Brands & Retailers can no longer afford to cut corners when it comes to their digital content development strategy for any of the channels where their products are sold. The cost & amount of time it takes to develop A+ content has become a significant bottleneck for companies across many different industry verticals.
Join us for a roundtable discussion that will focus on helping brands & retailers bridge the gap between traditional forms of photography & content creation with new methods of visual merchandising that can improve digital imagery and increase conversion rates.
BWG Connect & Nfinite invite you to participate in an interactive discussion with your peers.
As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.
VP, Americas at nfinite
Mark Buckingham is VP Americas at nfinite, a product visual creation platform disrupting the eCommerce product visual market. He has been a highly successful senior sales executive and sales manager during his 20 years of work with startups, large enterprises, and global accounts. Mark was trained as a geophysicist and earned dual-MBAs in international business and marketing. His wealth of industry experience has allowed him to thrive with varying technologies in numerous industries.
Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect
BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
For marketers, imagery has become more important than positive reviews when it comes to inspiring a customer to act. How can a business get enough quality images in a short period of time to sell products?
Five quality images are generally the minimum required to inspire a potential customer to buy something. Producing these images can be a major struggle for businesses with so many other things to worry about. Should they use real photos or computer-generated imagery (CGI)? Should they hire someone for this or use an agency?
In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Mark Buckingham, VP Americas at nfinite. They talk about the benefits of using an agency to produce CGI that will allow potential customers to visually experience a product or service and will ultimately be the reason they decide to buy.
Aaron Conant 0:18
Happy Thursday everybody my name is Aaron Conant, I'm the CO Founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands to do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is, is shaping the digital landscape and performance in it as a whole. I talk with 30 plus brands a week to stay on top of those Digital Trends would love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today you know that's how we get the topics for calls and it's also how we get you know, spread additional information across the network as a whole. So you know, look for an email after this we'd love to have a conversation with you a couple housekeeping items as we get started. Number one we want this to be as educational informational as possible so at any point in time we have a question drop in the question section drop into the chat or you can email it to me Aaron firstname.lastname@example.org for that one it's an hour after the call tomorrow next week whatever it is you ever have a question in digital space don't ever hesitate to reach out we've got 1000s of brands in the network we can pull in usually get you an answer back pretty quickly. The other thing is we're kicking this off at three to four minutes after the hour and we're going to wrap it up with three to four minutes in the hour to go as well we're gonna give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late and I think that's that's about it for the housekeeping items that I want to kind of kick this off from the standpoint of you know, what do we see going on what we've been hearing a lot about as a whole and it is content we're at a next level here with content you know if you think about even two years ago the basic stuff it were okay Did you have bullet points if you have five images maybe you had a video you had a set a stack that you recycled through Facebook or Instagram or wherever it was and then COVID hit and content was consumed faster than it's ever been consumed before new creative new demands different platforms that you're trying to advertise in and you know what I've been hearing a lot was like a big chunk of my budget now is content I can't pay people to create it fast enough how important is it should I keep Should I over index is it worth paying people on it and it has come up over and over again we got some great friends partners supporters the the network as a whole over an nfinite and they just agreed to jump on the line today kind of spread it a little bit of what the inside scoop of what they're seeing the importance of content and then also answer any questions that we can throw at them across the board around Hey What's next? What's coming up what do we have to prep for you know, what should we be aware of in this space as a whole so anyways mark, I'll kind of kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and nfinite that'd be awesome and then we can kind of jump into the
Mark Buckingham 2:57
let me just share this for 10 seconds while I share my screen thanks Aaron. So nfinite is a company that specializes Can you see that screen already? Yep, yep perfect specializes in getting you those visuals. And Aaron says hey everybody knows you need five plus there's still a lot of people out there maybe some of you on this webinar right now that are struggling to get to your five plus images and I've even had some customers or haven't had any customers tell me this I've had had them tell me that their budgets have being cut because it's going towards container shipping costs but they're still able to get their assets they need it's some of the potential clients we're talking to you right now they're like now I got to really do a whole lot more with less money so maybe some of the other folks are in that boat as well. And you know as you said hey it takes five images just to get in the game and I need them for every channel under the planet I need more and more I need better quality and he do address all my segments it just gets to be you know an incredible rinse lather repeat do loop that you know I call it like the content loop from hell. It just keeps ratcheting up on you. Let me grow one more here. And no, no, no surprise here because you see, hey, I was shocked to find out that it went past ratings and COVID the impact your visuals used to you know, we always knew it. That's why you know 15 years ago, McDonald's put a picture of a Big Mac on their menu instead of the words Big Mac because people just went to it the speed you process visuals versus words. But we surpassed ratings. We I mean content surpassed ratings imagery over the COVID to drive those sales and thus, you know the need to get more and more assets right?
Aaron Conant 4:53
Yeah, I mean it's interesting, right? Um, you know, if you look back 18 months ago or so, This huge focus and we had routine calls on it is leveraging ratings right ratings reviews, how do we get more? How do we monitor? How do we respond? What's the importance? That was above product images and photos? And now it's below it is that? I mean, I understand the content piece. I know a lot more on mobile, and people are swiping through it. But you know, how much of that is tied to, you know, a lot of the rating stuff that goes on with Amazon, right, the, you know, a new seller pops up, and they immediately have 5005 star reviews. Do you see that? That the rating reviews? Although important? Do you see like, you know, I don't know, do you see that losing importance? Or do you see it kind of like hanging steady here from the star rating standpoint?
Mark Buckingham 5:45
You know, the VPS of eComm, I talked to tell me, it's, it's there, it's still very important. But there is always that skepticism, you know, is this a real reviewer, right? Where the imagery, and I think it's because of, you know, we all know that the mobile experience, you just, you can't read words on these things, right, and you're doing something on the fly, I need the picture to convey the message, right, and it might be a composite, you might want to put your product in the proper experience that addresses that segment, which of course, means I need a lot more, I need a lot more scenes with my products in it that can address you know, all the different segments that I'm trying to reach. Right? Yeah. No, awesome. I mean, you know, we, our customers tell me before I joined, you know, the eComm folks would always tell me, and I've been in content management, publishing creation for a couple decades, the more assets we have, the more revenue drives up, particularly, you know, I want to AV test, if I've got one lifestyle or two lifestyle, what am I testing? Right? Now, if I have six 810, then I can start, Hey, does this by a pool make a difference versus, you know, the living room in Oklahoma or the living room in Manhattan or the living room in Miami, right? give me give me either something that aspires me inspires me to go purchase it, or makes me feel like you know, my business. So as you drive the assets, I mean, a lot of people want to talk to us, because we just dropped cost and time out of the system. We're always about, yeah, that's the low hanging fruit, the high, the high, the high fruit is driving your revenues. At the end of the day, you can only save 100% of cost, right? But if you're, you know, you're selling 100 million or a few billion every time you take that up a percent. It's pretty significant.
Aaron Conant 7:44
Yeah, but what's interesting there, though, just in your comment is, so what you're seeing is it's not just having more content on the site. Right? It is the use of the content because I have this just talk to 30 brands a week right? startup fortune 100.
Mark Buckingham 8:04
Talk to 30 a month? Yeah.
Aaron Conant 8:08
Well, yeah, well, one of these I love people, right? And, and I love digital. So I get to it's like asking me to talk about my kids. So I love jumping on the phone with people. But it's like, at this point in time, we've we're now rapidly getting into what I think of it as digital 2.0. Right? The the day of having a checkbox for content, right is gone. It is what are you doing with the content? How are you using it? What is the data you're collecting from it? What are the KPIs you're using to measure it? and see what's performing what's not, you know, it used to be okay, I've got five images in a in a in a video, and now I'm good. And I've got four bullet points, and I'm good. And, you know, it's gone beyond Well, I did SEO I product title. Now, you know, is not, you know, taking your images from seven to eight, you know that what I took away from what you were saying there is it's like, no, it's it's not taking your images from from, you know, five to eight on your on your direct consumer product page or Amazon. It's keeping it at five. But what are the five most effective images to have in there? And maybe it is eight, or maybe it's 10. But where's the land of diminishing returns in what images are working and converting and which aren't. And that's a lot different than it was 18 months ago, and there's this separation is starting to take place? Because it is AV testing or abcdefg h II testing, right? That's where I think about where's that graph that said more content, like I'm looking at a direct consumer page or Amazon or Walmart, all these different places that I visit just to keep a feel as though it's not like Amazon went from, you know, five images to 40 where that trend line was saying is that it maybe I'm wrong with them trying to like just Well, they have
Mark Buckingham 9:57
the 40 they just don't show them all at once. Like you said, right? So there are the ABS that says if I have three image versus five versus six, does it make a difference? Usually the answer is yes. But there is a point of diminishing return. And it depends on your segment your audience your product. Nonetheless, when I'm showing those five images, are those seven images? What am I doing? Am I am I addressing either the dreams, the fears of my potential buyer, getting them to move, you know, one way or the other that I want them to? Or I'm showing them something that they totally relate to, and making them just feel comfortable? And, you know, I always I always go back, my my buddy, Rob, Julio used to run, you know, Adobe Comm. I mean, talk about having every tool in the toolbox at your disposal. If you're, you know, running that Marketing Cloud. Almost any time somebody was an agreement on what content would work, there was an 80% chance they would wrong, how are we going to know let's test it, that was just test it. The problem, a lot of the people I talked to potential prospects for us can't test it. I've got one lifestyle. I mean, once a year, we go to the Canadian Rockies or once a year, we go to the Bahamas or once a year, we go to Palm Springs, and we do a photoshoot. Well, don't you want to show that in Miami? Oklahoma, New York, you know, somewhere? Of course we do. Even if I had the budget, I wouldn't have the time to do all that. That's one of the struggles when you try to get the experiential assets. Goes kind of goes to that slide, right? Even if I know what I need, can I get it in the right amount of time? Or can I can I afford it?
Aaron Conant 11:46
Right now I love it. Just a reminder, those who have questions along the way drop in the chat the q&a, we'll get them, we'll get them answered as well.
Mark Buckingham 11:53
So so you know, as one of my customers told us, you know, I'm constantly having to make compromises between price quality quantity, and time and delivery. Right? And not that that's the normal world. Of course, one of the promises of technology done right is Hey, how can I get rid of compromise. And, you know, that's one of the things that we've kind of eliminated is not having to compromise anymore. It is because we are able to produce things at speed, at cost in quantity at quality in you know, experiential lifestyle that resonates with people. Even something as simple as you know, a friend friends visit in Boston that will measure how your product looks at a different angle. Well, if I sell boxes of product, my PDP is probably one of the most boring things on the planet, right? columns and rows, square picture, square picture square, the ability to rotate some of those and turn those. Hey, great, but guess what? I've got 1000 products all shot face on? How can I get those turned sideways? Well, you can hire you know, somebody come in and do it. Or you can have, you know, hopefully, a process that will allow you to do a dress and make it fresh for the person looking at that PDP page.
Aaron Conant 13:11
How What do you see is the conversion from regular photo shoot to like CGI? Right? I'm on a lot of websites now where, you know, it's photorealistic. But I'm just talking to the brands. And I realize, you know, that they're telling me they know, it's all CGI. Like, what is that ratio that you're seeing? If you look back, you know, two and a half years ago, almost all of it is a, you know, an actual photo shoot, and I got into Photoshop or changed or edited or something like that,
Mark Buckingham 13:45
you know, is Yeah, if you look at the big retailers, you're probably at about 50%, maybe 60% CGI these days. Some folks are virtually 90 100%. CGI, obviously a weak point is human beings, right? People, you can't CGI a person very well. And that's just a matter of time process technology. process really processor, right getting getting those processors to spin faster at a lower price. That that's the real drawback there. But it's not. So if I take my wife and I asked her Hey, tell me which one's a photograph and which one's CGI. She couldn't tell you now people that are creative merchandising, marketing people if you tell them one is CGI and one is photographic. They probably more often than not can tell you which one if you didn't tell them that they might not be able to figure it out. But the point is, I'm talking to VP at a big big box retailer had dinner, sushi, I mean, oh my god, like four pounds of sushi Tuesday night. But he's like, it's not I don't even tell my exact sweet that it's photography for CGI anymore because they want to pick it out it doesn't matter the point is the CGI works it conveys the image I want it gives me the flexibility to move the discontinued product out new product into that and do it in minutes. You know what I need is visuals that resonate with the customer and then and if you want to always harp on is 100% photorealistic like I really don't even care Mark I want it to move the needle and that's you know obviously need to be good looking and beautiful not look cartoonish like they might have a couple years ago but the real goal is give me imagery that moves my customers to the call to action I want them that makes sense.
Aaron Conant 15:43
Yeah 100% yeah it does and so yeah, I just want to get into a little bit of like how what like best practices around it you know what CGI is and photorealistic and just you know a couple people you know, are there some examples you know, a couple people you know, dialed in a little bit later there are a couple examples we'll be we'll be going through because any of you are really interested in it they can't do photoshoots like they used to or they can but they're more expensive than they've ever been before and all the different COVID protocols and the if you want to go to Hawaii you get there and there's a 14 day quarantine or you know this getting a little bit
Mark Buckingham 16:17
there rain for goodness sake just a simple thing like weather for outdoors
Aaron Conant 16:22
but I mean the other thing is you know when you talk about CGI like you're saying you don't you have the one one angle of the product and you need to test is that we're up or down left or right you know half of you know 30 degree rotation 60 degree rotation right I know we did a call with the head of CGI with Walmart right and yeah, this is top of mind for them right now is how do we drive conversion based on best possible assets around so
Mark Buckingham 16:55
yeah, yeah and they are definitely one of the companies going full speed into CGI without a doubt as she probably mentioned on the webinar you know one of the problems people have is producing all this stuff is it is just difficult either I'm I'm trying to find the right studio or studios scattered across the world or I'm still doing my photoshoots I'm not I don't want to get too much into product and press us but this this I love this quote when she said you guys literally are the Canva and I mean I can remember buying Photoshop for my next door neighbor and just coming back and saying this is like flying a jet you got anything easier I'm like, dude, get Canva boom awesome, right and that's kind of what you need. I mean I want to I want to be a Tesla where the hardest thing is to figure out how to open the car door the first time and once it's there, I just push a button and it drives me It might be complex as all get out under the hood. But I just want something that gets me there right I mean, again, there are people in our audience that can look at these and I wouldn't have to point it out and then go clearly the one on the right is CGI 99% of the people if you didn't tell them would go I wouldn't even eat wouldn't even wonder forget about you know, figuring it out most people wouldn't even one of these see the image oh it's got the sofa I want it's got the rug I want it's got the, you know, accoutrements in the room that I want the lamp The nice thing about what CGI does is you know when it's that season you know if it's Halloween I'll just change these out to corn stocks and put a pumpkin here right whatever we need to swap out when this rug is no longer in style. Boom, I put a new rug in right takes five minutes 15 minutes the ability and like like i said if I need to put this in 717 slightly different flavors so I can AB test against the various segments I have. I can do it where if I'm going to try to do that in a photoshoot. You know the answer it's it's no way even you know it would add days and days and days and 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of dollars right? So if you're gonna go a B testing if you really want to understand what resonates with your client, sooner or later you're gonna have to jump into CGI without a doubt now what is the rough
Aaron Conant 19:21
you know cost here this one says heroes I know you guys are massive in the Yeah, we
Mark Buckingham 19:26
Yeah, I just happen to have this one here. So um, no
Aaron Conant 19:32
marches, you know, what are ballpark costs? What are people going to see? So I'm cost money, right? Hey, it's
Mark Buckingham 19:39
First off, we have hundreds and hundreds of stock scenes that we just give you gratis. Now a lot of our customers are very particular they want they're seeing they're seeing only so in that case if we're going to develop one from scratch. Six 800 bucks for an indoor if we did something supremely complicated, you know a couple 1000 times dollars on an outdoor one. But again, it's not a staged photoshoot where you would spend that much anyhow, just staging the environment right on a photoshoot. Again, if I want to change things out, I just started swapping, this chair needs to go, this needs to become a television with the Ohio State Michigan game with the USC, Oregon game with the Alabama Georgia game, whatever LSU pick your team, I can do that in 15 minutes. And I can address people if this needs to become a certain beverage or a box or a totally different nicknack those things are all minutes and they are going to cost you I mean, nothing. So let's say you might you're going to be in the 10 to $100 range, just start making changes and get new imagery. Really, really peanuts, if you would Aaron. But again, I just want to go back, I don't want the average customer Don't let your cmo or CDO, get hung up on. I really look closely. I can tell this one came from a computer. Who cares? Does the image move your customer in the direction you want them to go? That should be your questions? That makes sense?
Aaron Conant 21:16
Yeah, I mean, it does from the standpoint of what's the size of the screen? They're going to be looking at that, right? I mean, you look at sure how much is done over mobile now. I mean, yeah, I'm sitting here on a giant, you know, I've got three monitors here, you know, big screen. I couldn't. I mean, I would say the only way I tell the difference is if you told me to look for the difference
Mark Buckingham 21:37
in that. And there are a lot of if you have a designer or a stylist working with your CGI team, we actually embed designers slash stylist with ours, you get that what we call, and I think I stole this from Walmart perfectly imperfect. I've heard it before, and I'll touch base on that in a little bit. But for those people who have not yet jumped into CGI, I'll just show you. I mean to get started, all you're really gonna do it's as simple as getting an iPhone out before something gets in a box or crate overseas somewhere you go Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, put that with the dimensions or a CAD send it off and they're just going to build you let's say this chair, all all a CGI acid is this wireframe. And then they're going to apply a texture in this case it's you know, a black woven fabric it could be a red crushed velvet, it could be you know, mahogany wood, whatever. And then once you've got that you can do all the rotations the flips the spins, any angle you want to test, and then you drop it in scenes and you know, it's got, you know, smart alec here, you know, yeah, where do you want to put your product, you know, on the moon, we can do that. But go back to where I said you know, it's it's holiday season, do you want this to be a Christmas tree? No problem. You want this little knick knack here to be a menorah? No problem. You want this to be a TV with your favorite sports teams and the right bag of chips and the right you know snacks and beverages sitting here. Those are customizable add things to your asset. And it actually for for a change. A CGI asset, in my opinion is an asset, or a photographic asset is a sunk cost. You got it, you did it, you use it, you throw it away. But you update this seasonally, you update this as products come and go, the rug is discontinued. I bring in the you know the multicolored, over plush, whatever. But you've invested in getting this room in a style that you want. It resonates with your people now swap it out as products swap out and as seasons move. It all makes sense.
Aaron Conant 23:47
You know, what is the so a couple questions that come in. One is do you see then organizations hiring a CGI expert?
Mark Buckingham 23:55
or? Yeah, it's gonna be like, well, actually is something that well, we could just hire some people if we wanted. And this was a really big French guy. Yeah, no. I mean, there are agencies and there are people like us that have been doing this for five years to perfect it. And you can hire your you know, sister in law's a nephew who's playing around with this, and they're going to be able to build a couple things. If you know, and if that's all you want, dip your toe in fine. But if you want to do stuff at scale, you need to get people that know what they're doing and have the tools that have the platforms to truly generate this stuff. And if there's ever a complaint I hear, and if there's somebody that's tested it they'll roll their eyes at me. I already did that once right? The it's an inconsistent inconsistency of quality. And or Well, in order to get the pricing I wanted, I had to go to nowhere. Third World country and then they didn't understand what I wanted. It took 24 emails and skypes back and forth just to get them to understand what big is or what Color of what you know, you know, red is or what is lavender, it was just so difficult. So if you want to jump into CGI and find a reputable agency talk to us we have a platform that just accelerates this. But don't don't hire your your friends nephew. That'd be my advice.
Aaron Conant 25:22
I actually I think it's something people want to hear right now is we're in the middle of the great resignation and trouble finding people is good, I think that's a concern Actually, it's probably a relief to hear that you don't have to, you know, go to HR and put out a new job right, create a new job description and you know, hire a CGI expert. So you know, I think so one comment here is, it basically says is road resolution, you know, always lower as in this example, or is this just what's coming through because it's a zoom cast like,
Mark Buckingham 25:56
that would be zoom cast. So the ability there you will build these things in what's called polygons, low poly or very low poly, which would you do for your AR and VR environments. If we're always building an ultra high poly because we're generating beautiful imagery, we have even produce billboards. 64k typical output for us is either 2k or 4k 2k. More than enough for your biggest screen at home 4k obviously is what you're going to use for print I would say probably still a third of our customers have us produce some percentage of assets in 4k because they're still doing some type of a flyer or an in store signage. a catalog of some sort obviously catalogs are much thinner, not as prevalent as they were but the need for print. And I can tell you, there's a cosmetic company that I just admire for their loyalty program because they are constantly sending messages and stuff in the apps and then it comes to my mailbox the print which makes my daughter's immediately go and open up their app and then and then they're looking at the digital content and going into the store buying stuff that they all of a sudden realize they need me to buy for them. It's great marketing, it is not dead but you don't have to Photoshop print do
Aaron Conant 27:18
I agree actually we've heard a lot lately around basically a digital age direct marketer where you're plugging it in to the back end where it's print on demand so somebody leaves it in their shopping cart yeah they get the email that's opened up in 72 hours they get the text but you know maybe if they don't respond they open it they see it but they don't respond and then two days later you send them a printed you know flyer with the product that was in their car with a 10% off coupon that is being asked to sign right not realizing it's all connected on the back end like oh my god it's a sign I told you we should buy that lamp it's 10% off just go buy it you know that type of thing it's there you go yeah print is not dead by any means whatsoever. But yeah, how do you get more strategic around you know doing that type stuff but a couple other questions that come in is you address this a little bit early on what about are you seeing CGI pick up with with people and images is or is that still I know you were if you want to address that a little bit more because
Mark Buckingham 28:26
yeah, I mean avatar Yes. Mannequin Yes. Some fashion on that. People still no. It's still just, it's still just costly. And even the best ones I've seen and there's still something off you can do a CGI dog, a CGI cat, a CGI fish and a CGI rooster. And you look at those and go Hey, that's a dog. That's a rooster. But when it's a person you just kind of stop Nah, there's something I don't know what it is about the human being that I mean, I'm sure my dog looks at a CGI dog and goes I'm not a dog. But for me it's a dog right?
Aaron Conant 29:10
So that's line Oh, we got my dog looks at a CGI dog and goes Nah,
Mark Buckingham 29:16
snap. Right? I'm sure they do. I had this I mean CGI should make your world faster easier. I mean I've got customers that tell me routinely we are getting them assets to their dev site before the product hits the warehouse coming in from overseas. It I mean that's a game changer.
Aaron Conant 29:39
Ya know that you're right i mean everybody's backed up on inventory to have something ready You know, you don't have to pull it out and photoshoot it in staging ship it really anything else?
Mark Buckingham 29:48
I mean, if it's a big ticket item, right? Do you really want to ship that I mean if you've got a $5,000 sofa or a $20,000 dining room table, do you really want to ship it and get it Photoshop or Do you want it to go to your customer now? I want the 20 grand now.
Aaron Conant 30:03
So a couple other questions that come in. Can accessory products be placed on a model shot with this technology? Right? This is really
Mark Buckingham 30:13
Yeah, absolutely. So everything you see in this room, or this room can all be swapped IN and OUT out in in. If you're using an agency, they'll do it for you. If you were using our platform, you can do it in our platform yourself. That the vision of our founder, Alex, Dave Egon is literally to be the Canva of merchandising to be able to give the average merchandiser or marketer the ability to build beautiful visuals in minutes and and add a you know, At A Price You Can Afford actually which is that's a bonus to me, is saying you know saving money is just a bonus. Being able to address the target segments that I want to that's that's the real coup de gras.
Aaron Conant 31:00
Where does the process begin? So john says the process still needs to begin with a product photo correct?
Mark Buckingham 31:06
For the most part, I mean, if you send me kads and hi scan of high rez scan of a texture, we could build it from that the simplest way though, I'm like, build your product, get out an iPhone Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, send dimensions, I mean, you really don't even need dimensions to get a good looking product. However, if you want that product to fit into environments, then your environment needs to be built at scale the products need to be built at scale. And I don't mean scale isn't a lot I mean in proper dimensionality if dimensionality is a word I think it is. But
Aaron Conant 31:46
you said like a high rez photo of the fabric and CAD drawings so then a lot of people I mean there's a bunch of furniture in here as well they should be most Your hands are high what they sent to the manufacturer as well right whoever's Yeah, capturing the item if you can just get
Mark Buckingham 32:01
somebody to hold still on these things and snap the texture 99 out of 100 or 999 out of 1000 times that's more than sufficient to give you the details on the texture you need. So it is very straightforward. So it's a little bit like a little bit like a photo shoot you you have a tab delimited file an Excel sheet, you know, product name, skew number, product ID, what are the other information you want to tag with and then you just include the assets Now if you've already shot those assets, just include a URL and then you know your agency or us will build you a model that you can spin twist and then interact with your other environments in other models. It isn't that hard it's easier than a photo shoot
Aaron Conant 32:51
awesome so another question that comes in you know are there you know, just because we've had some people joining Hey, thanks everybody who's who's joining you know partway through have an awesome conversation with Mark Buckingham over at nfinite they're great friends, partners supporters in the network and you have any questions drop in the chat the q&a, you can email them to me Aaron email@example.com we can get as many of those answered as possible. Are there other categories that it doesn't work for? Is the it doesn't
Mark Buckingham 33:21
work well for people. It doesn't work well for plants, and that we don't like building either those but there's a massive retailer like everybody would know we actually built 12 Christmas trees for him this year. Of course, it can be done, but it's timely and it's costly. You know, fashion. For a retailer. I don't think it can be done for a manufacturer. We are actually doing it right now for one but in that case, you have to have calves because I have to know exactly where their shoulder should hit exactly where this button should lie. I expect in two years or so even the majority of fashion on on a mannequin or an avatar will be CGI. I'm sure at least half of it will be at what point I don't know is it three to five years before that CGI human being starts you know you and I can't tell that it's a human being no go back to the dog knows it's a CGI dog. Not a real dog. Window windows are I get tricked on humans. I don't know. But it gets tricked on you know photography every day on standard rooms and that.
Aaron Conant 34:28
Yeah, I mean that's going to be an interesting time as we approach the metaverse as a whole right when when you can get a Google Oculus and somebody to wear it for over you know, 15 minutes with are getting eye fatigue. It's a game changer.
Mark Buckingham 34:43
or falling out of your chair. Yeah. Yeah, those are amazing. And I'm excited to see what all comes out of those. How, however, they're not practical. Today for those of us just trying to get someone to convert Online, right? This, this is the device, right? That's the device that we need to address more than anything. And, you know, the again, if you have a ton of assets you've already built, you become a Shutterstock. We have hundreds and hundreds, where's Florian says, you guys give me all the little knickknacks and other things I need and environments to do it. I'm gonna not show that. But again, just watch the ability to address all my segments, whether that seasonal segment, or it's, you know, it's women under 24 that make X dollars or it's men over 50 that do this, you have to have the outputs to get to your channels. So again, can you can you be able to have the assets that resonate? And can you in order to do what you have to do it at scale? So there's no, there's just, I don't know anybody's budgets that are big enough or has is getting more time to bring stuff to market that can truly keep up photographically?
Aaron Conant 36:04
Yeah, no, awesome. Love it. So a couple more questions that come in here. So in general, is this base? Is it SaaS based? Is it subscription based? You know, yeah,
Mark Buckingham 36:18
so our, our platform is 100%, SaaS base, it's a subscription. And you can get into it for as little as you want, or as much as you want. Basically, you're getting a little tokens to spend on the platform. And like anything, you can buy a bucket of tokens for one price, you can buy a barrel for another, and you can buy a boatload for even less per token, right? So
Aaron Conant 36:45
yeah, so here's another question that comes in. Have you done any research that compares effectiveness of images without humans in the image versus the same image with humans incorporated?
Mark Buckingham 36:55
I have not that might be actually I'm gonna, I think I know who to ask for that. So I'm going to make myself a personal note and and ask some folks, people versus non people.
Aaron Conant 37:08
Oh, yeah, like the team over a visit? Or exact? Yeah, exactly.
Mark Buckingham 37:11
Yeah, I was gonna add pink being an atom. So that's who I would I that's my first choice to go to. But I do know. So one of my partners is a photographer themselves, their studio, and they have an impressive list of customers. And when I first started talking to them, they're like, there's no way this stuff is terrible, I go take a look. And she gasped, I haven't looked at this stuff in three years, I can't believe it. And she says, Every year one of our large electronic manufacturers wants their product placed on a park bench on a kitchen table, in a school cafeteria on the tailgate of a truck at a construction site. And every year they come back and say, not too expensive, too much time. And she said CGI can get me there. So now we can place that product in literally 10 different environments, do it in a handful of weeks at a price for less than one lifestyle set up and shoot.
Aaron Conant 38:15
Now I love it. This is the standpoint if you can measure it at the end, right? The trend that I've seen is it's almost like in 2020 there is a hall pass given to digital marketing the spend that was there. And KPIs is basically like, they like digital is where we need to be all the stores are shut down. Go do it. We'll we'll kind of do a post mortem on what happened, but go and then this year, you know, they realized how big digital is. Oftentimes it's margin diluted to a company if you're not a digitally native company, and there's a lot more eyeballs on it. And so you know what's working, what's not. And, you know, people want to know, and they want to be able to measure and prove in the end of the day impressions, impressions. impressions are fantastic. Oh, really? Yeah. inversion.
Mark Buckingham 39:08
Yeah, so I mean, so the CTO Canadian Tire Rex Lee is just brilliant. I love racks. And he will always point out that experience sells. Experience sells he says, you know, or my buddy Frederick will be like, hey, if I get a, I get a cup of coffee out of the crappy vending machine because my kid woke up too late. To get to practice on Saturday, I'm gonna pay a buck for that. I can go down to Starbucks and get more or less the same thing. You know, for five bucks. But then I can be sitting in a cafe, you know, in Venice, with the person I love more than anything on the planet. And that coffee is costing me 20 bucks. The coffee is the same. What I really paid for was the difference in the experience between the vending machine between the Starbucks Between the cafe and Venice, and when you deliver the images experience to your customers, you make it experiential, you can actually separate yourself from your competitors, you don't have to be as diluted in your margin. Experience matters. And imagery is what really sets the table for experiences.
Aaron Conant 40:22
Yeah, my opinion. You know, I agree with you, I think, you know, that the, you know, as we get into this digital 2.0, digital, you know, 2.1 2.2 is going to be the whole personalization side. And do you have the content to personalize what's being rendered to the person who's logged into your site, then so you know who they are, right? I mean, this last third party cookies, there's all this other stuff, but we talked about, you know, zero party first party data. If somebody logs in, and you know who they are, if you can send them a personalized experience, right? And because you have the content and you're able to do it, right, yeah, you're gonna have a leg up. That's the whole idea of the customer right now. Is spoil me now.
Mark Buckingham 41:11
Yeah. If somebody authenticates with you, and you deliver them a subpar message content, shame on you. And I get it. In some cases, you just haven't ventured out and figured out how to increase the assets. But I promise you if you haven't, your competitor has. And if they haven't, I guarantee you Amazon has. And that just the need to be experiential, and address your segment. address your customer. It's, there's no excuse. There's really no excuse today, other than I haven't taken the time to figure out how to amp up my content. Now I'm being harsh. And I'm probably going to get 1010 nasty grams from people I know. But that's okay. Yeah,
Aaron Conant 42:02
I mean, it's a it's a new reality we were forced into this, I think quicker than we thought it was going to happen. And I think the most I the most impressive thing to me has been some of the larger companies right? Who usually are dinosaurs and slower to move and and change how quickly they've picked up and adopted this. And they're closing the gap between themselves and the digitally native brands. And that just means everybody up their game and then me as a consumer, I get a better experience. Absolutely. The day. And and I love that. And, you know, is there? Are there other things that are popping up on your side that you think are you know, Hey, watch out for this. This is next. I mean, we talked a little bit about the human space, you know, when we get there and it's realistic? Is there anything else is like top of mind for you or things?
Mark Buckingham 42:55
Yeah, um, some things we've thought about for a long time. And I'm actually seeing some is starting to come to fruition. So take any of those images you saw of room scenes or think of banner ads, and a lot of that. Now you can actually start compositing those and making in it will not be far into the future before multiple pieces in a banner ad or on a section of a site starts going up for bid. So right now your DSPs are basically just one one bid per ad, right? Somebody is going to win and get that ad you'll actually going to start I think seeing fractional ads where let's take a room seen it'll be Hey, I'm lazy boy, you want to you want to bet a dime on this chair safiya you want a dime or you know into TV you want to spend you're going to pay to put your chair there is no Hawker Shaw going to pay for the floor. Is it going to be Lumber Liquidators? And is it going to be Sherwin Williams or Schumacher wallpaper on that wall? I mean, like real time bidding, even within a single ad space, that's something I've that's that I'm pretty sure you'll be hearing about it in certainly by the end of next year. Why? Kinda, I
Aaron Conant 44:19
don't doubt especially on the retailer side, for sure. Right? As much as they want to everyone, big topic that we have right now retail media across the board. Right? And you know, it's there. A lot of people are trying to dial back their Amazon spend, right? Because they're like, wow, this is way too much. Right? It's not that they want to get off from Amazon. It's like, hey, well, maybe we don't need to grow this as much as we thought maybe we could focus on some other areas. And so a lot of people looking at retail media across the board. The last thing is like So how long does it take to get so called POS? And how long does it take to get integrated with nfinite? What is the startup cost? Right? Is this something that can be done by q4? For how long before assets can be generated? So,
Mark Buckingham 45:05
integration will if you can log in with a username and password, you're you're pretty much there because it's all SAS ready to go. timelines starting from zero, we typically ask for six weeks on your first project doesn't mean I didn't, I didn't do it for a big warehouse, their very first project in four days, yes, we can, we can actually turn in credible time. But let's just say six weeks because you're used to 810 or 14 weeks in a photoshoot. So if I tell you six, and I deliver you in for three, you'll be very happy. What is it?
Aaron Conant 45:41
What would you say like an asset? Is that a single image? Or is that like the collection of things that they collection?
Mark Buckingham 45:46
So you've got 40 products and you want you know, or 100 products, and you want them all? model? Do you want two or three different angles on your silho with certain drop shadows, certain lighting, you want these placed into an environment, and maybe I want 25 different environments where I've got one to five different products in an environment. And I'm taking those all in probably mostly in touquet Digital, but there's going to be a handful I'm going to might want some store signage, or the occasional flyer will pop them into 4k. It literally is, you know, do I have two minutes? Can I can I do a shameful infomercial of 90 seconds. And yeah, basically how the platform kind of works quickly. Let me just hit this real quick.
Sound from nfinite video 46:42
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Sound from nfinite video 47:18
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Aaron Conant 48:04
it's pretty cool that question of the day here. Did you create the aquarium background behind you?
Mark Buckingham 48:12
No I stole that from some free download I think it's the Atlanta aquarium which is where I live so yes
Aaron Conant 48:22
that'd be pretty that'd be pretty great if you're if you're doing moving you know it looks that good like that's yeah
Mark Buckingham 48:29
well the question is could the fish tell if that was a CGI fish?
Aaron Conant 48:36
I love it um you know, I don't know if anybody else has any other questions here if you don't you know I can say you know this is a spot that I think is going to be a key part of growth in the future now there's the one side where it saves money which is great right? That's That's fantastic. saves time effort all that other fun stuff. But the reality is you're gonna have to create a lot more content we found that out. And the next level of content is a abcdefg testing how much can you create how much can you test how much can you learn? How much can you personalize? And so no, I this is an all around you know, awesome conversation. You know, Mark, I'd encourage anybody give follow up questions on this. They're helping a lot of brands out in the network. They've been around for a while they're great friends and partners with us as a whole and helping educate the whole network so you have any follow up questions that 100% worth, you know say up time that they're great people fun to talk to so worth it for sure to pick their brains on what's going on to space also on my side. If you have any, you know, any need to connect. You're looking for any kind of service providers whatsoever. This I spend a lot of my time doing is kind of you know pinging the The group as a whole and finding out, hey, we're the best service providers out there. And that's everything from like nfinite here and content generation to help with Amazon or digital age three pls for dropshipping or international expansion. Anything in this space anybody ever wants to talk? He said, I talked to 30 plus brands a week and something I love to do is connect with people. So love to have a follow up conversation with people on the line today. And you know, I'm just looking at the time here we're gonna wrap up a few minutes early. Any key takeaways Mark before we let everybody go here?
Mark Buckingham 50:29
No, I will shameless plug I will say it's almost 98% as easy as that video. And I will tell you, if you're having tried CGI, it doesn't have to be us. Of course I prefer it is you're going to need you're gonna need to get into it. Or you're gonna get left behind.
Aaron Conant 50:47
So if people say hey, I want to try this quick, what does that look like? Is that $1,000? Is it 3000? Is it 5000 Is it a day I mean, you could
Mark Buckingham 50:55
pour a cup for a few products in some scenes depending whether they're going to be customer you're going to use stock for us it could be as low as a couple of $1,000 to get started. I mean we have customers that routinely do three and $6,000 projects with us and we have those that write us seven figure checks and are just smiling all the way to the bank loving you know what they get for those seven figures.
Aaron Conant 51:16
awesome i love the test and learn stuff for sure. So you know with that I think we're gonna wrap up a little bit early here just maybe one minute or so. But Mark thanks again for your time today. Thanks for being here. Always great and open to sharing love that and really appreciate you guys and your support the network as a whole. With that we're going to wrap it up. hope everybody has a great Thursday. Have a fantastic rest of the week. Everybody take care, stay safe and look forward to having you in a future event. Awesome everybody. Thank you. Alrighty, thanks again, Mark.