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Author Topic: How does Canon get input from photographers?  (Read 1855 times)

drmikeinpdx

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How does Canon get input from photographers?
« on: July 11, 2012, 05:23:15 PM »
I assume the Canon photography division, like any big consumer oriented corporation, has some sort of market research department.  Does anyone know how Canon figures out what their potential customers want?  Do they use surveys, focus groups, round table discussions, lurk on photography forums like this one?  It's a complete mystery to me.

Rather than speculate, perhaps someone here has had enough contact with the Canon marketing people to offer some insight?  If you know the answer, please state how you know.
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How does Canon get input from photographers?
« on: July 11, 2012, 05:23:15 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 07:05:31 PM »
I assume the Canon photography division, like any big consumer oriented corporation, has some sort of market research department.  Does anyone know how Canon figures out what their potential customers want?  Do they use surveys, focus groups, round table discussions, lurk on photography forums like this one?  It's a complete mystery to me.

Rather than speculate, perhaps someone here has had enough contact with the Canon marketing people to offer some insight?  If you know the answer, please state how you know.
All of the above, but a big input comes from some of the top professional photographers in the world who are given the Designation "Maker of Light"  Nikon has a similar class of top photographers.
These are the photographers and video makera who have won National and International awards for their photography, its not something you can apply for. you will be asked or nominated by another member.  Canon and Nikon provide lots of perks to them, first looks at new products, round table discussions with technical people and marketing people.
Forums like this really don't have much impact.

pakosouthpark

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 04:48:01 AM »
im sure they lurk around this forum every now and then!

but yeah they probably sponsor photographers  to, in return, get their opinion.

RLPhoto

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 08:54:23 AM »
When we stop buying there cameras, they look at what photographers want and determine the minimum effort to get us to purchase again.  ;D

unfocused

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 05:58:48 PM »
Most companies study their own sales figures first and foremost. They track those figures to look for trends and to see what is working and what is not. They study those figures to determine who is buying their product and build a profile of the targeted customer.

When you fill out the registration card for a camera or lens, you are helping them with their research. Years of experience gives them a good idea of what percentage of users actually register the product and the profile of those users.

Opinions are nice, but what really matters is what prompts a customer to open his or her wallet and that means looking at hard sales figures. Sales figures don't lie. Surveys do (or rather the people being surveyed do).

As for their competitors, they parse any available industry reports to see what the competitors are doing and to get clues as to what they may be doing in the future. Since these are publicly traded companies, they can check the documents that each must file with the respective regulatory agencies in the countries where the companies' stock is sold.

In the internet age, I am sure Canon and Nikon track the Amazon rankings and similar reports for competitive purposes. They have a distinct advantage over the rest of us, because they know how many units they have shipped/sold to Amazon. For example, if the D800 has an average ranking of #7 and the T3i has an average ranking of number #6, while the 5DIII has an average ranking of #8, they can pretty well pinpoint how many D800 units Amazon is selling.

They know what percentage of their total units are shipped to Amazon, so they can extrapolate what percentage of total units Nikon is shipping to Amazon.

That's just one tiny example. Bottom line though, is that the most important data they get is from sales.

With the high-end products (1Dx), Canon knows quite a bit about their customers and may have established personal relationships with many of them. As Mt. Spokane points out, some of these customers may even have a contractual relationship with Canon that allows Canon to access their opinions on the latest equipment Canon is developing.

With a new product, they may do focus groups. With a mature market, like DSLRs, they pretty much know what the customers will buy.

I give Canon credit. It appears that with the 5DIII they did some very focused research because the camera seems well targeted to wedding and event photographers. Just judging by the comments on this small forum, it seems that people who make their living shooting weddings have been very pleased with the 5DIII. A sign that they did some well-focused market research.

As a general rule, a forum like this is going to be about the last place a company looks at for research. Why? Well one of the cardinal rules of research is that you do not want the subjects to self-select. To be accurate, research of any sort requires that the subjects be selected randomly so that everyone in the target universe has a roughly equal chance of being selected. A forum audience is hopelessly skewed and is never going to be representative of the mass of users.

On the other hand, they very likely do conduct some type of "Google Alert" type monitoring to get a sense for what is making its way across the internet. For example, if they find that on 500 photography forums there is a sudden spike in the terms "Canon and White Rubber Grip" they know they have an issue that needs to be addressed. But, as far as reading individual posts on this or any other forum. Highly, highly unlikely.

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davehollandpics

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 08:00:34 PM »
The Camera Store in Calgary has received one 1Dx so far.  I am next on the list so I'll let you know when it arrives.  For what it's worth, I am CPS and heading to London.

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 10:49:05 PM »
The Camera Store in Calgary has received one 1Dx so far.  I am next on the list so I'll let you know when it arrives.  For what it's worth, I am CPS and heading to London.

Love your website. Nice work. The U.S. Olympic team should have hired you for their portraits. :)
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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 10:49:05 PM »

distant.star

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 02:03:31 PM »

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Market research, which is the fundamental question you've posed, encompasses myriad systems, methods, tactics, etc., most of which have not been mentioned here. Since I have just about zero contact with Canon marketing, I couldn't begin to answer your question specifically. And rather than write up a mini-seminar on marketing research in general and how it might suggest Canon policies, I'd want to know why you want the answer to this question.



I assume the Canon photography division, like any big consumer oriented corporation, has some sort of market research department.  Does anyone know how Canon figures out what their potential customers want?  Do they use surveys, focus groups, round table discussions, lurk on photography forums like this one?  It's a complete mystery to me.

Rather than speculate, perhaps someone here has had enough contact with the Canon marketing people to offer some insight?  If you know the answer, please state how you know.
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DCM1024

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 03:13:40 PM »
I received a survey from Canon for mirrorless technology. I have used several m43 cameras (now all sold as I prefer my DSLRs), so was able to give an opinion from personal usage.

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Re: How does Canon get input from photographers?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 03:13:40 PM »