Behavior Is Changing Tech, Not the Other Way Around

Behavior Is Changing Tech, Not the Other Way Around


As an imaging retailer, when you consider the future of the mobile imaging world, it's not the advancements in smartphone technology you need to keep your eye on. It's how your customer's imaging behavior has changed, and continues to change, that should be getting the bulk of your attention.

And, as you already know, this isn't the first paradigm shift in imaging behavior you've been through. Nope, digital imaging technology dragged us all through that about 12 to 13 years ago when consumers first began pointing and clicking themselves silly with all those new digital cameras that had hit the market.

Let's see. They could instantly see the image they just captured so now they could immediately decide if they wanted to print it. They could shoot a lot more because they weren't limited by the number of exposures on a roll. They could share their pictures without making a print (I know, that one kinda hurt).

The point is, behavior regarding their memory keeping (capturing and sharing) had forever changed, and you adjusted your business accordingly. All I'm saying is, it's changing again and additional adjustment may be necessary.

While I'm not suggesting anyone ignore the technology, I just think trying to keep pace with it could put you away. It's that breakneck. iPhone, Android, Nexus, Wave—these are the latest smartphones that will battle it out in 2010 with 8MP to 10MP cameras and a host of other impressive imaging features making them all very viable picture-takers.

However, what we think is far more important and a bit easier to track is how consumer imaging behavior is changing…yet again.

While recording life's memories is still at the core of what imaging is all about to consumers, a large percentage of people today are expressing themselves through their images – revealing a little bit about who they are and how they feel about things. There's this personal branding thing going on that is being driven by the social networking phenomenon as well as mobile imaging technology.

This “Look at Me” generation isn't confined to the 15-to-30-year-old demographic. Take a good look a Facebook today. All the mobile postings of people doing things “right now” or from earlier in the day aren't all young kids—they're Gen Xers and Boomers too. The fact that people want to share their lives through images with even the most casual of social network friends is a major trend in this industry today.

It's like everyone has developed their own 24-hour news network and the images and video clips they capture are the content.

What I'm getting at is, maybe you have an opportunity to provide the commercials.

Michael McEnaney