20 October 2013
Print buyer report: roles changing, demand growing
TORONTO—As printing changes, so does the role of the print buyer, says a report from industry experts Margie Dana and John Zarwan. "Today, print buying is becoming much more diffuse," Dana said.

The new 40-page account, called The New Print Buyers, pools information gathered from over 300 survey participants to examine changes in print buying practices and behaviours. Respondents were print buying and marketing professionals from corporations and creative agencies in Canada and the U.S.

"Most of the buyers we surveyed are not responsible for all purchases of print within their organization, regardless of their role," says a statement from Dana (pictured above), who founded Print Buyers International and recently launched a marketing communications business. "Print buying is not generally done in a vacuum within the buyer's organization, as buyers regularly interact with multiple departments."

According to the report, many companies and agencies are still purchasing print and even increasing their annual budgets. "This is an opportunity for commercial printers, but only if they continue to market to them," said Zarwan (pictured below), an industry consultant and researcher.

Findings show an increasing demand for printers to offer online ordering, and indicate that the need is not being met as few buyers are currently using web-to-print services.

As well, "an overwhelming percentage" of buyers are looking for print providers to go beyond traditional print services. "Printers need to realize that 20% of print buyers today have less than 10 years of experience in that role and are seeking faster, cheaper, and better ways to communicate with their client bases," Zarwan said.

The report also looks at the various roles print buyers are playing in their organizations, the value of closer relationships with marketing departments, other corporate units involved in sourcing print, and what non-print services are in high demand.

The New Print Buyers is now available online for $99. A site license is available for $1000. PrintCAN readers can save $15 with no HST/GST by using the discount code CANADA.
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