McCurry Associates Marketing Idea Exchange Archives
Volume 44 - May 16, 2003
1. Free has no value -
Like everyone, we want customers to try our digital printing and/or buy their inkjet paper from us. We've tried to give out free prints but not all customers take advantage of that. Now they "pay for free prints."
We sell memory cards for super hot prices - after instant rebate and after Click Digital Gift card. A certain card could sell for $ 39.99 - we give $10 off for instant rebate and a mail back $20 Click Digital Gift card. This brings the cash price down to $29.99 and the after Gift Card price down to $9.99. click on picture to see larger version
The customer then gets a gift card with a $20 value that is good only for digital printing and/or the purchase of inkjet paper. We want the customer to test our digital capabilities and feel the customer will make the effort since they "paid for" the gift card. Early responses are very promising. click on picture to see larger version
2. Small Business Requires Big Thinking
Kodak has a new "digital" one time use camera where the customer prepays for a CD of their developed negatives. This is great except Qualex/Kodak gets the money and I either have to do a CD for free or lose the profit on the processing by having the customer send it to Kodak.
3. Some Things Never Change
Editor's Note: While researching information to present at the Agfa Success Seminars (www.AgfaSuccessSeminar.com) we found the text of a speech presented by then incoming PMA President Derek Whitby . . . it was presented way back in April of 2000 - what seems like a long time ago. With Derek's kind permission we have reproduced a couple of his "new" ideas - to remind us all that sometimes as we move forward we should also look back to see what great ideas we missed along the way. His speech was entitled "Up Against The Odds" - that aspect of our industry certainly hasn't changed.
A. Using the "Talking Mat" idea from Chinese restaurants - have a board or mat showing all your major services. This allows new customers to be quickly talked through the offered services. Our fall back position is the two day out-lab 4" service - this keeps it simple and quick for customers.
B. We advertise half-hour D&P on the back of the staff's polo shirts. That's the only time we turn our backs on our customers! The front has the staff member's name and other picture or illustration on it.
C. Have fun and convert customers to half-hour D&P - We let them take a chance, like a lottery. We promise the work is done in half-hour or customer pays half price. Customers love to gamble with us - we rarely have to do one at half-price but the perceived risk makes it interesting for staff and customers.
D. Several years ago we started giving "Free Film" with processing. Then we came up with the idea of 1/2 price film. Best idea we've ever had. Instead of D&P dropping as a result of the higher customer cost (no free film) our roll count increased significantly as some customers realized they no longer had to pay for film they weren't getting.
Agfa Success Seminar Update - As this is being sent we're between the seminars in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania - Audiences are reporting great ideas they can immediately take back to the store and turn to money. The record attendance goes to David Gordenstein of Zeff Photo in Belmont, Massachusetts who had a total of 17 employees attend - 11 of them for the morning customer service session only. David told us "I wish I could have sent more - it was just what they needed." If you haven't yet attended this year's free seminar, check out http://www.AgfaSuccessSeminar.com - if you have attended, please tell a friend and spread the word. All industry members are welcome, regardless of your business relationship (or non-relationship) with Agfa. See you there.