Kingsley: The key to success is in educating consumers. Whether that is at the point-of-purchase, through yellow page advertising, seminars, newsletters, direct mail or any other way you can get the word out, the importance is in education. The best place to start might be with film customers. If your film customers aren't aware that you can offer them the same services from a digital camera, you may need to find ways to let them know.
Lawrence: Don't wait for the customer to come in with a digital camera asking if the retailer can print from a digital camera! If you think about it, many if not most of the active film camera customers also have digital cameras. Retailers should create and utilize envelope stuffers talking about digital printing. They should create displays that "visualize" the expanded products and services that digital provides. They should invest in a large format POP/POS printer that allows them to create their own display material. If they are not creative contact or ask their suppliers for artwork they can use or adapt. Visit computer, office supply and "quick print" type shops to see what the "New" competition is offering and how they are informing and inviting their customers. They need to be proactive.
What is your company doing with marketing programs to help support the retailer?
Colcord: Polaroid has tailored its support to each retailer's digital photo strategy and tactics, from point-of-sale merchandising to direct-mail promotions to advertising. The remote administration software that accompanies each Polaroid kiosk allows real-time feedback on promotional effectiveness and other important executional and analytical tools.
Klok: Consumer education continues to be vital, and Fujifilm remains committed to supporting retailers with a variety of means to raise that level of awareness. We view our retailers as true partners and want them to be successful. We provide them with a variety of written materials, POP kits, national advertising campaigns and promotions. We also list our retail partners on DigitalCameraDeveloping.com at no additional cost.
Lent: We will be launching our biggest marketing campaign in years to drive awareness and trial of digital printing at retail. This campaign will consist of national television, print, radio and a wealth of consumer promotions, and public relations activities that will begin in May and go throughout the year.
Briggs: The most valuable thing we can do for the retailer is to make the consumer experience at the kiosk a very pleasant and rewarding one. In that way, their customers will not only come back for more, but also will spread the word about where friends and family can fulfill their digital camera printing needs. We do that by constantly improving our software and ensuring that our output products are productive, yield excellent quality and are very competitively priced. In addition, our company products are designed to promote the retailer's own brand. We aren't pushing our company name or adding confusion to the mix—our goal is to help our retail customers clearly articulate the benefits they offer through their photo services, and do it in a way that helps consumers remember that retailer's business the next time a need for digital services arises.
Kingsley: We continue to support retail initiatives in education through PMA and other industry organizations because we believe that retailers are clearly the best positioned to deliver the message to the consumer. In addition, we continue to look to expand our point-of-purchase material for our customers.
Achey: As with our previous kiosk model, Mitsubishi is dedicated to working with the retailers. We offer a superior warranty program with no downtime for the system. We have a dedicated team of professionals who provide excellent customer service to the retailers and are involved with the installation and training of the product. Lastly, we have an outstanding marketing program that includes POP materials, additional advertising collateral and working with the retailer on successful in-store events.
Johnson: Sony ships free promotional kits with each system. The kits include posters, window decals, ceiling danglers and other promotional materials such as ready-to-use ad templates to submit to local papers. Additionally, each retailer is registered in a "retailer locator" database on our website (www.sony.com/picturestation). We also include free envelopes in which consumers can place their prints.
Leo: Olympus has formulated a number of programs to help push the kiosk business forward. The cost of purchase and operation of the kiosks have been reduced. There are financial programs available for qualified retailers to make it easier to get kiosks placed. The kiosk itself is designed to implement cross-promotion and marketing programs supported by Olympus. The kiosk supports a prepaid smart card called the TruePrint PhotoCard. Olympus has a cross-promotional program that supports the giveaway of TruePrint Photo Cards with each digital camera sold. With these programs, the retailer can quickly add profitable print services without expending major capital investments."The retailer must consider how many kiosks to install in their location and ensure that there are enough units for all of their customers to use," says Whitech's Delnawaz.
Lawrence: We offer customizable coupons, we have POP/POS posters and artwork, which the customers can receive or customize and adapt to their own needs. Retailers should also utilize PMA's "AdMaker Program"; it's free to all PMA members and offers a good starting point and selection of different types of media advertising.
Delnawaz: Whitech's Photo.Teller software
already has a range of marketing programs and services built into
the software. This is a standard feature of our kiosk software. We
also assist our customers in any way we can in helping them with
local promotions that they wish to offer. However, in order for a
retailer to fully take advantage of their kiosk, when choosing
their kiosk, they must consider two very important points. First,
the kiosk needs to be stable and easy to use while at the same time
produce profitable results. Secondly, the retailer must consider
how many kiosks to install in their location and ensure that there
are enough units for all of their customers to use.
What is the biggest challenge for the category in 2004?
Johnson: One of the biggest challenges is to appeal to all of the different customers and trends. That's why in 2004, we put a big emphasis on making the systems scalable and flexible. For example, one store may have customers who want to make standard 4 x 6 prints from their digital cameras, and that's about it. Another location may appeal to scrapbookers who want to scan, put texts and borders on their prints, enlarge, reduce and so forth. Our systems' components can be added or taken away very easily to meet different customers' needs.