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02-23-2016, 05:24 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Tony needs K-1

In his latest live show edition Tony complains about Pentax not giving him cameras to test. Do you all think we could address that somehow? Are Pentax marketing guys reading our forum? Could any of Pentax abassadors help on that?

Most of us agree that Tony is objective (more or less ) and positive about K-1. It would be cool to have him reviewing the new FF. Come on, as far as I know Tony and Chelsea are next to New York, there must be some K-1 in the near future in their neighborhood

See that at 27 min 26 sec:


02-23-2016, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by apete Quote
In his latest live show edition Tony complains about Pentax not giving him cameras to test. Do you all think we could address that somehow? Are Pentax marketing guys reading our forum? Could any of Pentax abassadors help on that?

Most of us agree that Tony is objective (more or less ) and positive about K-1. It would be cool to have him reviewing the new FF. Come on, as far as I know Tony and Chelsea are next to New York, there must be some K-1 in the near future in their neighborhood

See that at 27 min 26 sec: Tony & Chelsea LIVE: Weather Photography, Photo News and Portfolio Reviews! - YouTube
Only if it doesn't delay me getting my pre-ordered K-1. I agree, he should have one to review!
02-23-2016, 05:57 PM   #3
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Okay, so letting Ricoh know about this doesn't seem to be the problem. Their marketing department just has to be utterly incompetent to ignore one of Youtube's most popular photography channel for a solid two years.
02-23-2016, 06:04 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
Okay, so letting Ricoh know about this doesn't seem to be the problem. Their marketing department just has to be utterly incompetent to ignore one of Youtube's most popular photography channel for a solid two years.
That is a monumentally arrogant statement.

02-23-2016, 06:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
That is a monumentally arrogant statement.
And why would that be?
02-23-2016, 06:32 PM   #6
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A lot of people have gotten pre-release versions fairly early - I'm sure they'll send him one. @Kenspo, mention it to Ricoh!
02-23-2016, 06:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
And why would that be?
You call them incompetent.

Jim Malcolm is one of the most respected executives in the photographic industry. I assert he knows exactly what he is doing and exactly why he is doing it. Looking at dpreview and the other review websites, that change of tone didn't happen in a vacuum. Ricoh Imaging reached out to them. Looking at the K-1 marketing micro sites, the sudden increase in professionalism, the correct English, distinctive graphics, the promises of content to come - that didn't happen in a vacuum. Ricoh spent serious money to hire a global brand image company to develop and write that. The lens testing lab idea didn't happen in a vacuum. It's a sophisticated idea, a way to leverage the unavoidable fact that there are 24 million legacy lenses in the marketplace. They know what they're doing. They're going to sell every K-1 they can make.

You don't know what Ricoh's marketing plan is. Neither do I. But indications are it is organized, thoughtful, realistic based on the damage done to the brand by Hoya - and allows Ricoh to control the message, something they HAVE to do at this point.

You and I don't know whether Tony might have his nose out of joint because he didn't get a free K-1 before dpreview. Maybe he competes with them. Maybe Imaging Resource got one and he didn't. Maybe Ricoh offered and he made demands Ricoh didn't want to meet. Maybe he's too video oriented. Maybe if Tony gets a K-1 200,000 people go into Best Buy, ask for a camera that isn't distributed there and give up on Pentax forever. Maybe Tony gets to be part of the rollout for the next product after the infrastructure is built. Maybe all kinds of things behind the scenes that Tony isn't telling and you don't know.

Pentax is not now and will never be CaNikon. Why should they market like CaNikon? They're guerillas. They're not doing what you expect, and that's why they're doing it. I don't know what they're going to do next, but I'm sure having fun watching!

One thing I do know. No one has any business saying Jim Malcolm is incompetent

Last edited by monochrome; 02-23-2016 at 08:09 PM.
02-23-2016, 07:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
You call them incompetent. Jim Malcolm is one of the most respected executives in the photographic industry. I assert he knows exactly what he is doing and exactly why he is doing it. Looking at dpreview and the other review websites, that change of tone didn't happen in a vacuum. Ricoh Imaging reached out to them. Looking at the K-1 marketing micro sites, the sudden increase in professionalism, the correct English, distinctive graphics, the promises of content to come - that didn't happen in a vacuum. Ricoh spent serious money to hire a global brand image company to develop and write that. The lens testing lab idea didn't happen in a vacuum. It's a sophisticated idea, a way to leverage the unavoidable fact that there are 24 million legacy lenses in the marketplace. They know what they're doing. They're going to sell every K-1 they can make.

You don't know what Ricoh's marketing plan is. Neither do I. But indications are it is organized, thoughtful, realistic based on the damage done to the brand by Hoya - and allows Ricoh to control the message, something they HAVE to do at this point.

You and I don't know whether Tony might have his nose out of joint because he didn't get a free K-1 before dpreview. Maybe he competes with them. Maybe Imaging Resource got one and he didn't. Maybe Ricoh offered and he made demands Ricoh didn't want to meet. Maybe he's too video oriented. Maybe if Tony gets a K-1 200,000 people go into Best Buy, ask for a camera that isn't distributed there and give up on Pentax forever. Maybe Tony gets to be part of the rollout for the next product after the infrastructure is built. Maybe all kinds of things behind the scenes that Tony isn't telling and you don't know.

Pentax is not now and will never be CaNikon. Why should they market like CaNikon? They're guerillas. They're not doing what you expect, and that's why they're doing it. I don't know what they're going to do next, but I'm sure having fun watching!

One thing I do know. No one has any business saying Jim Malcolm is incompetent
Valid points, except I doubt Mr. Malcolm micromanages every single decision of every single department and Pentax' marketing has not exactly shone in the past. There is hope for that to be turned around, but they have a lot to make good on.

02-23-2016, 07:19 PM   #9
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If he's in NYC, Adorama (ARC) can surely rent him the camera for a low fee, if not for free given that he's a reviewer.

I believe Ricoh's own inventory of loaners is very limited. Hopefully they make loaners more and more accessible as they continue to make improvements to the US division.

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02-23-2016, 07:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
Valid points, except I doubt Mr. Malcolm micromanages every single decision of every single department and Pentax' marketing has not exactly shone in the past. There is hope for that to be turned around, but they have a lot to make good on.
Make good on? What did Pentax ever do to you?

Frankly, Pentax is so small in the USA that Jim Malcolm probably IS personally involved in these details.

They're doing much, MUCH better now than they were two years ago. Jim was astonished at how bad dealers relations were and how little of Pentax infrastructure remained when he took over. There was considerable industry buzz that Ricoh should simply go to a complete internet marketing model and broker North America altogether. Thankfully they've taken the long view and are investing the time and effort to rebuild.

A great deal hinges on the K-1. 645z is a signature, halo product. K-1 is a leader product that regular people can actually aspire to owning rather than just dreaming about. Marketing, at least in the USA, is much bigger than merely giving a camera to a weblog. You have to have product to distribute, dealers to distribute it and infrastructure to support the dealers. It's a complete corporate package. They don't have it yet. Ricoh will get there, but it will take longer and cost more than they thought.

Be patient. It's a process.
02-23-2016, 08:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Be patient. It's a process.
Seems like I was hearing that when I bought my DS over 10 years ago. Haven't seen it yet...not anywhere. Change doesn't happen unless you can see it. You can't see it unless money is spent...and so far it hasn't been spent. So you are saying this has changed? You got a copy of the budget we can see?

I'm not knocking Pentax, but I'm also not buying that they are on a marketing rampage. A free camera is not going to make much difference, so I'm not complaining about that, but a grassroots plan for making Pentax more visible and respected is not in my sight anywhere I look?

I don't know Jim Malcolm, never heard of him, and he could be a fantastic promoter for all I know...or don't know....but I can guarantee you that one man is not an army.

Regards!
02-23-2016, 08:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Seems like I was hearing that when I bought my DS over 10 years ago. Haven't seen it yet...not anywhere. Change doesn't happen unless you can see it. You can't see it unless money is spent...and so far it hasn't been spent. So you are saying this has changed? You got a copy of the budget we can see?

I'm not knocking Pentax, but I'm also not buying that they are on a marketing rampage. A free camera is not going to make much difference, so I'm not complaining about that, but a grassroots plan for making Pentax more visible and respected is not in my sight anywhere I look?

I don't know Jim Malcolm, never heard of him, and he could be a fantastic promoter for all I know...or don't know....but I can guarantee you that one man is not an army.

Regards!
Funny you should say that. I see green grass all over the place. The entire marketing budget was spent pricing the K-1 at $1,700.

Just wait for the reviews. Free marketing. DPR and IR were hints. They're the players that have earned (and demand) first crack. They got first crack and read how they responded - that's shoe leather marketing. We're so in the habit of saying Pentax makes great cameras but is a terrible company that we don't even think about what we're saying. I mean think about that. We ask them to make us a FF, they make us a jaw-dropping, $1,700 FF, and we still complain about video and EVF's and USB-3.0 and NFC and marketing. I don't care - sell me the camera. I hope I can get one by August the way it sounds like pre-orders are going.

Don't forget Hoya intervened and the Dealers have long memories. Don't forget the world changed. Don't forget when you start with almost nothing growth is still almost nothing.

The things we see are the last things a marketer does. You can't make a marketing promise that you can't deliver.

I was just re-reading a post I made almost three years ago after a 90 minute conversation I had with Jim. I was struck by how many strategic things we talked about have actually happened, and that he addresses some decisions as being tactical in nature, but hard to understand outside the context of the strategy. Sound like that might apply here?

I know this much. In about 2 months I'm going to see the K-1. That's about as real as it gets.

Here's a link to my post from May, 2013. Read the whole thing. There's a lot of information in the Comments and replies.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-23-2016 at 10:16 PM.
02-23-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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I bought my first Pentax DSLR, an istDS, at a brick and mortar store in downtown Seattle in 2004, every other piece of gear I've acquired since has been online orders, bought sight unseen.
To be fair that is not totally Pentax's fault. There are no B&M camera stores in downtown Seattle any more. At the time there were several local chains and Ritz, all have either folded or severely contracted. They're in the suburban malls, but no stores in the retail district downtown. All they know how to talk is Nikon/Canon. If they have Sigma and Tamron lenses, they don't have them in PK mount.
It seems odd for a major metropolitan area to not have a camera store in it's traditional retail heart.

Glazer's is in south Lake Union, depends on your definition of "downtown". They sometimes get used Pentax gear, but it's usually either 6x7 or 645 film gear.

I know of only one retail outlet in the Seattle metro area now that carries new Pentax (Kenmore Camera), and they are quite aways from me, difficult to get to.
Pentax has had no physical presence in Seattle for about 10-years now, Not sure most folks even know what the brand means.
Without any visible marketing, or presence in stores, I fail to see how anyone can defend their current marketing strategy.
I was in Victoria BC about 5-years ago, and stumbled into an off-the-beaten-path store, just out of the main shopping district, that had new Pentax gear on the shelves. If Pentax Canada can get into a store like that, why can't Pentax USA?

One of the best selling points I've found on Pentax's is how they feel in your hands. I've talked with other folks about them, and let them play with my cameras, they all like the heft and feel of them. How do people get to try one if they can't find one to play with?
When people ask me to recommend cameras, I have a tough time pushing Pentax on them. It's become a niche product, and not likely to be anything more, if people can't find them in a store.

A bit off topic, but had to be said.
02-23-2016, 09:46 PM   #14
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What if the dealers just don't want to carry Pentax? What if nothing you do or say will change their minds? You can't MAKE them carry Pentax. So they did guerilla marketing. They made a really interesting camera and priced it at a profit to Ricoh, yet 40% below it's competition, since they don't have marketing expenses, and they're going to take share from the last fat part of the dSLR market - FF. Same thing they did with 645z.

If the stores won't carry you, you don't have to pay the stores. And neither do your customers.

They're going to sell every single camera they can make and people will still be waiting in line to get one.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-23-2016 at 10:13 PM.
02-23-2016, 10:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
What if the dealers just don't want to carry Pentax? What if nothing you do or say will change their minds? You can't MAKE them carry Pentax.
Kidnap their spouses and kids! Bring in hookers and take compromising photos! No seriously, I agree. I think folks still don't appreciate how much damage was done during the Hoya years, or how impossible it is just to throw money at the problem and solve it quickly.

In 2006, I was standing on a subway platform in Boston, and a train went by with a huge Pentax ad on the side for the new K100D. The next year, Hoya bought Pentax, and I never saw anything like it again. Frankly, by 2011, new releases were sputtering out, and I genuinely thought we were one or two bodies away from The End. Five years later, we've had ten, soon-to-be-eleven K-mount bodies (some better than others, but all interesting), a dozen new lenses and half a dozen updated ones. If they've had to lean on Tamron or been slow to come up with original new designs, it's because of the brain drain Hoya inflicted on the lens team. The outlook for camera companies in general isn't rosy, so I don't blame Ricoh at all for keeping their hand on their purse and moving cautiously. They have made mis-steps, but I'm still willing to trust their judgement. We have come so very far that we can argue about marketing rather than worry about whether this one will be The Last.
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