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09-26-2017, 01:31 AM   #961
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
...flippers following him...a direct reason not to YT when you encounter that bombastic NO fro.
There are just so many vloggers who are really angling for gear advertising. I can't stand unboxing videos.

You can actually learn real photography from these savage guys, where the photos Matt Granger, Tony Northrup, the Snapchick, Jarod Polin et al take would get gutted ...


09-26-2017, 02:32 AM   #962
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
?

During the industry downturn, they entered the full frame market for the first time since the film age, along with a holy trinity of f2.8 zooms.
Over six years I'd say doing that (or, alternatively, moving to mirrorless - there was a fork in the road) was the minimum they needed to do to stay in business. Ricoh haven't altered their marketing (at least where I live) in that time, which suggests they may not see it very differently. There's been no "big push", at least on marketing, which is what one would expect if they were stepping up a few gears. In fact, In North America they seem to have gone backwards in the last year or two.
09-26-2017, 03:18 AM   #963
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Over six years I'd say doing that (or, alternatively, moving to mirrorless - there was a fork in the road) was the minimum they needed to do to stay in business. Ricoh haven't altered their marketing (at least where I live) in that time, which suggests they may not see it very differently. There's been no "big push", at least on marketing, which is what one would expect if they were stepping up a few gears. In fact, In North America they seem to have gone backwards in the last year or two.
It does feel like the brakes have been applied in the last year specifically - we assumed that they were sorting out and rationalising a post-Hoya mess for a year or so, and they've definitely sharpened their focus, but the capacity that once went into a slightly dysfunctional product range doesn't show many signs of redeployment. It did seem that momentum was building nicely with the 645Z, K-3ii and K-1 in comparatively quick succession, but it's difficult to see losing that momentum as other than an error if they want to build the brand.

Last edited by ffking; 09-26-2017 at 03:39 AM.
09-26-2017, 03:27 AM   #964
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Clearly Ricoh is not doing much promotional activity in the US, but that's not the same thing as having no marketing plan. From what I can see (admittedly, from afar), Ricoh has a clear strategy of focusing on product and price, at the expense of place and promotion.

The price difference between what Ricoh is asking for the K-1 in America and Japan is huge, even accounting for the normal price differentials. The K-1 was launched at 279,800 yen in Japan vs 1,799 dollars in the US.

My guess is that Ricoh felt that getting visibility through advertising and trying to push their products into brick-and-mortar stores in America is prohibitively expensive for what it would achieve. At the same time, Americans seem to value a low price above all else. I don't think this is a lack of strategy; I think it's considered and smart.

I'm not sure how much it costs to market online, but at the very least it requires manpower, as Monochrome's son's case indicates. Have you noticed how these bloggers and website contributors seem to be testing new cameras in exotic locations lately? Sometimes they're all in the same place. Hmm . . . It's not like the early days of the internet, is it? Clearly Ricoh doesn't have the margins to do that or run expensive showrooms in the US - not while they have low volume and sell their cameras so cheap.

Would you rather pay $500 dollars more for a K-1, but have more Pentax advertising on the web? I thought not.

Actually, I do think they should have a better web presence, especially in English. But I think it's wrong to say they don't market at all, when price is such a big part of marketing.

09-26-2017, 03:49 AM   #965
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Clearly Ricoh is not doing much promotional activity in the US, but that's not the same thing as having no marketing plan. From what I can see (admittedly, from afar), Ricoh has a clear strategy of focusing on product and price, at the expense of place and promotion.

The price difference between what Ricoh is asking for the K-1 in America and Japan is huge, even accounting for the normal price differentials. The K-1 was launched at 279,800 yen in Japan vs 1,799 dollars in the US.

My guess is that Ricoh felt that getting visibility through advertising and trying to push their products into brick-and-mortar stores in America is prohibitively expensive for what it would achieve. At the same time, Americans seem to value a low price above all else. I don't think this is a lack of strategy; I think it's considered and smart.

I'm not sure how much it costs to market online, but at the very least it requires manpower, as Monochrome's son's case indicates. Have you noticed how these bloggers and website contributors seem to be testing new cameras in exotic locations lately? Sometimes they're all in the same place. Hmm . . . It's not like the early days of the internet, is it? Clearly Ricoh doesn't have the margins to do that or run expensive showrooms in the US - not while they have low volume and sell their cameras so cheap.

Would you rather pay $500 dollars more for a K-1, but have more Pentax advertising on the web? I thought not.

Actually, I do think they should have a better web presence, especially in English. But I think it's wrong to say they don't market at all, when price is such a big part of marketing.
You're simply describing a circle which has been going round and round since before Ricoh took over. In one sense, it works - Pentax is still going. But in another sense this perpetual holding pattern is a slow road to nowhere very much because without marketing the brand slowly slowly fades from view and becomes mainly of interest to a few aficionados. Folks won't buy your product even if it is keenly priced unless they know it exists and have some confidence in it, built through brand marketing. For that you need the influencers on your side in all sorts of media, social included. This is the story of the past ten years for Pentax.

I'd imagine the story in Japan is very different, however. For my money, the explanation is largely cultural. Pentax has always been focused on their home market with the rest of the world a long way second, and under Ricoh they've concentrated mainly on servicing their existing user base rather than chasing new business, at least with DSLRs. That hasn't changed and there's no indications it is going to. None of this applies to the Ricoh brand Theta, interestingly. It's in a local store in this town where even the dedicated camera store doesn't stock Pentax (though Pentax is on their website). Both the money and the will are there - when Ricoh want it to be.

Last edited by mecrox; 09-26-2017 at 06:10 AM.
09-26-2017, 03:52 AM   #966
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I could import a K-1 from the US and still pay considerably less than when I buy one in Europe (€280) after paying for shipping VAT and import duties and costums and handling costs. The only thing stopping me is I have to forgo on warranty. I doubt international shipping is covered by it and it only is one year instead of two here in the EU. Ricoh doesn't allow price stunting. Even shops that are flying under the radar of price comparison sites are called to order on that.
09-26-2017, 04:38 AM   #967
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
I could import a K-1 from the US and still pay considerably less than when I buy one in Europe (€280) after paying for shipping VAT and import duties and costums and handling costs. The only thing stopping me is I have to forgo on warranty. I doubt international shipping is covered by it and it only is one year instead of two here in the EU. Ricoh doesn't allow price stunting. Even shops that are flying under the radar of price comparison sites are called to order on that.
That's the other interesting thing, of course - The K-1 was launched at GBP1,699, it went up in two stages to GBP1,999, and it's stayed solid 18 months into its life - Ricoh are either very good at matching production to sales or they want to send a message - or probably both plus other factors too. Same story with most of the lenses - the price has stayed hard (apart from occasional promotions) or drifted up (probably post-Brexit exchange rates). The 70-200, interestingly has been the least price stable.
09-26-2017, 06:16 AM   #968
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Clearly Ricoh is not doing much promotional activity in the US, but that's not the same thing as having no marketing plan. From what I can see (admittedly, from afar), Ricoh has a clear strategy of focusing on product and price, at the expense of place and promotion.

The price difference between what Ricoh is asking for the K-1 in America and Japan is huge, even accounting for the normal price differentials. The K-1 was launched at 279,800 yen in Japan vs 1,799 dollars in the US.

My guess is that Ricoh felt that getting visibility through advertising and trying to push their products into brick-and-mortar stores in America is prohibitively expensive for what it would achieve. At the same time, Americans seem to value a low price above all else. I don't think this is a lack of strategy; I think it's considered and smart.

I'm not sure how much it costs to market online, but at the very least it requires manpower, as Monochrome's son's case indicates. Have you noticed how these bloggers and website contributors seem to be testing new cameras in exotic locations lately? Sometimes they're all in the same place. Hmm . . . It's not like the early days of the internet, is it? Clearly Ricoh doesn't have the margins to do that or run expensive showrooms in the US - not while they have low volume and sell their cameras so cheap.

Would you rather pay $500 dollars more for a K-1, but have more Pentax advertising on the web? I thought not.

Actually, I do think they should have a better web presence, especially in English. But I think it's wrong to say they don't market at all, when price is such a big part of marketing.
I don't think people are thinking that they should be billboards or television ads or stuff like that -- more that they should figure out how to have a real presence on You Tube and other social media platforms. It probably is the sort of thing that it is tough to launch into, but you get quite a bit of bang for your buck if you offer real information and tips.

Just have a You Tube channel with guys like Kerrick James or whoever using their cameras as they normal would and giving pointers. If it was updated regularly, people would begin to follow it and get exposed to Pentax, even if there wasn't blatant advertising going on through the whole segment.

09-26-2017, 06:31 AM   #969
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Would you rather pay $500 dollars more for a K-1, but have more Pentax advertising on the web? I thought not.

If that advertising lead to increased presence which lead to increased sales which lead to increased lens development which lead to increased 3rd party lens development... then I'd say absolutely.

Because, for a few of us, the question you're really posing is, "Would you rather pay 500 dollars more to stay with K mount or sell it all to start fresh somewhere else where the product line is more healthy?"
09-26-2017, 06:57 AM   #970
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
Clearly Ricoh is not doing much promotional activity in the US, but that's not the same thing as having no marketing plan. From what I can see (admittedly, from afar), Ricoh has a clear strategy of focusing on product and price, at the expense of place and promotion.

The price difference between what Ricoh is asking for the K-1 in America and Japan is huge, even accounting for the normal price differentials. The K-1 was launched at 279,800 yen in Japan vs 1,799 dollars in the US.

My guess is that Ricoh felt that getting visibility through advertising and trying to push their products into brick-and-mortar stores in America is prohibitively expensive for what it would achieve. At the same time, Americans seem to value a low price above all else. I don't think this is a lack of strategy; I think it's considered and smart.

I'm not sure how much it costs to market online, but at the very least it requires manpower, as Monochrome's son's case indicates. Have you noticed how these bloggers and website contributors seem to be testing new cameras in exotic locations lately? Sometimes they're all in the same place. Hmm . . . It's not like the early days of the internet, is it? Clearly Ricoh doesn't have the margins to do that or run expensive showrooms in the US - not while they have low volume and sell their cameras so cheap.

Would you rather pay $500 dollars more for a K-1, but have more Pentax advertising on the web? I thought not.

Actually, I do think they should have a better web presence, especially in English. But I think it's wrong to say they don't market at all, when price is such a big part of marketing.
The problem with that line of thought is that kids who got GoPros for Christmas are doing a better job at marketing themselves on social media. The reason so many photographers and small businesses use social media for marketing is the it is relatively cheap compared to the traditional channels. Ricoh is not even making an effort. I don't think Ricoh knows where exactly they are going to fit into the market yet. We know from interviews that Ricoh management was split on the decision to make the K-1. We know they have been surprised by demand and how well it has sold. It kind of reminds me of what Sony looked like a few years ago when they were obviously trying to figure out how they fit into the market. Sony now has a clear vision and direction and their marketing is showing that. Its really hard to launch a successful marketing program when you don't know who you are or who your target customers are.
09-26-2017, 07:41 AM - 2 Likes   #971
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It doesn't look like many people share my perspective on this. But not to worry - it's just an opinion.

My point was mainly that price is one of the most powerful tools a marketer has, and Ricoh has been quite aggressive in that regard. I think a lot of people criticize their marketing and lose sight of that fact.

For online video content, if it's not done well, there's no point in doing it. I'm not sure how cheap it is to make video content that's really worthy of the brand. There's the production cost, and does Ricoh even have people to organize it? If they had to hire people to run it, it could be quite an expensive venture.
09-26-2017, 08:40 AM   #972
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
If they had to hire people to run it, it could be quite an expensive venture.
Well,yes and no....

Maybe theres a(one person)already employed thats enthusiastic,has the skills,that can have some of their time devoted to a basic promotional YT project?

Just a presentable,compact. official looking presentation of each new product???

Its not rocket science to do a video presentation but it is essential to promote anything new.
09-26-2017, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #973
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
It doesn't look like many people share my perspective on this.
This is definitely not the case. Just, in this thread, there are too many opinions, who know too well what is going wrong.

It is always of value to read your opinions. Global marketing is a difficult task. In Europe Pentax is not marketed as a low cost supplier either. Unfortunately, there are not many Japanese opinions expressed here.
09-26-2017, 09:06 AM - 1 Like   #974
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
My point was mainly that price is one of the most powerful tools a marketer has,
Not really. Marketing is the process of communicating the fact that you have the lower price (if that is your selling point). If nobody knows you are the best value in the market, then it doesn't matter. What is Ricoh doing to let people know they are the best value in the market? How are they communicating that price? What action are they taking?
09-26-2017, 09:13 AM   #975
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QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
It doesn't look like many people share my perspective on this. But not to worry - it's just an opinion.

My point was mainly that price is one of the most powerful tools a marketer has, and Ricoh has been quite aggressive in that regard. I think a lot of people criticize their marketing and lose sight of that fact.

For online video content, if it's not done well, there's no point in doing it. I'm not sure how cheap it is to make video content that's really worthy of the brand. There's the production cost, and does Ricoh even have people to organize it? If they had to hire people to run it, it could be quite an expensive venture.
I agree with you!

Unless the marketing is effective, it just makes the cameras and lenses more expensive without making them any better. That's why Canikons cost so much more than Pentax despite the clear economies of scale that Canikon has -- their camera prices reflect the millions of dollars Canikon spend on marketing (ads, retailer incentives, etc.). Canikon buyers pay for all those ads and incentive when they pay for equipment.

I think its too easy to cherry-picking those viral, entertaining v-loggers that top the viewership lists as if creating those channels is something that is easy to do. For every successful gopro marketer, there's a 1000 that suck. And if Ricoh can crack the code that makes viral advertising without a big budget, they should dump all their other businesses because there's lots of companies that would pay billions of dollars for the secret of cheap viral marketing.

Effective marketing really does cost real money. Marketing is guaranteed to increase costs but offers no guarantees that it will boost sales sufficiently to actually increase profits.
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