Considering (according to the adage) "a photo is worth a thousand words", it’s critical all photography conveys your business’ core message.
Boat manufacturers are among the biggest culprits when it comes to cutting corners on marketing efforts – and it shows in every aspect of their promotion. Given photography is a purely visual medium, it’s particularly obvious here.
It doesn’t matter how good your own camera might be or how much you paid for it, you will not get the same result as a professional photographer.
Knowing your target market
There are thousands of professional photographers out there and if you’re going to spend the money on having your product range professional photographed, it’s important to use a photographer that understands your industry.
Good photos must not only look good, they must convey the right message to your target market.
As an example, it defeats the purpose of claiming a boat is "built tough for offshore fishing" if the photo in the ad or brochure is of a young family towing a ski tube around a lake.
Similarly, if the business specialises in building family boats, it won’t strike the right chord with the target audience if the photo is of two hardcore anglers hauling a yellowfin tuna over the transom.
While it all sounds pretty logical, you’d be surprised at some of the photos that have appeared in ads, brochures and on corporate websites over the years. Fishing rods with no line on them and/or held upside down, and gilled/gutted fish being lifted onboard in a net are just a couple that spring to mind! That sort of stuff doesn’t communicate “this is a serious fishing boat” to anyone. What it does say is "we don’t understand ourselves or our target market".
Core message – again
We’ve discussed the importance of a "core message" in this column many times before… and here we go again.
Your core message must always remain the central focus in the development of effective marketing material. Be as creative as your ability – or that of your PR/design/photography consultancy – allows, as long as your intended message is loud and clear.
In the corporate management world it is widely believed that the future of a company is heavily dependent on how it is perceived by its stakeholders (customers, consumers, employees, investors, shareholders, community, etc). A good reputation is critical for any company and this needs to
be established, maintained and protected to ensure the long-term future of the business.
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