Confidence Indexes and Research

December Print Buyer Pulse

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CAP Ventures and have released December’s Print Buyer Pulse. The data is compiled monthly and helps industry executives understand demand trends right from the end user. Members of our free services will receive overall findings, while Premium Access Members will receive full details with analysis, charts and cross tabulation. Survey participates also see the full results.

This month, we are offering the complete findings to illustrate the value of becoming a Premium Access Member. Other reports will arrive weekly as well as our monthly Printer Confidence Index which gauges the outlook from printers.

Highlights for December:

- Average print spend per respondent is $750,000
- 73% of these print buyers will purchase print in December
- 80% of buyers spending over $250,000 annually will buy print in December
- Over the next 6 months, 34% will increase their spending, 13% will decrease
- Expected overall increase in spending in the next 6 months, 2.3%

Respondent Profile

Respondents to the December Print Customer Index represented a wide range of companies by various business and demographic factors. The sample of print customers included professionals from advertising, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing, professional services and other key sectors.

The sample included a mix of companies by number of employees and annual print spending with a bias towards medium and large companies. 25% of the respondents indicated their company had 1,000 or more employees, and nearly half the respondents indicated they spend $250,000 or more per year on print. The average annual print spend per respondent was nearly $750,000.

There were respondents from all major regions in the United States with a bias towards the Midwest region. The actual respondents were mostly in purchasing, marketing, creative or administrative functions.

Print Spending Plans for December

The majority of print customers (73%) plan to purchase print in December. There was little difference by size of company (number of employees) in the plans to purchase print in December.

However, companies with larger annual print budgets were much more likely to be purchasing print in December than companies with smaller budgets. Over 80% of companies that spend $250,000 or more per year on print plan to purchase print in December. Just over 50% of companies that spend $50,000 per year or less plan to purchase any print in December.

Of those companies that plan to purchase print in December the mean planned spending for December was just over $25,000. However, there is a huge difference depending on the company’s annual print budget with companies that spend $1 million or more per year planning to spend nearly $95,000 in December.

6 Month Outlook – Is the Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

CAP Ventures asked print customers to indicate whether they expected their print spending to increase, stay the same or decrease over the next 6 months. We followed that question by asking what percent they expect their print spending to change over the next 6 months.

The good news is that 34% of print customers expect their print spending to increase over the next 6 months; only 13% are planning on the print spending to decline, with the remaining 53% anticipating their level of print spending to stay the same.

The optimists can say 87% of print customers expect their print spending to remain the same or increase. The pessimists can point out that 66% of customers expect their print spending to be flat or decline.

Overall, printer customers’ outlook for their print spending over the next 6 months is to increase modestly (2.3%). CAP Ventures derived this average expected change estimate using the following formula:

Percent of print customers expecting an increase (34.3%) * average expected increase (11.9%)


Percent of printers expecting an decrease (13.3%) * average expected decrease (-13.7%)


Average expected change in print spending over next 6 months (2.3%)

Another important observation is that companies with big annual print budgets are more likely to indicate an increase over the next 6 months than companies with small budgets. Between 42% and 50% of companies spending $100,000 per year on print expect their print spending to increase over the next 6 months. The net increase for these companies is around 4%.

Only 19% of companies with relatively low annual print spending (under $100,000) expect their print spending to grow the next 6 months. The net increase for these companies is essentially flat.

The research suggests that demand for print market may be bottoming out and not continuing the significant declines that have characterized 2001. The data also suggests that large corporate customers will lead the way for growth in 2002.

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CAP Ventures is a strategic consulting firm for providers and users of business communication technologies and services. They deliver key research, analysis, forecasting, benchmarking, and strategy recommendations to make a competitive difference in their clients’ businesses.