In retail and finance, most people are familiar with the fact that “return on investment,” or ROI, is basically a form of cost-benefit analysis that measures the costs of a program against the financial return realized by that program. Simply put, is it worth it?
With so many options out there today, it can be difficult to determine the best way to invest in programs and publicity to bring in the highest returns for your efforts—financial and otherwise.
Do your customers respond to print publicity? Do you let all your Facebook fans in on weekly specials? Do you have legions of Twitter followers that wait to hear about upcoming exhibits and sales? Are e-mail blasts the most efficient way to reach the greatest number of people?
If that sounds like a lot of work and a lot of options, that’s because it is. The key is finding out what methods are most beneficial for your business and investing the greatest amount of time in those efforts. Along the way there will be too much time spent trying to figure out exactly what that is, but don’t get frustrated, it’s part of the process.
That’s where we are right now with Museums & More in that I’m wondering what communication methods can yield us the most beneficial return on our editorial and time investment. We currently have the print magazine, e-newsletter, e-mail blasts, Twitter and Facebook. I get considerably more feedback from certain methods than others, but my feelers are still out there to see if my other efforts are worth it.
Are they worth it? Are there certain ways to reach you and invite interaction that would be a better investment of our time?
Feel free to let me know via e-mail, phone, Facebook…well, you get the idea. Whatever works best for you!
Artist, Ray Hooper Designs
What kind of art do you create and what makes it unique?
I work in digital photography and my images are mostly of natural subjects. I capture close up views of the patterns, textures and reflections offered by Mother Nature. Currently I am focused on water, as I love the abstract reflections and refraction that the water creates. My images are unique views of our world that many people never stop long enough to see, much less appreciate. There is a lot of activity and movement in my work and it is difficult at times for the viewer to know what they are seeing. Viewers are exposed to the magic of that decisive moment in time when all the elements come together in perfect alignment.
What is your professional/artistic background?
In 1987 I earned a BS in communications with an emphasis in photography from Ithaca College. I ended up working in retail management and put photography behind me. Although I had developed a successful career in retail, I reached the burn out point in 1995 and realized that I needed to work in a more creative atmosphere. I switched from selling designer clothing to the picture framing industry. It was a great opportunity to be creative and earn a living.
Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2004 and had to leave my employment due to the horrendous side effects from treatment. After a few years of treatment I had managed to find a new normal and my creative forces were super charged. I had not picked up a camera to shoot fine art work in 20 years, but with the confidence of surviving breast cancer I decided to give digital photography a chance.
During chemotherapy my body was giving out, but my vision had changed and improved since being a student. In the wake of treatment my world slowed to a pace that enabled me to see more intricate views of nature. I am drawn to water - it's fluid motion and the reflections revealed are mesmerizing to me.
What is the most popular product you sell?
At the moment I have just released a 2011 calendar “Water” with Ray Hooper Design in NYC. So far it has been well received and I think it will eventually out-sell my fine art photographs. Until my introduction to Ray Hooper, my work has been sold only at art galleries. My images are giclee photographs printed on fine art paper and stretched canvas. Specifically it is the images of water that attract most people because they have never seen anything like it before.
What is your favorite part about working in this industry?
Sharing my vision and style with the world and receiving feedback has been my favorite part of working in this industry. I am amazed at the number of people that have an emotional response to my work. I am honored by the fact that I have touched so many lives with my glimpses of our world.
What advice do you have for retailers selling your product or artists trying to break into the industry?
Having worked all my life in sales, my best advice to any retailer is that they have to be excited about and believe in the product they are selling. It is important to know your product. In my case, the calendars and other products offered by Ray Hooper Design have great selling points. To name a couple — the products are green and made in America. In some instances my work sells because people relate to my personal battle with breast cancer.
What area of our new website
do you visit more often?
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