January 15, 2009
It's that time of year again
We never charge you a fee to receive the McCurry
Marketing Idea Exchance. Instead of picking your pocket we
want to pick your brain.
Each subscriber is expected to send us two ideas each
year. They don't have to be good ideas - sometimes we learn
more from other people's flops than from their successes.
But without your input, there is no exchange of ideas.
So we're anxious to hear from you. Write to email@example.com
and keep us up to date!
Idea # 1 - How much money do you make when the
store has closed?
Bill Bricker - Rand's Camera - Toms River, NJ
Just was talking with another camera shop,
the conversation was the usual - things are bad,
companies are doing nothing to help, big box
stores are cutting into our profits. Despite
this we seem to go back to doing the same old
things. I have to admit myself that at every PMA
and PRO conference I make a list on the way home
of things we must do when i get home. But we
must remember what we hear there.
Several years ago the buzz word was photo
classes, we had been doing classes for several
years before that but took ideas from others at
the meeting and extended what we were doing.
With the way things are we must squeeze out
every dollar we can. No matter how good our
salemen are they miss items when selling a
camera. I find our classes are selling more and
more accessories at each class. I have expanded
the education to include products they should
have and do it pulling the items out of my
gadget bag so they realize I do use them myself.
While educational for them it is also a 4 hour
sales pitch that borders on subliminal
advertising. On SLR class we have averages as
high as $1100 in sales of accessories right
after the class.
With the success we have had this year with
the SLR class and to a lesser degree our Point
And Shoot Class we are working on a Lighting
Class, and several location shoots at state and
federal parks for on-hand experience with
Yet there are still dealers who are not
pushing classes or not doing them at all. To
these dealers I can only ask "How much money did
your store make on Friday night after the store
If anyone is interested in the extensive
digital slide presentation I have put together
for our class feel free to contact me.
Idea # 2 -
Mike Wengloski - Photo Connection of
Colchester, CT, USA -
A few weeks ago you asked who was offering
photo classes. We've been doing a Basic Photo
Class a few times a year for quite a while now.
Lately, largely due to customer requests,
we've also been trying to hold seminars about
once a month. In the past we held them
occasionally and would charge a minimal fee in
hopes of making it a break-even event. Now we're
doing it as one of our "product offerings", not
strictly for promotion, and making a decent
We've even doubled the price of our in-store
classes and people are happy to pay it.
Check out our website if you want to see what
we have coming up.
Idea # 3 - Be out there in the public's eye!
Gabrielle Mullinax - Fullerton Photographics,
Inc. - Fullerton CA -
Hi Chris and Bill
Well now that you asked here goes! We are
doing everything possible to keep our names
front and center in our customers minds. We are
paying more attention to detail and are using
our e-mail campaigns, our in-store signage,
a-frame signs and our store windows to promote
Fullerton Photo. We are now more conscious than
ever that people want value. When creating an
offer we are spending more time thinking about
its perceived value. An example of this would be
our "special portrait shoot days". We have
promoted three days of special location
portraits keeping our eye on value. Our first
two days sold out, with 18 families spending
$125.00 each this past Sunday. We are promoting
our photography now more than ever and are
hosting several in-store drop in days, such as
Ghouls & Goblins Day and a Santa Photo day as
Also, we are paying special attention to
packaging products together to create a finished
and complete gift. One example of this is a
"Year-at-A-Glance" calendar packaged in a
beautiful desk top frame. Another is a calendar
mousepad. Along this same line, we are creating
a "Gifts to Go" category. These are photo gifts
pre-made with a universal sentiment and packaged
ready for the customer to give at a moments
notice. A mug pre-printed with "Celebrate the
Season", packaged with candy canes in beautiful
I believe it is time to be confident in the
service and services we provide and let our
customers know that we are in the business of
making them smile even when there's not much to
Thanks for all you guys do!
Editor's note: If the timing of Gaby's
promotions seems a little strange, it's because
she sent us her contribution before Christmas
Gaby, thanks for the kind words.
Share ideas with Bill and Chris at DIMA/PMA 2009
Bill McCurry will lead two DIMAź Marketing
Idea Exchange sessions to help you get
actionable ideas from your peers that you can
implement immediately. Whether you attend one or
both sessions, no two idea exchanges are alike.
DIMA Marketing Idea Exchange will be
Monday, March 2 at 2:40 p.m.
DIMA Marketing Idea Exchange Part II
is Tuesday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Each Idea Exchange stands on its own, no two
are ever alike.
Chris leads Photo Classes - The Next Great
Sales Tool Session D18, Sunday, March 1 at
More great events in and around PMA/DIMA
PTN Dealer of The Year Party -
Wednesday night - at Renaissance Hotel - March 4
- 5:30-7:00pm - come congratulate Jerry Sullivan
and rub elbows with all the greats of photo
retailing . . . yes, you are invited!
PRO meeting and working dinner Monday,
March 2, 2 pm - 7:30 pm. Members and Affiliates
IPI Members Meeting - Monday, March 2,
6 pm-7, dinner following.
PMA is adding a most insightful session to
the 2009 schedule - it will be Thursday, March 5
- called something like "Hot Picks of The Show"
or "Best Gems of PMA" or something similar
It will feature representatives of the major
buying groups around the world showing their
best finds of the show . . .
Most attendees don't have the time to look
into the nooks and crannies of every booth - so
this one hour session will provide the insights
of retail thought leaders from around the world
. . . Normally Bill McCurry gives out candy bars
. . . and there could be a bit of candy there .
. . but there will also be $2,000 given away at
this session . . . pretty good reward for
showing up to see the hidden gems others have
found . . . it will be just before they give
away the big prizes at the Parting Shot event,
so make sure your return flight isn't so early
you miss out.
Calendar of Industry Events
January 22-23 - PhotoLynx Users Group
meeting, San Diego CA USA
January 26-28, 2009 - West Coast Art &
Frame Show Las Vegas, NV, USA -
Saturday, February 7, 2009 PMA Northern
California Division "Winter in the Wine
Country" Sonoma County, Calif.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 New York/New
Jersey Metro Division Spring Meeting Fort Lee,
February 12, 2009 - Bill McCurry gives
keynote speech at United Nations International
Photographic Council luncheon, Manhattan USA.
March 1 - March 4, 2009 -
DIMA 2009 Las Vegas, NV, USA
March 3 - March 5, 2009 -
PMA 2009 Las Vegas, NV, USA
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - PMA Northern
California Division Luncheon at PMA 09 Las
you know that every single issue of the
McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange is archived on
line - going all the way back to Issue 1?
Yup. It's free and it's on the
Photo/Image News web site.
You requested us to send you this newsletter.
Please send us your marketing idea as well as comments on
those ideas posted by hitting your reply button or emailing
to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may offer free subscriptions
to your colleagues by sending them this link:
Please Enjoy, Consider and Profit from these ideas. All
the Best, Bill
William J. McCurry, Chairman
(available after it is published)