The value of print

The value of print and its importance in the print buyers’ communications mix is the strongest selling argument for any print provider. Yet only one in ten print buyers have a formal process for evaluating the effectiveness of the print they commission. Having identified this challenge from conversations with customers, print buyers and the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), Canon has developed the Professional Print ROI tool to help print providers prove the value of their services to their customers.

The main reasons cited by print buyers for not evaluating their print were either that the value of print was too difficult to quantify or that they didn’t know how to measure it effectively. Very few said that they did not calculate the return on their investment in print because it was not important to them.

In fact, one print buyer Canon spoke to recently went so far as to say that if any Print Service Provider (PSP) were to approach her to talk about return-on-investment (ROI) in print, she’d immediately open her door to them because at present no PSPs she deals with seem to take that level of interest in her business.

According to Andy Harris, European & UK Graphic Arts Customer Marketing, Professional Print Solutions, Canon Europe: “Based on our insight research, we’ve been talking to our customers about their customers’ demand to measure ROI and it was clear that we needed to provide them with a tool to support this requirement. This tool is that conversation starter. We spoke to many customers before we started developing the tool, and we also held a focus group with customers, the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) and print buyers to gain industry input on how the ROI of print should be measured.”

The easy-to-use tool enables PSPs to estimate the potential ROI of a print application and thus help customers enhance the performance and cost-effectiveness of print. With many of today’s print buyers eager to see case studies of previous successful campaigns, the tool also gives PSPs a means to enhance their own case studies by including costs, results and a more detailed ROI.

Using the tool, PSPs profile the customer and their planned campaign, set out clear aims and objectives for the campaign and then determine which application or combination of applications would help the customer to achieve those objectives. They can then calculate what the potential ROI for their customer would be on the print elements of the campaign.

Harris concludes:

This tool is just the first step, both for our customers and for the market as a whole. For our customers, it enables them to start discussing the value of print with their customers. For the wider market, we hope that it’ll be the beginning of a wider debate around measuring the value of print. We believe that this is the first tool of its kind and so we want to evolve it as the debate on ROI unfolds. For now we’re providing our customers with the means to start the conversation with print buyers about the effectiveness of print, but we plan to refine and adapt it based on the feedback that we get from PSPs about what they and their customers need.

Canon is working to develop the tool further based on your feedback. To let us know what you think about how the tool works and how it could work better for please contact us. You can also find out more or receive a copy of the tool by contacting your Canon Professional Print Account Manager.