Sunday, August 15, 1999

Idea: Mobile Telephone Style Marketing for Photography

Mobile telephone network companies (Sprint PCS, Pac Bell, LA Cellular) charge little or nothing for their hi-tech phones so long as their customers sign a lengthy contract (1 year +) for their phone network.

Film Developing providers, such as chain stores like WAL-MART, K-MART, RITE-AID, etc could charge little or nothing for appealing film cameras so long as their customers sign a lengthy contract for film developing with them.

Getting cameras in the hands of users can increase the potential that they take pictures, and the providers could increase revenue in film developing just like cellular telephone providers have increased revenue with more network use (more calls made). This also greatly increases the "walk-in" sporadic business of the chain store, as both dropping the film off and picking up the photos are a store visit (which is probably why most stores offer the service to begin with).

The problem with the idea is that the film developing providers have no way of enforcing that users develop their film only at their stores. However, the same problem exists with the Free/Cheap PC idea, in that the end users don't have to use the set-up ISP or start page portal.

The film development providers can enforce a certain number as the "minimum allowable film development" per year.

This idea assumes that photo-processing is something that chain stores anticipate existing for years to come. However, new digital means may allow end-users to "process" photos on their own. Ideally, no processing would be required in order to capture photos.

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