There are many advantages of 3D printing for engineering and technology businesses, such as product testing and assembly analysis. But in this article, we are going to focus on the advantages that 3D printing brings to product marketing.
The advancement of 3D printing
In a previous job life, in the early 2000s, I worked for a business that provided 3D modelling CAD solutions. Our aim was to convert design offices from 2D to 3D modelling. There were, and of course still are, many benefits in embracing 3D modelling for industrial/product design, and at the time one of our sales pitches was around the opportunity for 3D printing – get prototypes quickly. In reality, it was early days for 3D printing, there was a mixture of solutions available, from “burning” away card, to wax “printing” and also the highest price polymer “printing” solution – but all were quite basic and were costly.
Having originated in the ‘80s, today 3D printing is more accessible and cost effective than ever, and there are continued advancements in more and more materials – the global 3D printing industry is growing fast and changing the industry dramatically.
Enabling your sales team, testing the market, and generating leads
Utilising 3D printing for marketing related activities is largely about creating opportunities to accelerate your go to market strategy. Because you can create a physical product, it allows you to achieve many things, which historically you couldn’t do until after full production.
Key areas of benefits include:
Early Sales Tools – With a physical product you can generate product photography far earlier in the go to market process. This means the production of quality web content, brochures and presentations can be created swiftly, and the communications plan accelerated, warming the market place early.
Early Lead Generation – Because you have a physical model of your product you can put it on exhibition stands and take it to customer meetings. Putting the product in people’s hands or showing it off in full scale can generate a lot of attention and drive trust.
Early Product Proof – With an actual product that you can test and potentially use in real life situations you can remove barriers to business by creating case studies and test reports. Working with a trusted existing customer can help progress the case study effectively, and test reports can be utilised within technical paper or whitepapers. You can read more about utilising case studies effectively in our recent blog here.
Enhancing Your Brand – By using 3D printing within marketing you are highlighting that within your design and engineering you are utilising the latest industry techniques. Driving technological brand value. 3D Printing should be used alongside 3D modelling visuals and animations.
In summary, because the costs of 3D printing have come down considerably, and the quality has increased equally, you should consider 3D printing marketing opportunities if you are in the manufacturing product world.
If you would like to know more about 3D printing we would recommend talking to your local growth hub. Near to Motion Marketing is the Gloucestershire Growth Hub who offer a 3D printing service (GRIP) to enable local businesses with product development. You can find them here >
If you would like help in utilising your 3D printed products for marketing, or if you have other engineering and manufacturing based marketing needs please do not hesitate in reaching out to the Motion team who specialise in B2B technology, manufacturing and engineering marketing.