2010 Was a Great Year at Pixmac
2010 was a year of maturity for Pixmac. We’ve maximized our effectiveness in marketing and found a bunch of new approaches. We’ve finally made it to black numbers which means we’ve been pretty successful in what we we’ve been doing.
What was 2010 about for the team?
Briefly – revenue grew 4 times (409%) compared to 2009. That’s a success. We’ve made it to the TOP10 of global microstock players by the end of the year.
Ok, make yourself comfortable, turn on some ambient music and prepare to dive into, and look back at 2010 with Pixmac!
We came with several smart ideas that show its results already. The majority of the competition haven’t started to use those platforms yet. On the other hand we’ve tried a few ideas that never started to work or were controversial. None of those are functional any more, but you can learn from our mistakes.
- We’ve launched a pilot project with image search engine similar to Google Images. The idea was simply to be seen on a place where people search for images. Unfortunately, those people are usually not searching for stock photos but rather search for “how does that thing look”.
- We’ve launched a project with a big media house. The idea was quite frankly to reach wide scale of people in short time. But even though it had visible results, you probably don’t want to know the price per acquired customer.
- We’ve tried to learn from user behavior by using a feature of CSS in a similar way as Google’s new marketing feature works. But we’ve found out that it’s easier to do it using Google’s technology and we’ve removed that feature from our site.
Honestly, it’s easy to get inspired by ideas that are clear on the first sight. But the problem is that when everybody does it, it get’s crowded. Luckily there are areas where Pixmac is fairly successful because there’s no competition. We’re not smarter than others. We’re just happy that we’re not fighting for banner space where the price doesn’t make sense. We love exploring new ways for others to follow. We love to fail. Without failing there’s no evolution.
During the third year of Pixmac existence we’ve maximized our effectiveness in marketing. We’re so crazy that we’ve even asked Google to tell us what to improve! And? Well, Google staff told us that there’s no space for improvement of our campaigns. Sad news.
Another great news of 2010 is local managers. The great team just couldn’t be better. Since Summer 2010 we have Simon Raybould in Toronto, Ontario on board taking care of North America. And that’s great because of the fact that Simon has his roots in Corbis and Getty Images in mainstream RM and RF product areas. Sure, he had the traditional perception of doing sales & marketing.
But Simon realized that even before we hired him. And he’s learning and changing a lot in the transition from the old to the new (akin to the move from traditional to microstock content). Which is great for both parties the end of the day. Simon and the team know where the future lies and the equation to get there: content+marketing+easy website+genuine customer service+character/personality = happy stock buyers
Importantly, we’ve really expanded our territories a lot. We’re currently active in 19 countries and we’re proud to have these great people at Pixmac (in order of appearance – and that means when they started with us, not their height!):
The core team
- Merja Leppinen, represented Corbis in Finland
- Frenk and Danielle, photographers from Netherlands
- Ania Menzel, photographer from Poland
- Daniel Wiedemann, photographer from Brazil
- Istvan Lorincz, photographer from Austria
- Jeremy Seo, South Korea
- Gilles Terver, worked for Image Source in UK
- Alfonso & Miguel, Spanish team
- Simon Raybould, worked for Getty in the UK, Corbis & Veer in Canada
- Guang Yao ZHU, China- Tamerlan Gamidov, Russia office
- Emmanuel Martinez, Philippines
- Peter Stevcat, Slovakia
- Alessandro Cattelan, Italy
We also have a great team in Prague taking care of the heavy load at Pixmac such as programming, marketing strategy, customer support. Crazy stuff.
A while ago our UX designer accidentally found and article recommending his work at Pixmac as a good example of grid design in .net Magazine somewhere in the south of UK.
We’ve been featured in top designer magazine Font in Czech Republic. In the beginning of 2011 Pixmac also took part in an interview in Visuell, famous german magazine focusing on stock photo agencies: ‘Pixmac auf dem Vormarsch!’ was the title. And we have also published a major Press Release about fairness in the industry.
We’ve also improved upload mechanism recently by adding ProStockMaster to the options how to effectively upload images to Pixmac. And we’ve refined the Visual Similarity Search to perfection that is not yet beaten by anyone. And for those who would like to see where we sell images an interactive map might help.
The year 2010 was not so positive for everyone. There were companies in the market that closed operations. Polylooks – where we’ve saved the photographer’s content. iSyndica – a platform for contributors that we were also using. Fotomind – where Pixmac was offered as an alternative for customers. They really did a great job and I thank them for being part of a great early era of microstock.
Last but not least I’d like to thank Ondrej Raska from Milton Investment for his continuous support and a great knowledge he gives everyone in the team and especially to me.
Early 2011 Storm
As you may know our growth is a bit faster than expected. Still I think there’s space for everyone and there is a lot of new markets and market segments waiting to be explored. On the other hand I understand some partners and their position.
My vision is that we are all on the same boat called ‘The Microstock’ and therefor it’s better to fight together rather than against each other. It’s a proven mechanism in traditional RF anyway. Obviously, small agencies like that idea rather than the big ones. I wish that changes. We will be working on that at Pixmac, that’s our promise.
During the stormy period I realized that having local managers is such a great thing! They are like a family. I owe them so much for the great support they all give me. Same with the Prague team. I’m getting addicted not only to Mate tea but more to the people in our team.
I’d like to quote Dee Hock here:
In time we came to believe that the essence of community, its very heart and soul, is the nonmonetary exchange of value. The things we do and the things we share because we care for others, and for the good of the place. Community is composed of things that we cannot measure, for which we keep no record and ask no recompense. Since they can’t be measured, they can’t be denominated in dollars, or barrels of oil, or bushels of corn – such things as respect, tolerance, love, trust, generosity, and care, the supply of which is unbounded and unlimited. The nonmonetary exchange of value does not arise solely from altruistic motives. It arises from deep, intuitive, understanding that self-interest is inseparably connected with community interest; that individual good is inseparable from the good of the whole; that all things are simultaneously independent, interdependent, and intradependent – that the singular “one” is inseparable from the plural “one.”
The nonmonetary exchange of value is the most effective, constructive system ever devised. Evolution and nature have been perfecting it for thousands of millennia. It requires no currency, contracts, government laws, courts, police, economists, lawyers, or accountants. It does not require anointed or certified experts of any kind. It requires only ordinary, caring people.
- From the book ‘One From Many’ by Dee Hock the founder of VISA
The demand for photos is high at Pixmac. The result of content rearrangement was better sales of our current partner’s and photographer’s content.
We’ve established a bunch of new partnerships with smart brains from Yay Micro, Deposit Photos, MonkeyBusiness, Implementar Films, CandyBox Photography, Keith Levit, Blend Images, Cultúra Creative, Image Broker, Datacraft, Ruberball and others. I hope Pixmac will help them grow.
I even began to contribute to other agencies to learn what the contributors feel every day. And I must say that there are huge differences in how the agencies make the uploading process easy and streamlined. And last but not least, we hired two dogs to help us with decision making
Interviews with great people
Finally I had more time to talk openly with people outside the company such as Lee Torrens, Yuri Arcurs, Tyler Olson, Jean-Marie Guyon and others. I should have make it earlier. I’ve got a pile of ideas to implement in 2011 which is great, because that’s the way each and every agency should work with feedback.
I must also thank all of you who already like, hate, use and contribute to Pixmac. It was challenging to work on Pixmac every day and I guess it’s going to be even more challenging in the future. So, if you like how we do it, please tell your friends about Pixmac!
And, one last thing, don’t forget to enjoy the rest of your life as much as you can!