Propelling Your Business Forward—Part 3


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Propelling Your Business Forward—Part 3
Pinpointing and Pursuing High Growth Applications

By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

Self-confidence is key to growing a successful business but must be combined with the right product mix, knowing what customers value, and meeting their needs and expectations. These factors are highlighted in the latest report stemming from research done by NAPCO Research on behalf of Canon USA. The new study draws on the insights of print providers, communication buyers and influencers with respect to the applications that are of prime importance today and in the near future. Print providers failing to satisfy customers’ expectations today may find themselves unable to meet the more demanding needs that will loom large in just a year or so in the future.

Key Takeaways
Key findings of the research drive home how satisfying present-day needs of customers prepares a print provider for the future.
  • Print is Valuable. Despite the preponderance of digital options, the study showed that print remains a key communications medium. Many respondents said print is a prime tool for customer acquisition and that the largest share of upcoming communications spending will be on print. They said print communicates quality, is noticed, can be personalized, enhances brands, and delivers higher retention rates than other media.
  • Print is Effective. Although digital media has an allure, the combination of print and digital communications is the choice of many communications professionals. Together, digital and print provide a return on investment with print being a powerful tool for capturing recipients’ attention.
  • Print Demand is Solid. Driven by its value and effectiveness, communications buyers expect demand for print to hold steady or increase over the next two years, especially when combined with digital media.
Customer Expectations
These takeaways are vital to the success of print as a medium but also to the success of print providers. Yet delivering on them means meeting and exceeding customer selection criteria. These include:
  • Color consistency and quality across all printed communications. These measures have been recurring points in previous Canon USA research. This indicates that the ability to provide accurate and consistent color is a deciding factor in selection of print provider. Communications buyers and influencers noted that G7® certification is among the main characteristics they look for when selecting a print provider.
  • Reliability—knowing a print provider will deliver a job on time, on budget and with the requisite quality—is a crucial factor in deciding which provider to use. Up to two-thirds of print buyers and influencers said print providers meet their selection requirements for the applications they purchase or influence. About a third of print providers exceed customers’ requirements. On the flip side, about a third of buyers and influencers said some print providers fell short on these criteria. This indicates room for improvement among print providers, including an opportunity for providers to exceed buyers’ and influencers’ requirements and help keep work in-house. These attributes are also key factors in helping a print provider distinguish itself from competitors.
Print is Growing
More than eight in ten communications buyers expect their print communications budget to increase over the next two years, in part because they plan to devote the largest share of their budget to print. While digital options abound, print will continue to be a vital part of the media mix. Respondents pointed to key reasons why print remains important:
  • Print conveys credibility and authority, which may enhance the perceived value of a product or service
  • Print may be the preferred medium of the intended audience across multiple age groups.
  • Print can be a better value for the money. Digital options may have surprising costs.
  • Print has a “green” benefit because it is recyclable.
  • Print’s physical tangibility imbues it with a permanence that cannot be duplicated with digital media.
  • Print yields higher retention and recall levels than digital media
Key Applications
The report noted that respondents rated both digital and print media highly. This indicates that these media complement each other, making the combination of print and digital communications very powerful. For example, using print to encourage customers to view online videos, order products online, and access additional content leverage the strengths of using multiple media. Adding QR codes, personalized URLs, and augmented reality markers to print creates an opportunity that connects print with digital content. This indicates that print providers should work with customers to empower print with the added reach of digital media. Doing so embraces the synergy of print and digital media and can help deliver the value customers are coming to expect.

This can be a differentiator for your business. Just two years ago, a Canon study by NAPCO Research indicated that less than half of communications buyers were using both print and digital media. Now though, combined use of these media is all but commonplace and likely to increase over the next two years. Commercial print providers responding to the study expect to see increases in signage, labels and packaging, and direct marketing, all areas in which the combination of digital and print can provide a positive benefit.

Print’s place in the media mix is changing. As communication buyers seek to mix print and digital media they have become more selective about the way their documents are printed and how they augment digital options. Print providers who deliver the highest levels of service and quality and keep pace with the changing landscape of communications will be able to thrive in the future.

Download the complete report here
The earlier parts of this series are available here.

Watch for Part 4 of this series coming soon:

Positioning Your Commercial Printing Business for Success
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Such an informative content. Business is all about meeting the customers expectations and needs and adding value into it. People who don't realize it, starts losing customers and eventually the entire business.


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