The Marketing Mix: Product
Throughout your pricing and promotion work, you are working on a product range that you feel is the right one for your market. It’s an essential element for your business to succeed.
What do your prospective customers think of your products and how do you find out? Their feedback is ultimately the most important indicator of how you price them but also how you develop the product range and bring new ones to your range.
Trends in photography change quickly, it’s up to you to keep up with, and try and see the patterns.
In photography terms, there are any number of variables depending on which market you are going after and what your skill-set is, but there are a few examples below which will mean something to your particular business.
- As a wedding photographer, in-depth conversations with your couples are a natural process of each job due to the personal nature of their event. However, after the event, how much time do you devote to finding out from them what they thought? Their feedback on your behaviour, use of guests, location and time spent on certain aspects will greatly inform your next job.
- School photographers have a specific challenge of large frame shots as well as portraiture with potentially demanding or evasive subjects. Have you used the right language when speaking with children for example, or do parents prefer a particular style of photography and therefore likely to order more. It goes without saying but head teachers and their staff will give you the best feedback!
- If you are a budding sports photographer, shadowing and learning from the best is most likely your best approach not to mention honing your craft at local sports grounds. Feedback from subjects is difficult given the environment but perhaps getting the lowdown from match officials on best vantage points or cosying up to sports club staff to find a great spare seat could be the ticket to that
Future trends. Identifying what your customers are likely to want is probably the hardest part of researching and delivering the right product. Trends in photography change quickly, it’s up to you to keep up with, and try and see the patterns. What do people like to have on their walls at home; not that long ago canvas portraits were not that popular. Digital downloads are hugely popular now so you need to be able to move with the times and meet the customer needs.
Self analysis. A key skill will be being able to analyse your own skills, making sure you are up-to-date with the latest processes, techniques and equipment. Attending trade shows, signing up for training courses and sifting through information online and in print is vital to remaining current. Only then will your output be consistent or ahead of the rest of the market.
Finally, and perhaps most obviously, make sure what you are selling fits the market. There is nothing worse than trying to be a square peg in a round hole, chasing your tail and trying to reinvent something that is not there. Keep things simple and give the market what they’re looking for. This is your bread and butter, and a foundation to build new products upon.