The first ever Insight Report commissioned by Canon Middle East indicates that print still has a strong foothold in the Middle East and African countries. The study reveals that about 97% of organizations in the Middle East and Africa still consider professionally printed materials to be important to their business.
The fifth Canon Insight Report states that more than 54% of the organizations surveyed consider print to be more effective than any other type of media, while 90 per cent of them said that they would include print in their multi-channel communication tools. The Canon Insight report was prepared by interviewing 210 users and commissioners of professional printing from countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya. It is the first time that Canon has conducted a survey based on Middle East users. The four earlier reports, which was conducted by Canon Europe are as follows: The ‘ Digital Printing Directions’ released in 2008 and prepared by eminent print expert Frank Romano and his team, ‘Corporate Printing Trends and Opportunities’ released in the year 2009, ‘ Redefinition of the Digital Printer’ in 2010 and the ‘Bigger Picture’ which was published during drupa 2012.
Detailing to ME Printer about the Canon Insight Report, Hendrik Verbrugghe, marketing director, Canon Middle East said, “The insight report reveals that print is still an important part of communication links and that it’s still growing. The countries that have participated in the report start right from the French speaking Africa to East Africa and we made sure that we had a representative from each market in order to bring out a comprehensive report.”
He added, “We have included companies of all size and the methodology followed was in line with the previous reports that we had published in Europe. According to the report, people in the region expect their business to grow in the coming years and this would naturally trigger the demand for more print orders. The report helps us a great deal in knowing the current trends, about the buyer’s purchasing requirements, expectations of print providers and views on the value of print in the communication mix.”
The full details of the report were shared during the Gulf Print and Pack exhibition, which was held from 8 to 11 April in Dubai.
The report places both digital and traditional print industry on the growth path and declares that it would complement each other as part of integrated cross-media campaigns rather than competing for singular usage. Half of the organizations that participated in the survey expect to increase their use of print in the coming years.
The research is part of Canon Middle East’s strategy to understand their customer’s needs and to identify industry trends based on local insight and international best practices in the industry.
“Print continues to be the number one choice for organisations in the Middle East and North Africa due to its effectiveness in transmitting a message to the end user,” says Naoshi Yamada, Deputy Managing Director, Canon Middle East. “The findings show that the world is not moving from one medium to another as expected a few years ago, it is moving towards a convergence of mediums where print, digital, social, mobile and broadcast have equally important roles as part of a multi-channel communications strategy.”
The findings state that many printers are unaware of the latest technological developments in cross media or the benefits of print-on-demand, web-to-print or customized direct mail. It states that only 47 per cent of print buyers are aware of web-to-print services, while 22% have actually used them.
“There is an enormous opportunity for printers to educate their customers and raise awareness of what print – especially benefits of digital print applications – can do to reinforce their brand and increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Customers are actively looking for better education, more creative input and insights into print innovations. It is clear, therefore, that commercial printers are missing out on significant potential opportunities for growth and need to communicate far more frequently with their customers, putting aside any presumptions they may have about the level of their customers’ knowledge,” said Hendrik Verbrugghe.
“This research proves that we are willing to invest heavily in order to achieve that goal of understanding,” concluded Verbrugghe.