Shifting Consumer Behaviors Requires Changes in Marketing Strategies

Ed Lee
Mar 5, 2013

With the rise in smartphone sales and the decline in compact P&S camera sales, the imaging industry has become a battleground between digital cameras and smartphones. InfoTrends recent digital camera and mobile imaging consumer research addresses key questions around changes that are taking place in consumer behaviors.

For example:

How is camera usage changing?
InfoTrends digital camera consumer research shows that mobile phones are fast becoming the camera used most often for everyday photos by more people, particularly younger adults. The camera on hand is the one that gets used more often. However, when it comes to photographing special occasions or events, consumers are still turning to their digital cameras. This is true across all age groups. Digital cameras are still favored over smartphones for planned photo events.

Figure 1: Camera used most often for Everyday photos

One of the drivers for past digital camera sales was the fact that they had become personal items, where everyone in the family had to have a camera of their own. Moving forward, InfoTrends foresees a day when digital cameras become “household” items; with a household owning one or two higher-end compact P&S camera and/or a digital interchangeable lens camera, which are shared by everyone in the household for memory keeping and special occasion photography. Smartphones will become an individuals’ personal camera, replacing many of the low-end P&S cameras.

How is photographer type changing?

Over the last few years, InfoTrends research has tracked a steady decline in the percentage of digital camera owners who consider themselves to be snapshooters/casual photographers (I take pictures for the fun of the moment, but not into photography as a hobby). InfoTrends believes that smartphones are a significant reason behind this shift, as more casual photographers are using their phones and not buying a digital camera. However, the percentage of hobbyist photographers (I enjoy the picture-taking process and understand the functions of manual controls on the camera) has been on the rise.

Figure 2: Changes in Photographer Types

This is good news, as it implies that digital camera ownership is shifting toward more serious photographers. Camera vendors and retailers need to consider adjusting their marketing and sales messages from entry-level casual photographers to photo enthusiasts. These photographers tend to shoot more photos, buy more expensive gear, and upgrade their cameras more frequently. They are prime targets for marketing campaigns that invite them to upgrade cameras, purchase additional cameras, or buy photo accessories.

Stay Tuned

These are just a couple of the changing consumer trends that camera vendors and retailers need to stay in top of if they are to safely navigate the turbulent waters in today’s market. For more insights about digital camera owners’ behaviors and attitudes, check out InfoTrends’ 2012 Digital Camera End User Survey report. Also, InfoTrends will be publishing a report on its 2013 Mobile Imaging Study later this Spring, so stay tuned.

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