Canon Solutions America: A Focus on Customers
Organizations that are focused on their customers consistently out-perform their competition. These companies carefully segment their customers, develop specific value offering for targeted segments, and deliver an outstanding customer experience. Regardless of position or function, everyone in these organizations understands what the customer strategy means for his or her job and will make decisions consistent with this strategy.
Canon Solutions America recognized that developing a true customer focus would require a segmented go-to-market approach. Although Canon Solutions America has been concentrating on transactional printing and direct mail for a long time, the company wanted to capitalize on the digital page volume opportunity that exists in other segments, including commercial and book printing. According to InfoTrends’ U.S. Digital Production Printing Application Forecast, books are expected to grow faster than any other application in terms of absolute page growth, rising from about 63 billion impressions in 2012 to over 103.3 billion impressions in 2017.
According to InfoTrends’ U.S. Digital Production Printing Application Forecast, books are expected to grow faster than any other application in terms of absolute page growth, rising from about 63 billion impressions in 2012 to over 103.3 billion impressions in 2017.
Tonya Powers, Segment Marketing Manager for Commercial Print and Books at Canon Solutions America, notes, “It is our objective to follow these pages by approaching individual market segments and customizing our offerings to each customer’s specific needs. Every customer has unique needs and pain points, and we think it’s important to segment our marketing initiatives because needs will vary dramatically from segment to segment and from customer to customer. By taking a targeted approach, we believe that we can better serve our customers by tailoring our offerings to truly suit their needs.”
According to Powers, Taking a Focused Approach to Marketing Can Yield the Following Benefits:
- You get more attention in your market space. Powers states, “We actively participate in key events within our targeted segments. We sponsor Book Business magazine webinars, participate in publishing conferences, and are actively involved in associations like Printing Industries of America (PIA) and the Book Manufacturers Institute (BMI). This builds out our brand in these target markets.”
- You build expertise within the segment. As you develop an understanding of a particular customer segment, you can develop unique products, services, and solutions to meet their needs. Powers elaborates, “A perfect example is our development of the ‘Professional Book Module’ solution for the book market. This solution automates book production through a highly efficient batch, barcode, and scanning process. We collaborated with our customers to develop and deliver this capability.”
- You can market more effectively to a targeted client and prospect base. Powers opines, “We are no different than the users of our technology. Marketing means reaching customers, and you already know how to reach your customers if you understand your target market. You will know which events to attend, which content to deliver, and which messages to focus on.” Canon Solutions America recently created and relaunched a business development site called PressGo!. Because the content on this site is uniquely developed for each market segment, it is much more meaningful.
- Your selling process becomes more productive. Powers says, “If you understand your target market, you can identify the right new business opportunities. You understand the applications and solutions that they are interested in and can readily articulate your value proposition. You can also point to other clients that have successfully implemented your technology and leverage them for references. All of this helps accelerate the sales process.”
- You can develop business acumen. Perhaps the most important component of a targeted approach is that it enables you to develop business acumen. Powers notes, “By working closely with customers in specific segments, we have developed a keen understanding of the key drivers for their businesses and how they relate to each other. We are collaborating with clients to enable profitable growth by relating to the jobs that they do every day.
Regardless of the market that you are in, a customer-focused approach is critical. Powers concludes, “Our approach to the market applies equally for all users of our technology. They need to decide which customers they can best serve and then build the right products, solutions, and services to satisfy their unique needs.”