Once upon a time, postmen were the only way to deliver a message to someone. Sending a postcard while on vacation via the United States Postal Service was actually a thing. Students writing and mailing letters to other students across the globe actually happened. Cutting and trimming wallet photos and mailing them to all of your friends and family with a hand scribbled date and name was the “normal” way to share photos.
Then came cell phones… not just cell phones– THE SMARTPHONE. Forget email, forget social media, forget digital cameras. The world changed when smart phones became a commodity. And it’s all happening right here, right now.
THE PHOTO INDUSTRY IS NOT FAILING because parents can now take pictures and share quickly on their phone. THERE. I said it.
It’s about simplicity, convenience, USER EXPERIENCE.
Today’s consumer is connected to everyone and everything, pretty much 24-7. If it cannot be done or accessed from their smartphone, then you’re already behind. Gone are the days of building loyalty through phone calls and one-on-one meetings. I’m not saying it’s gone forever, it’s how you perceive it. Brand recognition, having a product with a purpose, combined with a simple, quick, “compatible to the 2018 lifestyle” is needed to reach today’s consumer– and MAKE A SALE.
I have 2 kids in elementary school. They have never seen a phone with a cord. They don’t even know what it’s like to talk with a phone to your ear. They FaceTime everyone. They tell Alexa to message and call people. They play online games with their friends from school. And when I put a movie on that’s not On Demand or Netflix, they get frustrated and find commercials highly annoying. Yet somehow they always know about the latest and greatest toys, movies and games– I was so confused until I started paying more attention as to how companies are reaching the new generation.
There are two main sources:
- Word of Mouth
- YouTube Kids– where my kids just watch other people play with toys and make slime.
WORD OF MOUTH.
Let this sink in for a moment. The Millennial generation is more likely to make a purchase if it is meaningful, and they feel connected to it. The marketing needs to be made specifically for them. They look for authenticity, convenience and fun.
What does this all mean to us? I think it’s GREAT news. As photographers in the volume market—
- Convenience. Photos are taken during school or activities, we just need to do a better job connecting with the consumer- the parent.
- Authenticity. Our product is unique! Get more creative with your style. Offer variety!
- Fun. Picture day is fun for the kids. They love getting dressed up and posing with friends. Make it an experience they will never forget.
- Meaningful. Purchases help raise money for schools and organizations.
All we need to do is harness the technology and raise awareness.