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10-17-2014, 04:37 AM   #16
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From a non-US perspective, may I ask - who does Photo Plus Expo target? Wedding photogs? Maybe it has a too narrow focus for the Ricoh decision makers.

But yes, on the face of it, if even Lomography has a booth, Ricoh certainly should too.

Ricoh have a camera range now that should meet all tastes, from studio pro to GoPro users, so they should pretty much be exhibiting everywhere, IMHO.

10-17-2014, 05:35 AM   #17
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Good decision Ricoh. Most show are not good money to spend.
10-17-2014, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jatcat Quote
Um, the show IS marketing !!

Yes it is, but it's not very cost effective. I've worked with companies that have debated this for years. Nearly all of them agree that their money is better spent elsewhere but some continue to go simply out of inertia.

The only way you can really justify it is if you can multiply reach through media, which they already did at Photokina. That's why some smaller companies like Lomography are there, to speak with bloggers and get them to write about their products. Lomography will reach more people by having bloggers from Engadget, Tested, and others read about their booth than visit the booth themselves.

Pentax already did that at Photokina, so there's no need to do it again, especially if there aren't new products to show.

Last edited by johnmflores; 10-17-2014 at 07:59 AM. Reason: wordsmithing
10-17-2014, 06:32 AM   #19
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+1 let's wait for CP+ 2015

10-17-2014, 06:32 AM   #20
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It's Game Theory. Ricoh Imaging USA are creative disruptors eliciting the ire of the entrenched establishment.
10-17-2014, 07:18 AM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Given all the destructive criticism I see coming from the US it is a wonder Ricoh even bothers with the US market.

Even if Ricoh had the largest most elaborate booth at Photo Plus somebody would be complaining it wasn't good enough for x number of reasons or Ricoh would have better spent their money elsewhere or with a smaller booth.
Have you been on the Nikon boards? No D400 has a lot of Nikon users angry. The new 7DII is only making it worse. What about a serious Nikon mirrorless?
Sony A-mount? Where are the lenses for FE-Mount?
Why doesn't Canon get into the mirrorless maket? Canon users complain about Sony sensors being better.
Fuji and Olympus are always being asked if they will produce a FF body/system.

Every brand is dealing with a customer base that wants MORE.
10-17-2014, 08:24 AM   #22
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Last year, a local camera shop set up a table with Pentax equipment and there was a line to play with the K3.
It was sad....
10-17-2014, 08:59 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jatcat Quote
Last year, a local camera shop set up a table with Pentax equipment and there was a line to play with the K3.
It was sad....
That proves a hundred or so end buyers were curious about the latest Pentax dSLR, most of whom must already have known about it of they wouldn't have been there.

It takes Ricoh's USA employees at last 90 days to plan, arrange, reserve, appoint and otherwise prepare for this kind of event. That's internal and external people in the Sales Team, Public Relations, Management and their legal representatives, as well as the financial people who allocate limited marketing money across various opportunities. The cost of one of these deals goes beyond just the fees, booth, lodging, meals and entertainment. There's also the massive soft cost of the time invested before the event by the fairly limited employees in Denver.

If you really do a cost accounting analysis including the allocation of staff time at their true hourly value (including benefits expense) there's just no possible way to earn a return on a booth here, especially when considering whatever it is they could have been doing while they were working on this event instead..

10-17-2014, 09:34 AM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
That proves a hundred or so end buyers were curious about the latest Pentax dSLR, most of whom must already have known about it of they wouldn't have been there.

It takes Ricoh's USA employees at last 90 days to plan, arrange, reserve, appoint and otherwise prepare for this kind of event. That's internal and external people in the Sales Team, Public Relations, Management and their legal representatives, as well as the financial people who allocate limited marketing money across various opportunities. The cost of one of these deals goes beyond just the fees, booth, lodging, meals and entertainment. There's also the massive soft cost of the time invested before the event by the fairly limited employees in Denver.

If you really do a cost accounting analysis including the allocation of staff time at their true hourly value (including benefits expense) there's just no possible way to earn a return on a booth here, especially when considering whatever it is they could have been doing while they were working on this event instead..
So every other camera company including Lomography can pull it off, but Ricoh just doesn't have the resources? The largest show in North America isn't worth the trouble?
So every other camera company is making a mistake by wasting resources on this show? Ricoh is smarter than all of them?

I sure Ricoh is considering what they "could have been doing", but part of the criticism is that (so far) they always end up doing nothing.

I was at a happy hour/meet & greet for local professional photographers and had lady ask if the K-3 was a film camera. I wanted to slap her. She does over 30 weddings a year starting at $4,000 and has no clue, but its really not her fault. Neither Hoya nor Ricoh have invested in marketing.
10-17-2014, 09:47 AM   #25
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Yeah. What you said....
10-17-2014, 09:48 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
The largest show in North America isn't worth the trouble?
Precisely. Just being the largest in North America is not enough

Lomo lives on hype (and nothing else but hype). They have to maintain that hype or they will die.
10-17-2014, 10:23 AM - 1 Like   #27
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Yes, their money could be better spent elsewhere...
But are they spending that money elsewhere? I don't see anything on TV, radios, internet banners, bus stops, weekly flyers/mailers etc.
I also don't see them in stores.

So I agree that this may not be the best place to spend their marketing money...but if not here, then what are they spending it on?
10-17-2014, 10:40 AM - 2 Likes   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
So every other camera company including Lomography can pull it off, but Ricoh just doesn't have the resources? The largest show in North America isn't worth the trouble?
So every other camera company is making a mistake by wasting resources on this show? Ricoh is smarter than all of them?

I sure Ricoh is considering what they "could have been doing", but part of the criticism is that (so far) they always end up doing nothing.
QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yes, their money could be better spent elsewhere...
But are they spending that money elsewhere? I don't see anything on TV, radios, internet banners, bus stops, weekly flyers/mailers etc.
I also don't see them in stores.

So I agree that this may not be the best place to spend their marketing money...but if not here, then what are they spending it on?
Sony, Nikon, and Canon are bleeding money and they still spend hundreds of thousands on trade shows, for appearances sake. You know what Ricoh is doing? They're managing to make Pentax profitable while the industry is tanking by making smart decisions like forgoing Photo Plus. Credit to them for a smart, steady growth strategy. They're not perfect, but they deserve credit for rescuing Pentax and making it healthier than it's been in decades.

And Pentax is in good company. You know who else isn't at PhotoPlus? Just the two hottest brands in photography at the moment, Apple and GoPro. Neither of them do trade shows at all AFAIK, Apple big enough host their own events, heavy on media/blogger coverage and with no competition, and GoPro along with Red Bull as the poster children of a new kind of marketing. Forget television. Forget trade shows. That's so 20th century.
10-17-2014, 10:58 AM - 2 Likes   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
So every other camera company including Lomography can pull it off, but Ricoh just doesn't have the resources? The largest show in North America isn't worth the trouble?
So every other camera company is making a mistake by wasting resources on this show? Ricoh is smarter than all of them?

I sure Ricoh is considering what they "could have been doing", but part of the criticism is that (so far) they always end up doing nothing.

I was at a happy hour/meet & greet for local professional photographers and had lady ask if the K-3 was a film camera. I wanted to slap her. She does over 30 weddings a year starting at $4,000 and has no clue, but its really not her fault. Neither Hoya nor Ricoh have invested in marketing.
We keep going over the same ground. They're not going to spend money on 'marketing' at small, regional events like Photo Plus Expo in the USA at this time.

QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yes, their money could be better spent elsewhere...
But are they spending that money elsewhere? I don't see anything on TV, radios, internet banners, bus stops, weekly flyers/mailers etc.
I also don't see them in stores.

So I agree that this may not be the best place to spend their marketing money...but if not here, then what are they spending it on?
What marketing money? They're not going to market here very much at all. They haven't yet done any of the things that come before marketing money is spent, like inventory product, hire salespeople, answer their own phones, build their own websites, run their own webstore, perform their own warranty repairs, support B&M dealers with realistic dealer credit and dealer ordering terms and co-op ads and demo units and workshops - so why would they spend tens of thousands of dollars stimulating demand they don't have any infrastructure to meet?

I've said this before - they're not going to compete with Canon and Nikon and Sony and Fuji in the USA on the terms (high volume, low profit margin) that competition would require. We keep looking at what the other companies are doing - even Lomography - and asking why Pentax isn't doing it, too - over and over and over. The same people keep asking the same question every time the same situation comes around on the calendar and Ricoh does the same thing they did last time.

They're competing on product quality and features at a price point - and that's it. We're not paying for any marketing expense when we buy a Pentax product. That's the deal. If you want a bunch of trade show booths and magazine ads to feed your pack membership mentality you'll need to use another brand and pay for the marketing expense when you buy it.

Ricoh thought they'd come into the USA and the Dealers would welcome Pentax back like it was their 25th High School Reunion. Jim Malcolm got kicked to the curb. So they bought a large booth and a conference room at CP+ and presented their new, high-profit-margin plan. Their largest remaining independent B&M Dealer (in St. Louis) outright discontinued Pentax - and how many new Dealers have they added? I hear crickets.

For the time being - and possibly for a very long time - this is a word-of-mouth, internet-marketing brand (read Amazon, Adorama and B&H) in North America. That is all. 2% global market share won't cut it here - there isn't enough cash flow to support the expenses of growing the brand while also avoiding hemorrhagic losses.

We bought Pentax. This is part of the deal.

Last edited by monochrome; 10-17-2014 at 11:12 AM.
10-17-2014, 10:59 AM - 2 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Smart decision.
+1

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
The show draws around 22,000 visitors
What kind of "show" is that? That is abysmal even for a back country village fair.
If that is the "largest show in North America", it seem's the "old western world" has lost all of it's remaining importance. Looks like a developing country situation.
Whoever invests in these tiny local events usually is desperate.

Maybe we discuss the non-presence of a camera manufacturer on tupperware home-parties next.

Sony is doomed, because they didn't show up on my neighbor's last garage sale! Samsung was there, with their own item, an old mobile phone (broken).

Simply go to the important events photokina (with around 180,000 visitors) or even the small local CP+ with 70,000 visitors if you want to see things.
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