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WhatTheyThink Survey: Print Buyers Willing to Meet with Paper Vendors

Press release from the issuing company

Lexington, Kentucky, USA - WhatTheyThink, a leading Internet portal for the graphic arts industry, has just completed a study of print buyers around the country. The study focused on paper selection. 176 buyers participated in the survey. The print buyers spend more than $50 million dollars on print services. The questions asked were: When ordering print services, which best describes the selection of paper? Which would best describe your reaction if a paper company asked to meet with you to discuss their specific brands and influence the type of paper you use for your printed projects? Overall, 32 percent said they select paper from sample books provided by their printer. 24 percent said they select paper from sample booklets provided by a paper vendor. 35 percent said they select the color and weight, but allow the printer to select the brand. (10 percent had no opinion.) Meeting with a paper company with the purpose of influencing the selection process had mixed results. 21 percent said they meet regularly with paper vendors now. 16 percent said they were open to meeting with paper vendors directly and 30 percent said they would meet with the paper vendor, but consult with their printer before making a decision. 27 percent said that paper was not important enough to actually have a meeting about. (5 percent had no opinion.) Said Randy Davidson, President of WhatTheyThink, “A close look at the numbers show a nice opportunity for paper vendors to influence the buying of paper. 56 percent of the buyers said they use a ‘paper sample booklet’ already. And almost half of these buyers who are not meeting with paper vendors now are open to such a meeting.” When asked how the buyers print budget influenced the findings, Davidson explained. “45 percent of buyers spending over $500,000 consult with paper vendors now. But 36 percent of these buyers are open to meeting with paper vendors. As the amount spent annually on print decreases, so does the opportunity to meet with the print buyer. A majority of buyers spending under $50,000 on print annually would not meet with a paper vendor.” When asked about the influence printers have in the process, Davidson explained his view. “Designers and printers will always have significant influence in paper selection. The question is, can paper vendors gain market share by spending more time with print buyers? I believe so. Individuals who buy print usually stay involved to some degree even if they change jobs. Paper vendors tend to focus on groups they can easily segment, like printers and designers. 46 percent of these buyers do not meet with paper vendors now, but would. It certainly deserves a closer look.” The complete results are available at www.whattheythink.com/press.html WhatTheyThink provides news, interviews and research daily at their web site. The portal has nearly 12000 subscribers who get valuable information about print buyers, printers and suppliers to the industry. For more information, visit www.whattheythink.com.