Marketing to Interior Designers: Whose Advice Do You Take?
I was recently speaking with a designer who was ready to begin marketing to interior designers nationally and was even open to worldwide exposure.
She had created an appealing line of truly unique furnishings unlike anything I’ve seen of late.
I looked at her website and product photography and knew immediately that she would need to invest in better photography of her product to get the response and traction she was looking for from her upcoming marketing efforts.
After a lengthy discussion about her company and gently explaining that I felt she needed better images before getting on TODL, I referred her to a couple of product photographers who I knew would do an outstanding job on her pieces.
A week later, she called and wanted to move forward with getting her products on TODL.
I asked what happened to getting new photography.
She decided against it after talking with her business advisor.
She explained that her business advisor told her that spending a few thousand dollars on professional photography was not necessary – that he had done a lot of research and her images were just fine.
Now, let me be perfectly clear.
Her images were taken by an amateur. It was obvious.
These delightful pieces were photographed in a home or home office. Included in these images of her products were cords plugged into walls, furnishings, papers and things scattered about in the background of the shot; obviously not staged. To finish it off – the flash of the camera and lighting in the room created overexposed finishes in the foreground and heavy shadows everywhere else.
This is what her advisor told her was perfectly acceptable?
The only way this imagery could work is if she uses it to keep previous clients updated on new pieces. Clients who know her work and have been to her workroom could appreciate the piece photographed and be able to ignore the surroundings and/or image quality itself.
Unfortunately, her images will not inspire credibility or project specification by design professionals who are not familiar with her company.
The point here?
Advisors don’t always know everything. They are not your company, they do not have the drive, desire, inspiration or risk that you have every moment of every day.
Listen to yourself. Look, read and compare for yourself. Listen to others who have been successful themselves.
And any advice that limits you in:
- Professional images, website and collateral of your company or
- Your outreach & marketing to as many potential clients as possible
Well…. Just ignore completely.
If you’re marketing to interior designers, architects, facility managers and other design professionals don’t fool yourself – you need to have fantastic product and/or installation photography and you’ve got to get your brand and products seen – as much as you can and as often as you can.