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McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange Issue 443 - May 31, 2012

Bill McCurry
McCurry Associates

609 688-1169


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  Sitting down to dinner and sharing marketing ideas in Australia
  May 31, 2012

  Hello Chris,

'Try It, Fix It, Do It!' was the advice dispensed by Bill McCurry during PMA's first Dinner Marketing Idea Exchange. The dinner proved McCurry's point exactly. It had never been tried before so the Australian PMA members said, "Let's give it a go" and try it they did. Over 70 Australian and New Zealand imaging retailers and suppliers spent an evening reacquainting with old friends, meeting new ones and debating various marketing ideas.

Chris Wilkinson of Photo Plus, Wellington, NZ discussed his store's sign "Will you be the one that cut down your family tree?" and his offerings to help customers preserve their memories forever by printing them. Wilkinson freely admitted he "stole" the idea from Todd Fitzpatrick in an earlier Idea Exchange. That's the process of the Idea Exchange - share your successes and frustrations so others can learn from you and you learn from others.

McCurry introduced PMA International President Allan Showalter from King Photo, Harrisonburg, VA who shared a very successful email campaign saying "what grandma doesn't want - she doesn't want another candle or a doo-hickey." Showalter explained that "doo-hickey" was a good ole Southern Boy slang for anything grandma got that wasn't a picture of her loved ones.

The campaign was successful in raising the awareness that grandma doesn't need another "dust catcher" she has to clean, "she want images of the family she loves". Showalter then showed the company's Facebook page where their picture showing the page owner is a stack of video tapes . . . King Photo uses Facebook to discuss and show their video transfer potential. Showalter told the audience some of the video transfer questions and orders King Photo had received via Facebook.

Passports have continued to be an important profit driver for imaging firms. Alan Logue, Hutt Street Photo, Adelaide, South Australia has printed new business cards just for passport photos. He distributes them to travel agencies and foreign embassies or counsels in the area. The back of the card has a map to Hutt Street photo and outlines passport related services they offer.

Lively table top discussions occurred during dinner and dessert with each table identifying their best idea of the evening. McCurry wrapped up with images from his visit to new retailing areas in Sydney. He showed the new Peter Alexander store, a store specializing in women's flannel night wear. McCurry focused on the soft lighting, the creative displays, the aroma and asked the audience if their store would match that environment. "Don't compare yourself to another photo store," McCurry said. "Your customers don't spend all their time in a photo store like you do. Your customers are out seeing other cutting edge retailers and comparing the experience in your store with other retailer, NOT other photo retailers. How do you compare?"


Idea # 1 - I can call my dog an SOB, you can't

Chris Lydle - Chris' Camera Center - Aiken, SC USA -

Last week I took my car to a new location for service. They were technically savvy, the location was clean, they got everything done on time and for the right price. But I probably won't go there again.

Here's why:

I told them "I've got a problem with my Chrysler Pacifica" and the service writer responded "your first problem is that it's a Chrysler."

Regardless of whether Chrysler cars are less than perfect, it's not his place to criticize it. Particularly when that's the very first impression he, as the contact person for the company, made to the customer. I can curse Chrysler up one side and down the other, but it's not the merchant's place to do so.

Does this happen in your camera store? Do your Nikon chauvinists bash Canon? (and vice-versa).

When somebody brings in an old Canon AE-1 do you tell them it's worthless, or do you say "that was a fine camera in its day, but with everyone going digital we just have no demand for them anymore."

People hate being told that their previous buying decision was wrong, and we shouldn't be doing it. 'nuff said.

  Our Calendar of Events is always available at

Your colleagues may also get the newsletter free in exchange for submitting ideas. Give them this link to sign up but remind them they have to share:

Please Enjoy, Consider and Profit from these ideas.

All the Best,


William J. McCurry, Chairman

McCurry Associates


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