Who is driving the demand for digital Photo applications, and who isn’t?

I know that many of you are more than aware of the latest emerging applications in print today and of course the photo space is one that is right at the top of the list. I have been to many trade shows, seen many web sites and have even ordered and created a few photo books myself.
When it comes to driving this market, is the demand coming from your local market to your printer who is in turn looking for new hardware and software to meet this demand? Or, is demand being driven by the hardware and software vendors out there telling us all how good an opportunity this is we are missing and how much money we can be making?
The answer in my humble opinion is that both the hardware and software vendors who are beating the drums to generate sales, and in some cases the local demand, is driving the printers/graphic designers and professional photographers to the hardware and software vendors. All this seems very good: growing pockets of demand for what could potentially be the next big thing in the development of the human story.
Yes, I said the human story as this embryonic trend is still just that, an embryonic trend in how we as human beings capture those precious, rare and amusing moments in our lives. What has been interesting to see is that from a marketing perspective there still seems to be little work being done on educating the general populous on how wonderful the whole experience of creating, receiving and giving photo books is and how this enables us to map the human journey.
Recently on a business trip to Moscow I met a very interesting customer doing among other things photo books on demand, the quality was fantastic, the final product was just amazing.
But why isn’t more being done? The professional photographers look to the printers to generate the demand, the printers look the hardware vendors and the hardware vendors look straight back at the printers…. This is a little odd as it’s none of these people that are demand generators— more demand specifier’s.
So, how do we get to the demand generators? How do we as printers, as hardware and software vendors, get those millions of humans, each with stories to map in pictures and words into our print shops, onto our web sites?
If you are successfully growing your digital photo book business, how are you doing this? I am eager to know if a new business approach like social media is really driving the growth or is it more traditional website and advertising approach or both or something else all together?

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