Nikons Frank Zuidweg agrees print is ideal to communicate with customers

Submitted by: Tasneem Mahbub 19/05/2017

The Marketing Coordinator of Nikon Professional Services at Nikon Europe explains why print is ideal to communicate with its customers – professional users of Nikon camera equipment.

“High quality print has a strong ability to show fine details, richness in colour, fine tonal nuances and much more”

Which ways do Nikon Europe use print for their professional market?
For our professional audience we continue to use direct mail and product leaflets for in-store and exhibitions. Most importantly however, we continue with our customer magazine, Nikon Pro, which we produce in four languages and ship to 29 countries worldwide.

Why do you use these print channels?
For some purposes, digital communications are perfect, but digital is a very volatile medium. Photographers still operate mainly in the print format and they strongly appreciate printed images, so the best way to connect with them is by showing off the stunning results that can be achieved by using Nikon equipment. High quality print has a strong ability to show fine details, richness in color, fine tonal nuances and much more. Also, readers of the magazine find it aspirational, so they want to try to take those kind of images themselves, which obviously leads to sales.

Why does the print version of Nikon Pro remain more popular than the digital?
In addition to the power of printed images, I think it’s the longevity, collectability, and portability of the magazine. Photographers really love the print magazine. Although it’s fundamentally a marketing tool, the magazine speaks to the customer in such a way that they never feel like they’re being sold something. That’s very difficult to do with digital.

What role does print have in the internet age?
Although the internet is perceived as very customer friendly, I cannot imagine a higher level of convenience
than receiving a magazine to your door automatically. You can do so much with tablets, phones and digital devices, but there’s only one thing you can do with a printed magazine, and that’s read it. There are no distractions. For our professional users, digital media has a very strong connection to their daily work. Many spend long days behind their screens, editing images, replying to email, and much more. In comparison, a well-made magazine with quality content can be an excellent reason to sit down, relax and enjoy the content.
Another possible reason, especially for photographers, is that print pays more. If you’re a fashion or wildlife photographer, you can make more money in print through magazines, calendars, exhibitions, books and fine art. If you look at David Yarrow’s work, for example, it demands to be printed in large scale to be fully appreciated.

Is print the natural way for Nikon to communicate with its customers?
Our products are used for producing both digital and printed output, so I think both of those mediums have a place. However, a lot of digital advertising can only be as big as a tablet screen and most is dismissed as an annoyance. Even if such communication contains quality images, the chances are that you will lose your readers’ attention instantly. But if you have something in print and you’re reading it, you have already made an investment in it. Printed media may currently be undervalued, but people will soon realise the benefits of print again.