New research reveals untapped opportunities for Print

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80% of print buyers express the need for more creative input from their print providers

Insight Report Highlights:

  • Fewer than 20% of print service providers (PSPs) are fulfilling their customers’ needs
  • 80% of print buyers express the need for more creative input from their print providers
  • 86% said they would welcome advice on combining print with the digital elements
  • 75% of brand marketers interviewed want their PSPs to be more consultative

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Canon Europe today launches the results of its latest Insight Report – ‘Creating Customer Value’ – which reveals the changing demands of the print buyer and the untapped opportunities for PSPs and in-house print rooms. The research uncovered that fewer than 20% are fulfilling the needs of their customers. At a time when brands are under more pressure than ever to achieve due to static or declining marketing budgets, 80% said they would welcome more creative input from their PSPs, representing a clear opportunity for print.

With a focus on measurement to prove the return on investment (ROI) of their campaigns, brands have drifted to digital, investing 46% of their budget in online marketing. But they’re aware of the limitations in using digital-only campaigns and that consumers are suffering from digital fatigue. The good news is that almost all survey participants (97%) said they used print alongside other marketing modes and that almost half (47%) frequently run integrated campaigns involving print. With over 33% of today’s marketing budget devoted to print, it’s seen as the bedrock of brand campaigns. What’s more, 30% of communication buyers believe that print will continue to remain as important, or become even more so, in the next few years.

Brands need to be able to justify their investment in chosen marketing tactics and when they can see the effectiveness of print, they’re happy to increase its share in their communications mix. In fact, 40% of brand marketers surveyed said they would invest more in print if their budgets were doubled. However, one in three revealed that they have no way of measuring their print campaigns.

In response to this, 86% said they would welcome advice on combining print with digital elements for a more integrated approach. The research also reveals that 80% of brands are looking to their print providers for fresh and innovative ideas that will enable their campaigns to cut through to their target audiences. In fact, 75% of brand marketers interviewed want their PSPs to be more consultative.

Considering this positive news for print, the commercial print professionals that succeed will be the ones that change the way they interact with their customers by sharing their expertise and re-framing themselves as consultants. There’s a clear, untapped business opportunity here: to extend their value beyond print and change the dynamics of the relationship with their customers to achieve growth.

Speaking about the Insight Report’s findings, Mathew Faulkner, EMEA Senior Marketing Manager for Canon Europe’s Professional Print Business, says: “What’s clear from the research is that, while PSPs are getting the basics right, there’s a gap between what customers want and what is being delivered. By using each customer interaction as a chance to demonstrate their expertise, PSPs can add value and help brands maximise the effectiveness of print. It’s also an opportunity to prove print’s ROI by showing them how it can be used to boost engagement or provoke an action at various stages along the customer journey. By working more collaboratively with their customers and understanding more about their marketing campaigns, print professionals can spot more opportunities and show customers how it can be integrated within wider brand campaigns. As a result, PSPs will be able to not just fulfil an order but create customer value by going beyond the brief.”

In-depth telephone interviews were conducted with 235 senior marketing managers working in a variety of organisations in terms of size and vertical markets across EMEA between March and June 2020 by an independent research agency. The vast majority (80%) were end-customer print buyers (in-house within the brand) and 20% from agencies.

About Canon Central and North Africa:
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) is a division within Canon Middle East FZ LLC (CME), a subsidiary of Canon Europe. The formation of CCNA in 2015 was a strategic step that aimed to enhance Canon’s business within the Africa region – by strengthening Canon’s in-country presence and focus. CCNA also demonstrates Canon’s commitment to operating closer to its customers and meeting their demands in the rapidly evolving African market.

Canon has been represented in the African continent for more than 15 years through distributors and partners that have successfully built a solid customer base in the region. CCNA ensures the provision of high quality, technologically advanced products that meet the requirements of Africa’s rapidly evolving marketplace. With over 100 employees, CCNA manages sales and marketing activities across 44 countries in Africa.

Canon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei – ‘living and working together for the common good’. CCNA pursues sustainable business growth, focusing on reducing its own environmental impact and supporting customers to reduce theirs using Canon’s products, solutions and services. At Canon, we are pioneers, constantly redefining the world of imaging for the greater good. Through our technology and our spirit of innovation, we push the bounds of what is possible – helping us to see our world in ways we never have before. We help bring creativity to life, one image at a time. Because when we can see our world, we can transform it for the better.