Getting the true picture with Dynamics CRM
Formed in 2000, photonewzealand is a 100% New Zealand owned and
operated company based in Christchurch. From a starting objective
of bringing more Kiwi talent into the stock photography market,
photonewzealand today operate with eight staff and is New Zealand's
leading stock image library representing the collective work of
some of the country's top photographic talent.
Unlike many overseas based image libraries, photonewzealand
maintain a high level of personal contact with both their clients
and photographers, and this is critical to their success.
Not a very merry Christmas
You wouldn't think Christmas could be so painful, but sending
out cards to their top 100 clients saw this annual celebration
become an excruciating marketing exercise.
Photonewzealand were running two separate databases to manage
their business critical records and information. This meant that
producing essential data collated from the two sources was
difficult and time consuming.
Rob Lile, Managing Director of photonewzealand explained: "We
effectively had two different systems running, a sales and
licensing system which is our own proprietary system and then an
off-the-shelf CRM system. The two couldn't talk, they couldn't
integrate or synchronise so we basically ended up with double entry
of data. If anything was updated or changed we'd have to track the
changes in two places, which presented huge risks of the
information not being synchronised. We were always trying to run
reports out of two different systems without any valuable marketing
information being made available to us without a good deal of
effort. Addressing this issue was a fundamental part of our drive
for a CRM solution."
Choosing a solution, and a partner
As a small business photonewzealand could only commit to so many
new projects a year but they realised their CRM project had been
shelved for long enough. Rob was aware of a range of options in the
market, but attending a Microsoft Dynamics CRM presentation by
Koorb Consulting convinced him that this was the solution and
partner for them.
"After seeing the integration capabilities of Dynamics CRM which
would effectively put all our data on the same planet, and also at
our fingertips within Outlook, we decided that this was the
solution we wanted, and that it was commitment time," said Rob.
"They are an awesome team. Really on to it, very switched on."
We want it, and we want it now
The overriding requirement of photonewzealand was to have all of
their information available to them - on demand.
Rob explained. "We've got two main account managers who visit
clients in Auckland and Wellington. We wanted them to be able to
manage their clients better so that they would have information at
their fingertips. This in turn would dictate how they kept in
contact with them or what their call cycle should be. At a business
and a company level we needed to be looking at trends and where we
were going to be growing our business with different clients. I
don't think we had any goals that are very different from a lot of
people, but having all the information together was the big driver,
along with getting away from the duplication of client
Taking care of business
Like any customer-centric organisation photonewzealand like to
look after their customers, to ensure their needs are well catered
for and importantly that records of the rights to use any image in
a specific campaign were effectively captured. This ensures that,
for example, two banks don't end up using the same image, or that
an image isn't used on side by side billboards by different
advertisers. In what is often a volatile business it was easy to
lose track of relationships and lose years of investment in
"With Dynamics CRM," said Rob, "we can now not only track and
develop relationships with advertising agencies but also follow the
movement of agency staff and their clients. This ensures that
during a time of upheaval that we don't miss a business opportunity
by losing track of a regular contact."
Even more value has been added to the Dynamics CRM
implementation with the recent adoption of ClickDimensions.
Specially developed to integrate with Dynamics CRM,
ClickDimensions is a highly-rated, Microsoft-certified, email
marketing solution. It allows the user to gain more knowledge about
their prospects by monitoring their web behaviour to determine
their intention and origins. For example, did they get to your
website from a partner site, are they merely job hunting, or are
they a genuine lead? ClickDimensions provides the ability to
allocate leads to a nurture programme while allowing you to
instantly call back those who achieve a high lead score.
For photonewzealand this is all part of having everything on one
planet. "The most immediate benefit to us is that it brings all of
our email marketing into one central source of client information.
So we can unsubscribe there, we can create different marketing
lists. We can probably get a little bit more inventive with our
client communications now, and also our photographer
communications," says Rob. "ClickDimensions will enable us to
manage two different marketing lists and different email users. We
can do more on the emails to certain groups and engage the response
rates and again, add more information. It will make our marketing
Filling the gaps
Another issue to be addressed by the CRM is helping fill the
gaps in the range of photos photonewzealand have available.
"One of our perennial problems throughout the years," says Rob
"has been managing clients' on-going needs. So say the need is for
images of people working from their home offices, and the client
wants more to choose from as they expand their collateral targeting
those with home offices. Up until now we would manage that with our
account manager emailing me the request, then me managing a spread
sheet full of 'gaps'. From there I would send out either
newsletters or individual emails to specific photographers to see
if they will go out and shoot that sort of photo utilising their
connections and locations.
"With CRM what we've specified in the development is a function
where we can log a gap either against the client or just a general
one, where we describe the type of photography required and if a
specific location is required. If it is expertise specific, say
portrait work or underwater photography, we can then match the
requirement up with the right kind of photographer. Once the gap is
logged it can create an email to go to the photographers who match
the required criteria. This will automate the process a lot more
and subsequently stimulate the generation of the right type of
content into the library."
Working with CRM professionals
For David Watkins, Content and IT Manager for photonewzealand,
the entire process couldn't have been a more positive
"They are an awesome team," says David. "Really on to it, very
switched on and know what they are talking about. The sort of
business we're in is relatively unusual in New Zealand, so it's not
the sort of industry they were likely to have worked in before.
However they got their heads around it very quickly and were really
interested in learning about our business and then tailoring a
solution for our needs, as opposed to just saying one thing fits
David was impressed with how smoothly the project went from the
initial discovery process, then the project planning and financial
management through to the final delivery. "The communications were
very good both ways," says David. "They were very knowledgeable and
able to keep the project's momentum up, you could tell they knew
exactly what they were talking about, and were able to follow
through with it to the letter. They had to deal with some messy
data issues which we knew were going to be challenging, but they
just got on with it without complaining. If there were questions
they were never afraid to ring us and ask for clarification. The
level of interaction and commitment was impressive."
Although a relatively small implementation photonewzealand were
never made to feel that way. "We know that we are probably very
small in the grand scheme of things but they were always there for
meetings, and punctual," says David. "They responded promptly to
every email and every call. We never felt unimportant."
As photonewzealand continue to use Dynamics CRM it's obvious to
them that the potential of the solution will support them and help
them grow and strengthen client and supplier relationships, and
thankfully, a lot less painfully than previously.
The relationship with Koorb is mutually respectful and
appreciative. Although at arm's length from much of the day-to-day
interaction during the implementation, Rob recognised and
appreciated the leadership shown by Koorb's CRM team as
photonewzealand took its leap into the world of CRM. "I've been
incredibly impressed at how they've managed the entire process," he
said, "and especially how they managed us."
For more information on photonewzealand please visit their