I asked a question in my recent blog about how people interact with camera manufacturers when choosing a new piece of equipment. It led to a few interesting comments on Twitter about how people use social networks to source information, but not necessarily with any engagement from the manufacturers.
Growth in the global photographic products market is expected to accelerate at a rate of more than 3 per cent annually, bringing the market to over $65 billion by 2015. If you combine this with the consumer demand for constantly evolving technology including wireless connectivity, HD video, advanced zoom lenses, and touch screen user interface then the growth in this market is enormous. It’s becoming essential for the camera manufacturers to think about this growth in their own marketplace connects to the social web.
After all, where do people turn to for advice today? Of course, it’s the Internet. Price comparison sites, recommendation or review sites, and just plain old social networking on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The search for information is now a part of the overall customer experience. Shopping around has become research and this process is especially important for those who sell complex equipment, such as cameras and lenses.
It has become normal for customers in all retail sectors to now seek information online – retailers are embracing multiple channels and building communities, but are the product manufacturers as advanced? I predict that the first major camera manufacturer to really embrace social media and make the research process a step on the way to owning that camera will gain market share in a way they could never have imagined even five years ago.
Photo by Deep Warren licensed under Creative Commons