A new approach to new business

The Bigger Picture – Your customers’ view on the value of print, Canon’s latest Insight Report, shows that print buyers want Print Service Providers (PSPs) to highlight how printing innovations can help them to achieve their communications objectives.

According to Mark Lawn, Canon’s European & UK marketing director for professional print solutions, “We wanted to support our customers by finding out how today’s media buyers view print in the communications mix and how they want their PSPs to work with them. Buyers certainly value print – some 90% of respondents said that print is important to their organisations. What was most interesting was how many responses showed that PSPs could benefit from changing their approach to dealing with customers.”

The research highlights a communication gap in some relationships between media buyers and their PSPs. For instance, 26% of survey respondents said that their PSPs don’t meet their need to be made aware of new developments and alternatives or their need for proactive advice and guidance.

Some respondents complained their PSPs use too much technical terminology and sometimes even focus on features of printing equipment rather than on the benefits and outcomes that would result for the customer. Some media buyers surveyed also said their PSPs are not telling them about all their offerings or new print innovations in a way that helps them to understand the potential benefits or explain them to others in their organisations. In fact, some media buyers in communications and advertising roles went so far as to say they prefer their creative agencies to broker print services on their behalf because agencies are more likely to ‘talk their language’.

As a result, many PSPs are missing opportunities to highlight the services they offer that could enhance their customers’ communications. These missed opportunities equate to missed revenues, because customers can’t buy services they either don’t understand or aren’t aware of.

This is something that was reflected in many media buyers’ responses when they were asked to what extent they are aware of, and are considering or using, the latest digital print services and technologies.

The data shows that many PSPs could benefit from improving how they communicate with their customers about print innovations. For example, 59% of respondents said they are unaware of transpromotional print, 36% are unaware of print-on-demand and 24% are unaware of customised direct mail.

Lawn continues: “The responses have yielded some interesting food for thought, and from speaking to our customers it seems many of them are taking the research on board and using the insights to improve their approach to buyers, strengthen their relationships with their customers and grow their businesses.”

The key to success lies in thinking beyond what you can print for your customer right now, and thinking about what services you offer that might meet their needs better. This way you’re not only opening your business up to new opportunities from existing customers, but more importantly you’re showing your customer that you understand their business and are in an ideal position to advise them on how they can meet their communications needs.