According to some commentators, 3D printing could be the most important technological development in manufacturing history. With media stories ranging from their use in creating everything from human organs to firearms, it is easy to see that the possibilities are almost endless. But the potential applications of the technology also extend into other aspects of business, not least marketing.
With modern 3D printers becoming more affordable and widely available than ever before, they will soon be an essential part of every marketer’s toolbox. Let’s take a look at how you can stay one step ahead of the pack and give your marketing campaign a unique edge in 2017. Here are five ideas that are taking the marketing world by storm.
No lesser organisations than Coca Cola and Asda have been quick to incorporate 3D printed freebies into their customer loyalty rewards programmes, by offering fun and innovative gifts such as 3D printed models of customers or their kids instead of the traditional points or discount vouchers.
You could consider offering 3D blueprints of promotional items that customers can make at home – anything is possible, from a scale model of your latest car to a range of animal figurines. The sky is the limit.
3D printing allows greater levels of personalisation than ever before. This is a facet that eBay has been quick to capitalise upon with its eBay exact offering. Consider following their lead, and creating customised versions of your customers’ favourite products.
Run a competition
Few things are as good for promoting a brand as getting your customers actively involved. How about running a 3D printing design challenge, and promoting it through your social media channels to really get people talking?
Involve your customers in development
A great blend of the customer engagement and personalisation themes is to get customers involved in developing the products themselves. This is easier than ever with 3D print technology, and is a strategy that has been used by Disney to promote sales of their mechanical toys.
It is often said that the digital world has turned the discipline of marketing upside down, by focusing the attention of marketers onto the virtual space. Could it be that 3D printing is redressing the balance and bringing marketing back into the physical world?