Canon research highlights opportunities for printers to strengthen customer relationships
Print Service Providers (PSPs) need to adopt a consultative approach to be seen as communication partners by customers
PSPs need to work with customers to demonstrate the return-on-investment (ROI) of print
Hall 8a, Stand C06 – 1, drupa 2012, 3 to 16 May
DUSSELDORF, 4 May 2012 – Canon Europe (Hall 8a, Stand C06 – 1) has published its fourth Insight Report – The Bigger Picture: Your customers’ view of the value of print, an in-depth piece of research into the attitudes and preferences of European business professionals with responsibility for procuring print. Canon’s research reveals that in order for Print Service Providers (PSPs) to grow their businesses, they need to improve communication with their customers, demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of print and strengthen customer relationships by adopting a more consultative approach.
420 telephone interviews with senior decision-makers in corporate organisations and marketing and creative agencies across 18 European countries were conducted initially. Following this, 30 in-depth interviews with print buyers explored in greater depth some of the challenges and opportunities coming out of the initial research.
The in-depth interviews confirmed that many PSPs are missing opportunities to tell their customers about the benefits and outcomes of the services they offer. Several print buyers felt that while other communications partners such as advertising agencies and marketing consultancies make an effort to understand their organisation, their print providers do not and consequently are regarded as suppliers rather than partners. The key areas that print buyers said would make it easier for them to work with PSPs included offering more innovative solutions, greater proactivity with information and advice, and better understanding of their needs and challenges.
Most respondents agreed that many PSPs can tend to be too technical in the language and terminology they use. This also seems to be a factor when it comes to awareness of the benefits and potential offered by the latest digital print services and technologies. For instance, 36% of buyers said that they are unaware of print-on-demand, 32% that they are not aware of short-run publications, 24% said they don’t know about targeted direct mail and 59% said they are unaware of transpromotional print. However, while some print buyers claimed not to be aware of these applications, the report does yield evidence that some are simply used to them being called different names. For example, one customer who had said he was not aware of transpromotional print actually knows it as ‘White Space Marketing’. With many potential customers unaware of the benefits offered by digital print applications, there is a clear opportunity for PSPs to address the knowledge gap.
Almost half of all print buyers do not currently use their PSP as a source for finding out about innovative developments in the industry. In fact, only 27% of print buyers surveyed stated that they are satisfied with the proactive advice and guidance offered by their PSPs and only 18% expressed satisfaction with the extent to which their suppliers make them aware of new developments and alternatives. It is clear that print buyers are looking for greater understanding of their businesses from their PSPs, as well as more proactive advice and recommendations.
Another area of opportunity highlighted in the report is the demonstration of ROI of print. Although professional-standard printed communication plays an important role in the communications strategy of 87% of European organisations, fewer than 1 in 10 have a formal process for evaluating the effectiveness of the printing services they buy and more than a quarter don’t measure the effectiveness or ROI of print at all. This represents an opportunity for PSPs to advise their customers on how best to measure the ROI of print.
Mark Lawn, European Marketing Director, Professional Print Solutions, Canon Europe comments: “When customers select a print provider, 3 out of 4 print buyers consider the relationship they already have with the print provider and almost the same number consider the expertise of the provider. This demonstrates an excellent opportunity for PSPs to work in a more consultative partnership with their customers. By becoming a trusted advisor, PSPs will not only strengthen and safeguard their relationships, they will also be able to identify new opportunities to sell additional services and increase their profitability. The Canon stand at drupa has many inspirational applications to help printers better meet their customers’ communications needs and case studies that will demonstrate how a more consultative approach can be the key to success.”
For further information please contact:
European PR – Professional Print Canon Europe
+44 (0)7816 651 423
+44 (0) 1372 464 470
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Notes to Editor
420 print buyers across 18 European countries were interviewed for the Insight Report. Respondents from the following five sectors were interviewed: Manufacturing and Primary Industry; Retail and Wholesale; Finance and Business Services; Marketing and Communications Services; Public, Voluntary and Other.
For updates about Canon’s activities at drupa, and for access to customer case studies, white papers and Canon’s perspectives on the printing industry, go to Canon Europe’s web site at www.canon-europe.com/drupa. Additional live updates will be posted on Canon’s Twitter feeds (@CanonBusinessEU and @CanonDavidP) during drupa.
About Canon Europe
Canon Europe is the regional sales and marketing operation for Canon Inc., represented in 116 countries and employing over 11,000 people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Founded in 1937 with the specific goal of making the best quality camera available to customers, Canon’s tireless passion for the Power of Image has since extended its technology into many other markets and has established it as a world leader in both consumer and business imaging solutions. Its solutions comprise products, ranging from digital compact and SLR cameras, through broadcast lenses and portable X-ray machines, to multi-function and production printers, all supported by a range of value added services.
Canon invests heavily in R&D to deliver the richest and most innovative products and services to satisfy customers’ creative needs. From amateur photographers to professional print companies, Canon enables each customer to realise their own passion for image.
Canon believes that considering the interests of society and the environment is an integral part of good business practice. This is embodied in its corporate philosophy Kyosei - ‘To live and work together for the common good’.
Further information about Canon Europe is available at: