirements,” including permits. Paul’s has it all taken care of.
We have our eye on the trip to Japan that’s coming up in February. Or maybe Tanzania in March. Oh, the choices!
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