The Independent Photo Imagers group used the IPIC 2014 conference as a platform to launch its new Managed Marketing Services program, consisting of social media, email newsletter and digital signage components.
In the ‘IPIC University’ sessions a new iPhonography educational course was also presented for members to offer in their communities. This will be a new component of the CD-based Marketing Solutions Program for 2014/15.
Stuart Holmes, director of IPI’s Australian affiliate, Independent Photo Supplies, confirmed that it would be available to Australian IPI members.
‘You get people to mow your lawns or do your laundry because we are all time poor and running like mad things to try and keep up with life and business,’ he said. ‘The Managed Marketing Services program will enable stores to do what they haven’t time to do properly, or regularly, especially in social media and email marketing.
There are three components to the initiative: Social Media; Email; and Digital Signage.
Social Media: IPI will distribute posts and content to supplement what’s being done in-house in the social media arena. Six posts per month are available relating back to Marketing Solutions Program products and services, but also photo tips and educational topics. The effectiveness of a store’s social media communications can then be tracked via the IPI dashboard.
Email: IPI will create, link and distribute 18 emails/year to the customer database via Constant Contact, tying in with Marketing Solutions Program promotions and the store’s online ordering platform.
In addition, an image library will be made available, loaded into the Constant Contact media library for use in other emails.
Digital Signage: IPI feeds engaging content directly to a store’s large format screens. This will include marketing messages, promotions, photo tips, etc. Content is refreshed around every two weeks and customised content can be inserted direct from the store, or IPI-derived content removed for in-store control of a digital signage program.
‘There’s a program of 18 different email blasts throughout the year so you know you can cover every single photo opportunity in the calendar, whether its Mothers Day or Fathers Day or Valentines Day, holiday periods…then there are things things for the quiet times like scans from slides,’ said Stuart Holmes.
‘There are more than 30 topics to chose from and you can choose 18 of them. That means that every month something fresh will be going out to your database.
‘There will be assistance with your database and setting up a Constant Contact newsletter and then also assistance with managing your social media for you on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
‘So that however busy you are, wherever you are, you are visible to your customers all the time. And that’s gold. You couldn’t employ a marketing person for the cost of doing this program.’
Costs of the three compoents are US$32/month for Social Media; US$32/month for the Email blast program; and US with a 15 percetn discount $US$76/month for all three services.
The new iPhonography educational module ‘Creative iPhonography – From Snapshot to Fine Art – was one of the most talked-about innovations at the conference, providing a bridge to what Camera House director Jon Paterson describes as ‘the largest and fastest-growing photography segment’.
The course, which has been developed for stores to promote and run, is a 286-slide Powerpoint presentation with accompanying speaker notes, as well as content to promote the course via email and social media. It runs from an introduction to iPhone camera functions, image management and workflow, through to a look at some recommended Apps, and then moves to the more creative aspects of taking photographs with an iPhone – editing, using creative filters and printing.
‘The iPhone has brought the play back into photography,’ explained course creator Sandra Nykerk. ‘But a lot of people (using iPhones) have no idea of the fundamentals of photography – basic things like ISO, noise, white balance.
‘People need to know the capabilities and limitations.’