Ask any printer where they think the industry is heading and they’ll have an answer for you. Whatever that answer is, one thing’s for sure – the print sector is evolving and print firms must adapt their services to stay relevant. Volumes are falling across the commercial printing sector and although packaging and labels remain viable markets, experts say this decrease in volumes will lead to changing work practices and a more open approach to the overall print process.
A new campaign spearheaded by Canon isn’t just targeting printers. It’s bringing the print end user into the conversation and ensuring a more rounded approach is taken. “If you take the publishing market, Canon’s main market is books. It’s important to try and understand the reader and what their requirements are. How can the publisher better reach the reader, who’s now spending more time on Instagram and YouTube than they are actually reading books? That’s the difficulty publishers are experiencing,” said Cathy Bittner, Business Development Manager from the EMEA Commercial Printing Customer Group at Canon.
With book print volumes declining across Europe, it’s important to approach the print buyer market. “We bring publishers and printers together and say, this is where the market is at and this is how it’s affecting the overall printing sector. We then identify where the opportunities are for digital printing. It’s not that printing has gone away, it’s that the run lengths for books are much shorter. That’s basically the way we go to market, from the end user first. We then look at what opportunities we can offer our print service providers to develop new business models.”
Canon is extending this approach into the promotional market and is set to hold the Future Promotion Forum, this September in Germany. “We’ll be engaging with the print buyer market and asking them to bring their agencies, creatives and brands. Of course, we’ll also have the print service providers there as well. We want to provide a platform that brings everyone together and demonstrates how the market is changing, how users are behaving today and what opportunities are out there to grow a PSP’s business.”
Taking the fear out of change is the main aim of Canon’s new approach. “It needs to be a concerted approach; if it is, there’ll be less hesitation to adapt and grow. That’s very much our role. We want printers to know they have a partner that can help them define a strategy and that when it comes to providing a solution, we have a large portfolio that will help find the right fit for them.”