At Wonderful Machine, we divide photography clients into three Types: Publications, Agencies, and Brands. We then further sub-divide those into Industries. Segmenting clients into these bite-sized pieces makes them easier to research and it also gives our photographers more search options when they’re building lists of prospects to match up with their unique set of interests, skills, and experience.
Our definition of a Brand is any company that is not a Publication or an Agency. That list covers a lot of territory, including companies that you might not think of as brands (like architecture firms or governmental agencies). It can also include territories, subdivisions and product lines. For example, Procter & Gamble is a giant consumer goods company that sells hundreds of familiar products like Tide laundry detergent and Bounty paper towels. We list their main offices around the world (currently USA, Canada, and the UK), and we also list some of their bigger product lines, like Gillette.
Sometimes we list Brands a little differently in our internal database than on our website. For example, if Tide and Bounty share a creative team, we would list them together in our internal database, but we might give them separate profiles on our website. However, there may be times when we’ll track a company internally but not list it on our website. For example, sometimes regional magazines are owned by a small publishing company that doesn’t have a need for photography themselves. Even though we might list their “children” magazines on our website, we wouldn’t want to list the parent company if they themselves aren’t a good prospect. As a rule of thumb, if we find that a company location, division, or product line has a dedicated creative team, we list them separately in our internal database and try to connect with their creative team.
While publications and agencies have a relatively small number of sub-types. There’s no limit to the number of industries you could assign to brands. There are lots of organizations and governmental bodies that track and categorize businesses, but the one we (and everyone else) uses most is LinkedIn. So we’ve chosen to adopt their industry list. This approach has pros and cons. The advantages are that it makes it easy for our researchers to assign those tags because each company displays their Industry right on their LinkedIn page. Also, since many of our photographers use LinkedIn for their own research, utlizing the same terminology makes things less confusing when they’re using our client search in conjunction with their own research on LinkedIn. The downside is that since LinkedIn allows companies to self-identify, the categories don’t always make sense (for example, even though there’s an industry in LinkedIn called Gambling & Casinos, all the casinos that you’ve ever heard of categorize themselves as Hospitality instead). You will also find direct competitors who categorize themselves differently from one another.
LinkedIn has 147 industries. Since we don’t want to have a dropdown menu quite that long — and since photographers care about some Industries more than others — we’ve chosen to display about half of them. When we list a company whose industry doesn’t show up in the menu, we show their Industry as OTHER (though we tracking all industries in our internal databas, so we can share that information with you if you need it).
We currently track about 7,000 brands, and our plan is to expand to about 10,000. If we limit the capacity to about 70 different industries in our dropdown menu, that means that on average, we’ll end up with about 150 companies per industry. This is important because when we’re evaluating those companies, we’ll want to keep in mind how many we have room for. Of course, some industries are going to be more important to photographers than others, so some might have 50 and others might have 250. For example, fashion companies might be better prospects than chemical companies because they have new products to photograph each season and because they’re marketing to a consumer audience rather than a business audience. However, that doesn’t mean that we want to ignore chemical companies. It just means that a chemical company might need 5000 employees for us to list them, but a fashion company might only need 500.
Since we just doubled the number of industries that we track, we’re in the process of reassigning many of those 7000 companies to new industries (which is why some currently show very few search results). In the meantime, if you don’t find enough results searching by industry, you can also search by Specialty.
Industries that we categorize as Publications or Agencies are marked with an asterisk*
Have questions about LinkedIn or need help researching clients? Email us!