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03-09-2018, 12:02 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by mohb Quote
Is it only monochrome and I who understand the logic in this?
No ;-)

03-09-2018, 01:30 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by mohb Quote
Is it only monochrome and I who understand the logic in this?
Lolol....I do too !

Last edited by Ronald Oakes; 07-23-2018 at 12:45 PM.
03-09-2018, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
That's a very good point and maybe I'm a bit too harsh on marketing. And yet.....

The first open question is: can marketing increase sales sufficiently to offset the cost of marketing? If Ricoh added $1 million to the Pentax marketing budget, what would they get, and would it boost sales? Ricoh's per unit gross on Pentax equipment probably is not high once you take out retail mark-ups, shipping costs, warrantee costs, and costs of goods sold -- maybe a $100-$300 dollars per camera? That $1 million would need to boost sales by say 3,000 to 10,000 units just to break even. And for marketing to actually create say another $1 million in resources for R&D, that campaign would need to boost sales by say 6,000 to 20,000 cameras. Can the campaign do that? I feel like marketing is no longer seen by many (how many people use ad blockers or simply avert their eyes to advertising). A social media campaign may be inexpensive, but that only reaches people who already know about Pentax. It's not effective at reaching those who don't know Pentax exists. And the marketing that is noticed is not trusted and is likely to foster insults and derision. Does marketing still really work to convince non-beleivers?

The second open question remains whether marketing can increase sales more that can some other uses of those funds. That same $1 millio might make much of a difference if used to crete better AF, a new lens, or an update to the K-3. If Ricoh is thinking about adding $1 million to Pentax corporate budget, is it better to put that into marketing or engineering?


We can only speculate on the rationale for Ricoh's strategy. Are they stupid to ignore marketing or do they have data that shows that marketing is not cost-effective relative to other uses of the money?
Well, in this case I think they have been very poor on the marketing front, so poor it's laughable. The people I've met in person were barely competent, knew little about the things they were marketing except what could be read in the press release. A demo I went to was also laughably poor. And the latest episode is this interview with whoever it is from Japan at CP+ . I've seen far livelier sculpture. This just won't do.

So, before I'd recommend what you seem to be suggesting, spending an additional cool million (although this is reminding me of Austin Powers' evil nemesis, Dr. Evil, and "ONE MILLION DOLLARS!" )
, I would challenge Pentax to do whatever marketing they are currently doing at the current budget, only henceforth do it competently. Today, in 2018, they could indeed do a great deal more with the money they have. Think: more Youtube demo videos, double them on Vimeo, collaborate with this site and a couple of others, put someone in front of the cameras for interviews who can show more liveliness in front of them (that's a skill, actually...so, find that person in-house and use him/her), get the guys at the booths with the gear and train them on it, do a bit more brochur-ing (it's not expensive today!), get the ambassadors either out into the field or do some videos with them, and more. None of that would cost that million dollars.

Here's a concrete example of bad marketing: one of my best and oldest friends is an independent rep for Pentax. This extremely experienced salesperson can't get samples to show the dealers in the territory. That's just completely pathetic. And, forget about a tech rep...good lord. And, I'm not really even talking about spreading the joy much past the faithful to begin with. Monochrome et al. do have a point, above. But why not solidify the base? And on the medium format side, Pentax could and should work to attract more sales, and they wouldn't be bumping up against Canon and Nikon.

Last edited by texandrews; 03-09-2018 at 03:31 PM.
03-12-2018, 11:46 PM - 1 Like   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I would challenge Pentax to do whatever marketing they are currently doing at the current budget, only henceforth do it competently. Today, in 2018, they could indeed do a great deal more with the money they have.
I've been around in marketing & sales in different sectors. To me it looks like Pentax is equipped with B2B industrial marketing skills to sell to the consumer market. Don't forget that Pentax used to be considered as an "engineering" company... and with Ricoh this hasn't changed much. But some people select Pentax for the good product without the marketing around.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-13-2018 at 12:03 AM.
03-13-2018, 02:51 AM   #80
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Pentax could do a better job marketing -- not necessarily traditional ads, but things designed to showcase their gear and how to get the most out of it. It reminds of the stories I have heard of when Procter and Gamble released Crisco on an unsuspecting market, their challenge was to get cooks to figure out how and why they should use the new stuff. They did so by releasing a cookbook "The Story of Crisco" which featured a bunch of recipes with Crisco in them. Pentax could easily do so with social media and you tube with relatively low cost. Truthfully, if they decided actually use the Pentax Photo Gallery, that could be a tool as well.

I don't know if Ricoh wants to grow the brand much. Certainly growth takes certain costs and for the time being they may be satisfied with steady sales. Either way, they are certainly not dead as a company.
03-13-2018, 02:00 PM   #81
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I dunno if anyone else here has a Ricoh product, like a Theta, but they seem to be a bit more on top of that product, at least in the US. Good app support, nice website for sharing images, etc. Must be a different group than Pentax.
03-13-2018, 02:58 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
I dunno if anyone else here has a Ricoh product, like a Theta, but they seem to be a bit more on top of that product, at least in the US. Good app support, nice website for sharing images, etc. Must be a different group than Pentax.
That's an astute point. When I first saw the Theta in person, at PhotoExpo 2016, not only was I impressed with it as a gadget (and I had previously thought it a bit of a joke...), but also with the Ricoh guy demonstrating it. He knew more about its capabilities than the Pentax guys around the corner did about any of the Pentax kit, as much as I could determine. The 645Z guys were just barely competent, which in my book was disgraceful for a product of that nature. I've done sales, and when I did I knew my products backwards and forwards (and the competition's, too!).
03-13-2018, 03:21 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
I dunno if anyone else here has a Ricoh product, like a Theta, but they seem to be a bit more on top of that product, at least in the US. Good app support, nice website for sharing images, etc. Must be a different group than Pentax.
QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
That's an astute point. When I first saw the Theta in person, at PhotoExpo 2016, not only was I impressed with it as a gadget (and I had previously thought it a bit of a joke...), but also with the Ricoh guy demonstrating it. He knew more about its capabilities than the Pentax guys around the corner did about any of the Pentax kit, as much as I could determine. The 645Z guys were just barely competent, which in my book was disgraceful for a product of that nature. I've done sales, and when I did I knew my products backwards and forwards (and the competition's, too!).
I seem to remember the Theta is handled by a different part of Ricoh Imaging that deals with a lot of commercial and government clients and prospects. I can't think where I got that from... perhaps discussion around the financial reports? Anyway, I think that's the case. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong...

03-13-2018, 04:01 PM   #84
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Pentax = classic engineering-centric idealism: "it you build a better mousetrap..."
03-14-2018, 08:28 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Check your assumptions.

In our recent user survey a full 50% of > 1600 respondents said that the either shoot only JPG or raw+JPG.
So pretty much half of Pentax customers want nice results ooC and do not want postprocessing.
So in camera processing does appeal to a whopping 50% of all their customers.

Compare that to the binary option to never again publish a K-3 successor. Definitely less than 50% care.
Compare that to the binary option to publish or not any sort of lens. Definitely less than 50% care.
Neither any single new lens nor a major camera release touches as many users.
Check my phrasing, it was clearly a question and not a assumption.

To answer my own question. I was informed in another thread that basically when the camera performs internal noise reduction more photo detail is preserved because it happens before the final write of the image data. Doing it in post reduces detail because it happens after the fact and doesn't have the same chance to correct images.
03-15-2018, 04:23 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
To answer my own question. I was informed in another thread that basically when the camera performs internal noise reduction more photo detail is preserved because it happens before the final write of the image data. Doing it in post reduces detail because it happens after the fact and doesn't have the same chance to correct images.
This is my hope. The accelerator chip is in front of the main one, so I think my hope is not a vain one. We'll see.
03-15-2018, 10:37 AM   #87
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Product placement is also a consideration. Put Pentax cameras in the hands of reporters that are in TV shows and movies for example. Apple did this a lot and still does it. I understand why various manufacturers use Nikon or Canon products when advertising their photographic equipment, but I think if Pentax can break through in this area it would help sales, and it wouldn't be expensive. Right now I can't recall any advertising (though I am sure there is) for aftermarket camera equipment that incorporates Pentax cameras.
03-15-2018, 10:58 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by GMounk Quote
Product placement is also a consideration. Put Pentax cameras in the hands of reporters that are in TV shows and movies for example.
I agree, but product placement is not free. A producer or art director can't just give a Pentax to a model or actor and keep the Pentax monikor on the top front plate visible unless Pentax pays an agreed upon fee as advertising (a.k.a. product placement). Even youtube monitors unauthorized use of trademarks and copyright infringement with T-shirts, hats, and certainly products.

The risk and price of getting caught is much higher than pre-negotiating a contract. The other issue is that because of Pentax's low volume production, it's not like they have a glut of spare DSLR bodies that are part of a loaner program.

When I was a Unit Stills Photographer in Hollywood, sometimes the Prop Master needed a camera at the last minute and would ask me to borrow one of mine. Whenever that happened, black camera tape was always put over the name of the camera in the shot. The same happens with cars and they either remove or hide the badging...unless it's paid for product placement.
03-18-2018, 01:51 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
*snip*

In our recent user survey a full 50% of > 1600 respondents said that the either shoot only JPG or raw+JPG.
So pretty much half of Pentax customers want nice results ooC and do not want postprocessing.
So in camera processing does appeal to a whopping 50% of all their customers.

*snip*
I'm starting to think that making a survey wasn't a good idea. And I'm not saying that because I don't like the results or something.
What I mean is, you're asking the most active part (0.5%?) of existing Pentax users (5% of the market?) in a shrinking market (?% of world population).

Canon's userbase (and what keeps the wheel turning for a big part) is the "Consumer electronics retailers bunch", the ones who buy the base model "on sale" with the kit lens.

Is it a sound business proposition to follow the wishes of 0.025% of the photography market, while risking to lose or not-gain the part of the market that will keep your revenue high?
03-18-2018, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Is it a sound business proposition to follow the wishes of 0.025% of the photography market, while risking to lose or not-gain the part of the market that will keep your revenue high?
Excellent point....however....the mass market these days is not even Canon DSLR, mirrorless, or even P&S owners. And smart phones, to compete against each other, are beginning to replicate higher end camera features such as RAW files.

We are certainly a niche within a niche of pros, prosumers, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. Within all segments, whether it is cars, smart phones, or DSLRs, I think the key is having an underpriced entry level product that hooks the user to eventually upgrading to mid and then flagship models. The bottom line for most users starts with price. The K-1 has been a relative success because of the price, but Pentax really needs a model in the same kit price range as the entry level Canikony models.
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