Canon research reveals less than 20% print service providers meeting customer needs

Canon has launched the results of its latest Insight Report, Creating Customer Value, which reveals the changing demands of the print buyer and the untapped opportunities for Print Service Providers, 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 of their campaigns, brands have drifted to digital, investing 46% of their budget in online marketing. But they are 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 is seen as the bedrock of brand campaigns. What is 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 are 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 is 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 said, “What is clear from the research is that, while PSPs are getting the basics right, there is 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.”

“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,” Faulkner added.