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Industry Insider: Professional Photographers of America (PPA): April 2009 Archives

Professional Photographers of America (PPA): April 2009 Archives

Ignore your customers at your own risk. Not only are they your target for product development, brand marketing, and sales, they should also be your focus in any communication channel. Whether it's an iPhone app or social media hotspot, new conduits are opening every day. But as these interaction options multiply like bunnies in springtime, make sure it's your customers who drive your decisions on what to pursue--and how to engage. The articles collected here will help you redefine your customer focus in every decision. Ready to put your customer in the permanent driver's seat?

On a side note, PPA is excited about the international honor our website (www.ppa.com) received. We redesigned the entire site--putting the focus on our photographic members (our customers)--and became an Official Honoree for the 13th Annual WEBBY Awards in the process. This is yet another good reason to use our many online products to reach your best customers and prospects. Consider, for example, the new digital version of Professional Photographer magazine, a free, value-added addition for advertisers.

Take advantage of one of your Platinum and Gold Corporate Membership Benefits--submit an article to PPA's e-mail newsletter, PPA Today. Sent to over 30,000 professional photographers twice a month, this newsletter is a great way to deliver customized articles and tutorials produced by your company. Doing so will help boost awareness of your company and services in our members' minds. Along with a link to your company's Web site at the end of each tutorial or article, your company will receive thanks and credit.

The point in these articles is to provide helpful information--perhaps answers to questions/problems pro photographers often have--with no strings attached, even though you're most likely talking about one of your products/services. Simply, articles should be soft-sell pieces, not advertorials. Give the readers real advice, and they will pay more attention to you. For example, limit the references you make to your product/service.

E-mail questions and submissions to Cheryl Pearson at cpearson@ppa.com, or call 404-522-8600 ext.223. The e-newsletter is provided for PPA members bi-monthly so remember to get your content in early! Click here to view a copy of the current newsletter.

*And don't forget to send me (cpearson@ppa.com) your press releases! If the content is appropriate to our members, we will post it on our PPA Today blog, under the Products category.

It's a fact, says Adam Weinroth, marketing director of Pluck integrated social media for retailers and brands: Consumers are the honeybees of the Internet, and they're cross-pollinating brand messages at warp speed. "By becoming part of the conversation, brands can engage consumers, drive traffic, and build customer loyalty like never before." Weinroth says. It's not as hard as you think, he adds, then proves it with tips and real-world examples in action
Detach your preconceptions about reaching your target market. Make your brand conspicuous in the spaces where your customers actually live by giving that brand added value. Banks do it with ATMs. Thousands of brands do it with desktop widgets. Adobe Systems, Inc. did it with the Facebook contest Real or Fake. One maker of reusable water bottles does it with a an iPhone application that automatically reminds users to drink water. The CEO and creative director who came up with a few of those strategies gives you the lowdown.
Kohler, Crayola and a few other long-established companies have found the secret of longevity. They renovate their brands while they are strong and growing, says marketing consultant Fred Geyer. Read how and why.
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