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  • Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

    Good marketing research can show what product will sell well in the marketplace. But the reality of marketing is that if you don't put your product where it can be seen and purchased, then all the research in the world won't help you.
    I believe that Olympus has finally shown us the direction that they are heading with their cameras. They have abandoned the entry market for "full sized" four-thirds and are leaving that segment with the "pro" option only. The "Pen" series is to be the "feeder" to the new OM-D series. While I believe that Oly is probably correct in the direction that their marketing research has indicated that they should follow, Olympus will never be the force that they could be if they can't get their entry level cameras into the entry level marketplace.
    To give an example, actually two, of their failure in this area i will use my daughter and her best friend. My daughter Amanda (I didn't know that she and her husband had been looking for a "decent" camera) and her husband, Scott, purchased a Canon Rebel. And her best friend purchased a Sony.
    The rational for these purchases was very simple. They were offered for good prices at Cosco and another "big box" store.
    If Olympus can't get their entry level cameras into the major retailers and big box stores , then they are missing a HUGE segment of buyers.
    The typical entry level buyer of a "good" camera is not likely to go to a "camera store", not even the large online stores like Adorama and B&H. They also are more likely to read reviews in magazines like "Consumer Reports" than "Popualr Photography".
    Walmart used to offer Olympus DSLRs in the E-xxx range but as Oly began to phase them out, they disappeared from the shelves. Actually I don't even see any P/S Olys in Walmart anymore.
    Having an outstanding product is NOT good enough if it isn't out there where the general public can see it.
    Sorry for the rant, but I have believed for a long time that Olympus's biggest problem is not in their cameras but that few people actually know how great their cameras are, and can only see them in limited locations.

    Jeff
    My grandson, Ian (not our own FTU Ian), calls me "Tata", so I am...

    Ian's Tata

    Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons...
    For you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

    http://ianstata.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ians-tata/
    http://www.edwardswaterhouseinn.com/ 2014, 2015, & 2016 TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence
    https://www.facebook.com/edwardswaterhouse

  • #2
    Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

    I am also concerned about the lack of marketing by Olympus. I usually walk by the camera section in any store I visit to see what is getting the floor space. Olympus point and shoot as well as DSLR cameras used to be present in the big box stores (Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) and the local chain and independent camera stores. These days, I rarely see an Olympus point and shoot, much less a Pen or DSLR, in any of the big boxes or chain camera stores. There is only one independent camera store in our area that carries very much Olympus gear at all.

    Unless there is a big change in Olympus's sales and marketing, I think it will be a real challenge for me to see an E-M5 in person. Not trying to be a troll or negative, I'm just a concerned Olympus enthusiast with a good bit of four thirds gear.
    Dan Lang

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

      There is an old saying in real estate that relates to business... "Location, location, location!" Meaning that you can have the greatest idea ever for a business, but if nobody can find you then you won't be successful. And the ideal situation would be if people can find you when they aren't even looking for you. This is a very important point that I believe Oympus has been neglecting for a VERY long time.

      Jeff
      My grandson, Ian (not our own FTU Ian), calls me "Tata", so I am...

      Ian's Tata

      Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons...
      For you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

      http://ianstata.com
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/ians-tata/
      http://www.edwardswaterhouseinn.com/ 2014, 2015, & 2016 TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence
      https://www.facebook.com/edwardswaterhouse

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

        Originally posted by Ians Tata View Post
        There is an old saying in real estate that relates to business... "Location, location, location!" Meaning that you can have the greatest idea ever for a business, but if nobody can find you then you won't be successful. And the ideal situation would be if people can find you when they aren't even looking for you. This is a very important point that I believe Oympus has been neglecting for a VERY long time.

        Jeff
        The Olympus Pen series is displayed and sold in Best Buy, but it does not get the prominence of Canon and Nikon. The late Circuit City stores did sell it rather prominently, but we all know what happened to them.

        An important factor is how much the stores get for product placement (i.e., how much of a discount the retailers get or outright payments from the manufacturer). Has anyone seen how much Canon/Nikon/Sony pays for these?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

          This does seem to be a problem outside of Japan as Olympus is currently the compact system camera leader there.

          Also, Panasonic finds it extremely difficult to find success in the USA. This used to be the case in the UK, but they are now doing very well here, where a small number of big retailers dominate the market.

          Sadly, these retailers in the UK tend to stock and promote things they want to sell us rather than what is best for the customer!

          Ian
          Founder/editor
          Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
          Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
          Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
          Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
          Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
          Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

            they have made couple of nice web pages and the latest is http://olympusomd.com but if there are no ads on other sites that would direct users there then it's a waste of money
            E-1; E-520; E-M10; ZD 14-42; ZD 35+CIR-PL; ZD 40-150; FL-36R; Metz 52-AF1

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

              Originally posted by Ian View Post
              This does seem to be a problem outside of Japan as Olympus is currently the compact system camera leader there.

              Also, Panasonic finds it extremely difficult to find success in the USA. This used to be the case in the UK, but they are now doing very well here, where a small number of big retailers dominate the market.

              Sadly, these retailers in the UK tend to stock and promote things they want to sell us rather than what is best for the customer!

              Ian
              One of the issues with Panasonic in the U.S. is keeping their cameras in stock :-)

              I noticed that the OM-D E-M5 was ranked #2 in popularity on Amazon earlier on Saturday in cameras.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                I agree about the marketing; I can't get my head around the constant change in the Pen line-up and how this is good for existing users. As Ian states Olympus are the leading brand in some domains, but in others they are almost extinct. They have also let many users down in the past with the OM brand. Now it could be the 4/3 user if the DSLR or equivalent does not allow the use of existing 4/3 lenses. I for one don't want to have to use an adapter on expensive SHG lenses to make use of a new Olympus camera body.

                Taking a leaf out of Leicas' marketing strategy, they keep the quality high, price high and exclusivity high; I imagine they are profitable. Olympus are somewhat similar, but don't have the 'want' factor that Leica do. For me they are alienating some existing users with their current direction.

                I'm luck I can and do run several systems now and will continue for a while. I'm looking forward to the OM-D and seeing it's capabilities, I'm more interested in the models that follow though. If Olympus run the same strategy with the OM-D as they have with the Pen then there will be several new models and improvements of the OM-D in the next 18 months.

                Paul

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                  Originally posted by WPJ View Post
                  I agree about the marketing; I can't get my head around the constant change in the Pen line-up and how this is good for existing users. As Ian states Olympus are the leading brand in some domains, but in others they are almost extinct. They have also let many users down in the past with the OM brand. Now it could be the 4/3 user if the DSLR or equivalent does not allow the use of existing 4/3 lenses. I for one don't want to have to use an adapter on expensive SHG lenses to make use of a new Olympus camera body.

                  Taking a leaf out of Leicas' marketing strategy, they keep the quality high, price high and exclusivity high; I imagine they are profitable. Olympus are somewhat similar, but don't have the 'want' factor that Leica do. For me they are alienating some existing users with their current direction.

                  I'm luck I can and do run several systems now and will continue for a while. I'm looking forward to the OM-D and seeing it's capabilities, I'm more interested in the models that follow though. If Olympus run the same strategy with the OM-D as they have with the Pen then there will be several new models and improvements of the OM-D in the next 18 months.

                  Paul
                  Well, Olympus has already provided the MMF-1 adapter (replaced by the MMF-2) for using the 4/3 lenses from the introduction of the Pen cameras. I have one and it works fine given the speed hit from the difference in focusing software techniques between the 4/3 and m4/3 camera lines. They are also providing a MMF-3 weather-sealed version with the new OM-D line.

                  Panasonic also provides a 4/3 to m4/3 adapter which often is slightly less expensive than the MMF-2.

                  Both Olympus and Panasonic have introduced many new models of their m4/3 cameras as this market is competitive and rapidly evolving (plus there have been many other mirrorless camera lines introduced following the m4/3 lead). The competition and rapid technological advances in the field make it rather different from the gradual evolution of cameras in the 35mm SLR days.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                    Originally posted by WPJ View Post
                    I agree about the marketing; I can't get my head around the constant change in the Pen line-up and how this is good for existing users. As Ian states Olympus are the leading brand in some domains, but in others they are almost extinct. They have also let many users down in the past with the OM brand. Now it could be the 4/3 user if the DSLR or equivalent does not allow the use of existing 4/3 lenses. I for one don't want to have to use an adapter on expensive SHG lenses to make use of a new Olympus camera body.

                    Taking a leaf out of Leicas' marketing strategy, they keep the quality high, price high and exclusivity high; I imagine they are profitable. Olympus are somewhat similar, but don't have the 'want' factor that Leica do. For me they are alienating some existing users with their current direction.

                    I'm luck I can and do run several systems now and will continue for a while. I'm looking forward to the OM-D and seeing it's capabilities, I'm more interested in the models that follow though. If Olympus run the same strategy with the OM-D as they have with the Pen then there will be several new models and improvements of the OM-D in the next 18 months.

                    Paul
                    Leica's business model is completely different. They rely on tiny quantities sold at very very high prices to a very select clientel. Leica sells just a few thousand M-series rangefinder camera and lenses a year. They sell many more re-badged Panasonic Lumix cameras but the numbers remain very small, probably only tens of thousands, possibly low 100,000s per year. Olympus is a medium sized global player selling millions of cameras a year.

                    It's a chicken and egg situation to some extent. The success of the brand is the responsibility of the local country agent as well as the parent company and of course the products it makes. Some of these agents are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Olympus, but many aren't. How much you can spend on marketing is dependent on how much money a) the company is earning and b) how much it expects it can earn. Many marketing campaigns (not necessarily only Olympus) fail to meet expectations.

                    The other problem is the sales channel - here in the UK the channel is not very competitive. There are some small independent players and a smaller number of very big players. I personally feel that the bigger players like Dixons (Currys/PCworld/Pixmania), Comet and Argos perennially fail to stock the right mix of product, preferring to offer what they have negotiated the best deal on for themselves. It's probably similar in other countries although my experience of similar retailers in the US is much more positive.

                    Interestingly, Samsung spends little on marketing its NX range here in the UK and this is reflected in its sales figures. Olympus UK spend goes up and down - Hollywood star actor Kevin Spacey was hired to launch the Pen in the UK, for example. Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon and Samsung spend the most on marketing digital cameras in the UK (though Samsung spends relatively little on the NX, as previously mentioned).

                    In the past Olympus has been a big spender - especially in the heyday of the OM system. Let's hope that success breeds success so marketing can be strengthened.

                    Ian
                    Founder/editor
                    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                      When I think of where I am always seeing Canon, Nikon and Sony, I never see Olympus. The sole exception is the U. S. Open (tennis). Canikony has advertising all around sporting events and in sports magazines. The average person then thinks... "If I want a serious camera to get these kind of shots, I need that brand.
                      But I think the ultimate publication is the one that is most respected for photography. Sitting in a waiting room looking at all the glorious images (does anyone read the stories?) in "National Geographic", there are always at least one two page spread from Canikony and more smaller ads. These large ads feature glorious images in them too. The message sent is that you need thier camera to get these great photos. I know that there are National Geographic photographers using Oly equipment but the impression (with the average guy on the street) is that serious photographers only use Canikony.

                      Jeff
                      My grandson, Ian (not our own FTU Ian), calls me "Tata", so I am...

                      Ian's Tata

                      Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons...
                      For you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

                      http://ianstata.com
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/ians-tata/
                      http://www.edwardswaterhouseinn.com/ 2014, 2015, & 2016 TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence
                      https://www.facebook.com/edwardswaterhouse

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                        Bankruptcies over the last ten plus years have hurt Oly more than the others. Wolfs Camera was the first big one, yes all suppliers to Wolfs lost out when the court OKed Ritz purchase of Wolfs, including the inventory, but none of the liabilities. Olympus demanded Ritz pay them for that Wolf inventory or send it back. Ritz said No, and the law is on Ritz side! Oly pushed hard, too hard to get paid & Ritz dropped Oly from their 1000+ stores, so now the largest dealer in the USA doesn't sell Oly!
                        A few years latter, Oly gets back into Ritz, great news for Oly, right? Stocking all the stores is a big order & Ritz wants extra time to pay. Before payment, Ritz files for bankruptcy, the next week Olympus lays off 95% of it's sales force in the US! Same for Circuit City!


                        So why even bother take the chance with USA bricks and mortar


                        Originally posted by Ians Tata View Post
                        Good marketing research can show what product will sell well in the marketplace. But the reality of marketing is that if you don't put your product where it can be seen and purchased, then all the research in the world won't help you.
                        I believe that Olympus has finally shown us the direction that they are heading with their cameras. They have abandoned the entry market for "full sized" four-thirds and are leaving that segment with the "pro" option only. The "Pen" series is to be the "feeder" to the new OM-D series. While I believe that Oly is probably correct in the direction that their marketing research has indicated that they should follow, Olympus will never be the force that they could be if they can't get their entry level cameras into the entry level marketplace.
                        To give an example, actually two, of their failure in this area i will use my daughter and her best friend. My daughter Amanda (I didn't know that she and her husband had been looking for a "decent" camera) and her husband, Scott, purchased a Canon Rebel. And her best friend purchased a Sony.
                        The rational for these purchases was very simple. They were offered for good prices at Cosco and another "big box" store.
                        If Olympus can't get their entry level cameras into the major retailers and big box stores , then they are missing a HUGE segment of buyers.
                        The typical entry level buyer of a "good" camera is not likely to go to a "camera store", not even the large online stores like Adorama and B&H. They also are more likely to read reviews in magazines like "Consumer Reports" than "Popualr Photography".
                        Walmart used to offer Olympus DSLRs in the E-xxx range but as Oly began to phase them out, they disappeared from the shelves. Actually I don't even see any P/S Olys in Walmart anymore.
                        Having an outstanding product is NOT good enough if it isn't out there where the general public can see it.
                        Sorry for the rant, but I have believed for a long time that Olympus's biggest problem is not in their cameras but that few people actually know how great their cameras are, and can only see them in limited locations.

                        Jeff
                        "composition; the rule of 4 thirds"

                        "living life to the Four Thirds"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                          Originally posted by Ian View Post
                          Sadly, these retailers in the UK tend to stock and promote things they want to sell us rather than what is best for the customer!

                          Ian
                          I would think that, like in the US, floor space is bought at the big box stores. When you see those displays for the Sony mirrorless cameras at Best Buy, that's because Sony has coughed up loads of cash to get better floor space.

                          Originally posted by WPJ View Post
                          Taking a leaf out of Leicas' marketing strategy, they keep the quality high, price high and exclusivity high; I imagine they are profitable. Olympus are somewhat similar, but don't have the 'want' factor that Leica do. For me they are alienating some existing users with their current direction.
                          Originally posted by Ian View Post
                          Leica's business model is completely different.
                          Leica camera doesn't make any money.

                          Originally posted by hard as snails View Post
                          So why even bother take the chance with USA bricks and mortar
                          Well, you bother because now more than ever, more and more Americans buy their cameras from very uninformed sales people at Best Buy.
                          ~Reggie

                          Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

                          Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

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                          • #14
                            Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                            i am totally agree with you. i believe the olympus have them all, let's say their vision about digital camera, their high quality product, even the image quality is superb. i only feel really sorry that they don't have good marketer. for example : the Olympus E3 is the world first Pro (grade DSLR - Weather Shield) with swivel LCD but just looked at how the promote it through magazine.. the just show the E3 with swivel LCD facing forward and with splash of water all over the body and lens.. unlike the EOS 60D the show picture with very low angle (so it show how the swivel LCD use for) and also with the tag line : New Prespective. once again it just show how incompetence of their marketing..

                            and i am so sad that when my friend ask me about what is the good entry level DSLR do you suggest ?, i really sad because olympus don't have anymore.. even when i try to tell them about the new mirrorless system it really takes time just to explain that the image result is equally better than the entry level DSLR.. i believe, it is because for some new user that the want to upgrade from compact camera, they want to feel the sensation of DSLR, but they even don't understand about the image quality.. and they want the faster response of DSLR..

                            i think olympus big gambling by abandoning the entry level DSLR maket is too big.. even now they have OM D : EM-5, the price is to high for someone never know what M4/3 is..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Oly Marketing... Research and Reality

                              Reggie B (really good to hear from you again) really says it all. In order to get space in stores, whether you are selling cameras or potato chips, you HAVE TO BUY the space. Yes it can be seen as a bribe, but that is the way it works in retail, because there is ONLY so much space available. If you are unwilling to pay for the shelf space, then nobody sees your product,but for Oly it goes beyond that. Nobody is going to look for the product if they DON'T KNOW it exists. Olympus HAS great cameras but FEW know it. even fewer know just how many truly GREAT photographers use them.
                              Another point, I was just reading today about new LG smart phones and the funny thing was that one of the PRIMARY selling points was the 4/3 viewing format. The ratio for other DSLR's, below full frame is totally unsuited for anything other than a 4x6 print.
                              I also will continue on Oly's decision to COMPLETELY abandon the entry level DSLR market. If they had done this a few years ago, I would not have found my way here, which I am VERY grateful for.

                              Jeff
                              My grandson, Ian (not our own FTU Ian), calls me "Tata", so I am...

                              Ian's Tata

                              Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons...
                              For you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

                              http://ianstata.com
                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/ians-tata/
                              http://www.edwardswaterhouseinn.com/ 2014, 2015, & 2016 TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence
                              https://www.facebook.com/edwardswaterhouse

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