3D Printing Marketing Plan Essay Examples & Outline

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3D Printing Marketing Plan


Opening statement

a)Current situation analysis

3D printing is the new frontier in management whereby the manufacturing sector is going undergoing changes. The technology has affected all sectors of production and it is changing the normal way of doing things. The technology allows companies to come up with new methods of production that are both cheaper and customizable (Anderson & Sherman, 2007). Advanced 3D printing systems is used to make house or print functional organs. Positioning of the world-manufacturing sector has always learnt towards the mass customization and economies of scale. However, 3D printers enable the manufacturers to come up with unique products at a higher unit cost but little marketing and shipping costs (Jin, 2011). Possibilities that the technology avails to the manufacturing sector, medicine, architecture and construction industries have led to the shifting of focus from the movement of all the production workshops to china to disperse but efficient homemade factories (Jin, 2011). The technology is provided by few companies and its uptake is limited. The fact that most of the people are not aware of the technology means that there is a mass market for the production system. The companies that will make the first move stand to gain significantly.

b)Explanation of basic idea to be marketed

3D marketing is a novice technology to some of the people but it has been around for some time. The technology enables the user to come up with 3 dimensional products from different masses. The technology is revolutionary in that a real 3D object is created from different materials. A design of a product to be printed can be made using specialized software. The printers have wide applications in numerous sectors. This technology is different from the common printing since it requires unique base that is integrated into the final product.

The unique aspect of the technology comes from the fact that one can print different products using a single printer as long as the base is different. As a result, the utility derived from the printing technology is increased. Different and customized designs can be made using the software since most of the printers come with versatile applications such that they can be used in different printers. The printers range in size. Specialized printers are also available (Jin, 2011). The promise presented by the technology is so revolutionary such that the potential presented is extensive. The printers will depend on the demand and customer specifications. The products, therefore, will therefore, provide the user with the highest level of flexibility.

2.Market place

a)Overview

The technology of additive manufacturing was first introduced by Charles Hull in 1984. Therefore, the technology has been in the market place for the past 30 years. However, the long time that the technology has had in the market has not translated into massive adoption. The market for the technology is still nascent. The market displays low market share concentration despite the expected (Wang, 2011). However, changes in the market such as the technological developments and new software development prospects have led to the rapid development in the industry. The changes have led to the speeding up of the growth of the industry. The hyped nature of the market and potentials that it presents has also led to the rapid rise in the number of software developers, software and service providers. The wide applications of the product have led to the massive adoption of the technology. New ways of using the technology has led to the adoption of the technology.

b)Forecast Analysis

The future of 3D technology is in the adoption of the technology on a high scale. Currently, only specialized manufacturers use the technology. A small portion of enthusiasts also uses the technology for recreation purpose. With the hype and future of the technology, there are new options that lead to the increased use of the technology (Jin, 2011). All users will eventually consume products that are partly or wholly made using the technology. In the next five years, the 3D technology sector in the United States will be worth $1.5 billion. The potential presented by the technology is so immense such that it is almost impossible to map out how the outlook of the market will be.

The technology will be distributed such that there will be no homogeneity in the market. Different types of businesses will be made in the market such that the return on investment will depend on the company division (Wang, 2011). Some of the company divisions or entire businesses that will evolve from the technology. Some of the businesses that will emerge from the technological advancements include; design of the 3-dimenentional objects that are to be designed and printed, it will place more emphasis on the service manufacturing, increase in 3D manufacturing industries in the homes and subsistence manufacturing. The markets mentioned above will interrelate and will demand adequate supply of 3D materials.

c)Risks

The investment is demanding in that it requires that the initial production system is aligned to the needs of the market (Anderson & Sherman, 2007). Creation of the right product to match up the needs of the market and rival the more established production systems will also be a challenge for the upcoming producers. Resistance of the users to change could affect the business since most of the people will search for products that are more conventional. Additionally, people place more value to the traditional products since they are trusted and reliable. The fact that they are receiving the desired utility from traditionally made products gives them less incentive to look for the alternative products.

There is also a limited scope of the products that can be made using the technology since some of the materials used are not available in most of the countries. The range of materials used is also limited with the majority of the printing materials being plastic based (Anderson & Sherman, 2007). There can only be so much that is produced using the system. There is a low risk of adoption given that the production process is relatively slow compared to the traditional manufacturing process. There is a litigation risk given the high rate of adoption for the technology and lack of a cellar mechanism for the development of the machines. There is no way of deciding the responsible party in the event that the technology leads to the development of substandard products. The technology is also affected by the some regional factors such as the temperature and atmospheric conditions. These aspects affect the actual output from the printing process in the real word.

d)Timing

The market is warming up to the new technology with the hype that it is receiving. There a market clamor to produce a product that meets the customer needs. The desire to produce unique products in the age is the best time for the production and sale of the 3D marketing. The business process is inclined towards the development of unique products that meet the specifications of the users (Anderson & Sherman, 2007). The businesses are also looking at ways of producing a new product using the least cost of production possible. To meet the needs, the market has been engrossed in creation of new production systems for each product. The short product cycle has led to almost impossible cost recovery chances. As a result, the organizations have been forced to price their product highly such that it has been a burden for the producers. The printers will solve the issue hence they are gaining popularity in the market when they are needed the most.

3.PEST

Political-legal

3D printing sector has received minimum regulations since its inception. There are no explicit riles stating what is expected how the producers and users can make a product without breaching the laws stated by the government. Additionally, lack of a regulation on the products that can be used and the items that can be designed has led to the development of models that could be patented in the other instances. In this case, the government has been forced to watch the production of the models without doing anything since most of the models are made in the homes by the individual modelling enthusiasts (Wang, 2011). As a result, there are many gray areas in the use of the products and technology since issues of intellectual property are affected. The technology has led to the development of product that are inhibitive to the creativity of the generic product since the models are designed to fit into the common products. Failure to acknowledge and adhere to the laws works against the rule of law.

Environmental

The business environment is conducive for the development of the technology. Contrary to the previous business environment, the technology has received massive reception in the world leading to new uses of the technology. The potential of the business has led to the assumption that the business is more useful now than in the previous times. In order for the business model to create the desired outcome there has been diversification of the application and the rapid innovations have led to the development of the perception that the technology will lead to the creation of a unique and useful product.

The hype and has allowed the producers to diversify their printers such that they can produce the spare parts in the home or can lead to the development of the business model that creates the needed product at the point of need. Other uses of the technology have led to the perception among the business community that it is a new way of doing things that will affect the development of the industry. The massive usage has also resulted in the notion that the production technology will usher in the new industrial age whereby the focus will no longer be on the massive customization (Anderson & Sherman, 2007). There are also new uses that threatened to change the business techniques applied in the major production system in the world. Use of the technology has led to the major success of the companies that have highly specialized production systems. Therefore, the system is full of promises of the improvements that it can cause in the production of new items.

Social

The technology has led to social issues touching on different aspects in the society. There is an issue of the ethics whereby the technology has been posited as attempts to play god in some instances more so when the businesses that use the technology are in the medical field. The attempt to create a kidney from a mass of culture cells has been deemed more of a defiance of natural way such that the people will have enough technology to come up with the new organs. At the same time, the technology has resulted in massive adoption whereby the business people have defined the common ethics of the production system. Ethics of the business have been greatly questioned more so with the possibility of printing plastic guns with the same lethal effects with the common metallic guns.

Issues of security have also arise with the majority of the people concerned with the value of the technology when it can replicate the notes used in the market such that there is no value in the money when people can print their money to look almost identical to the common money issued in the market. On the positive side, the technology has revolutionized the aspect of fashion with every designer now capable of developing his own unique design. In fact, the technology has replaced the traditional designer with the customer since the customer can use the design software to reflect his or her wildest imaginations in terms of design. Eventually, the production system has been used to create new fashionable products. The technology also promises improved standards of living with matter such as health and housing prone to undergo massive changes due to the technology. The possibilities that the technology brings to the people are so high even though they are both contributive and disruptive to the society’s way of living.

Technology

The technology for the 3D printing has undergone numerous changes such that there are more uses of the technology now than in the past. Previously, the technology for the production of the three dimensional products had limited uses. It was even taunted to be futuristic and a product of the science fiction movies. However, with the development of the model, there are numerous and unique uses of the technology that have led to the creation of a lot of promise for the users. The technology has evolved such that it can be used in numerous contexts such that it is no longer an issue adopted by the enthusiasts or large organizations.

Smaller homemade devices have been developed to deal with the issues of the context of production such that the new era of production is no longer poised on the mass and established companies, the development process can also take place in the home. This aspect has led to the question of whether the technology is leading to development of new products or that it is a matter of improvement of the production system to reinstate the cottage industries (Wang, 2011). The technology has also resulted in the development of more instances of production competence creation such that the future of the production has shifted to the customization of the product. Unique designs can be created and made using the printers. Some of the printers are fast and more effective than others. However, the costs of a product have shifted over the years such that there is an easier way of producing products. The technology has led to the development of better business models that have more promise than the conventional production systems.

Company profile

Excel printers has been in the business for over two decade selling the common type of printers. The generic printers have proven to be profitable for the company since it has been able to sell new printers to the majority of the people. The company is privately owned leading to the creation of new production system that focuses on the creation of the unique customer experience. The mission of the company is to create the best value possible leading to the development of new items such that the unique need set presented by the customers will be addressed fully.

The company shifted to include the revolutionary 3D technology that has led to the development of new focus on manufacturing. The technology is unique and more promising. Additionally, there are many competitors in the supply of the generic two-dimensional printers such that there is no way of ensuring that the market grows further. The market for the generic printers is slumping hence the need to create new markets or focus on the introduction of new technology to address the shortcoming of the traditional printer market. The company selected the 3D technology as the next frontier on which it will develop.

Due to the focus on the creation of parts at home, the company has repositioned itself such that it is looking at the complete elimination of the traditional printers and replacing them with the 3D printers. Effectively, the company will attain the desired growth in the market and increase the chances of growth. It also aims at being the first mover in this technology in the various parts of the world. The first mover advantage will enable the company attain a sustained growth rate.

Mission

To provide customer value in all that we do by providing highest quality printers and printing technology to all the customers across the world.

Vision

To be the best printer supplying company in the world

Values

Integrity; the company focuses on delivering what it promises and promising what it can deliver.

Transparency; the company seeks to provide the customer with the new products that are capable of delivering. It also seeks to provide the customer with the correct and timely information about a technology.

Respect of people: the company is built on the premise that the best outcome in the organization has to be attained if there is massive respect of the people involved in the creation of new products. The principle informs the supply management principles whereby the suppliers and other stakeholders in the value chain are important strategic partners

Social responsibility; the company seeks to become the best corporate citizen in the industry. It will attain this by ensuring that it complies with the rules created by the government and any other industrial regulators.

Cost leadership; the company focuses on being the leader in terms of cost by producing unique product that meet the requirements of the market. It also focuses on the development of innovative supply chain technologies that will eliminate the need for buffering up the inventory by the implementation of the JIT management philosophy.

Customer focus; the company believes that the customer is the core of the business operation. To indicate the commitment to the customer, it has developed new ways of doing business that are meant to create the most value for the client. As a result, the business has been able to develop new product that are focused on the creation of the most value for the clientele. It has also focused on customer relation system that will a succinctly address the issues facing the customer and provide them with the highest value possible.

Teamwork: the company believes in the philosophy of working in team. Each member of the company is a team member and he has to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the team. This focus also promises the company more development chances with each score card for the team acting as a cascade from the top management. Teams eventually contribute to the final corporate strategy.

Target customer analysis

The company is targeting the global customer with the focus being the American and European markets. The company will be the liaison between the producing companies and the users of the product with the main effect being the creation of the best relationship. The supply chain for the products will be shorts for the company hence the need to come up with optimal supply chain management strategies. The consumers that it is targeting include the small-scale retailers and enthusiasts. Another set of consumers that the company is targeting is the large-scale production companies that will demand the creation of new production systems that are unique and effective in the development of other products. This group of customers will require unique strategies that are tweaked to fit their immediate needs. It will also demand more interaction between the supplier and the customer. The company will be playing the liaison role in this case.

Enthusiasts

This customer target group is composed of the users of the technology for the common use. The everyday use of the technology will be used for leisure and exploration. The enthusiasts will compose the majority of the direct sales since they require small and compact machines. Providing them with the desired machine type and quality will be the focus. The cost of the printers availed for the customers will be determined by the immediate needs presented by the customer group.

Home manufactures

This is the second target group. It is also composed of the enthusiasts of the technology. However, the goal of the production is no longer on the discovery of new ways. Some of the products that the customers will be making are effective and meant for sale or home use. This target group will be slightly smaller than the enthusiasts will since the effective printers for the work will be more expensive and slightly bigger than the ones demanded by the enthusiasts.

Specialized manufacturing companies

The companies will need uniquely designed printers for the development of the products. The printers are likely to the specially developed for their goal hence the special nature of the products made using the technology. The specialized production companies will also demand more maintenance of the system therefore; they will be more strategic partners. The company will provide them with the products as well as the after sale services as arranged.

Segments

The company will be supplying the retail and wholesale markets. Retail market is divided into traditional over the counter retail and the online market. Online markets will allow a customer select the product that he wants. It will also allow the organization come up with internally processed data for forecasting demand in the traditional markets. Online customers will be charged the same price with the traditional over the counter customers in order to avoid shifting of demand from the retailers. It will also reduce the conflict between the organization and its retailers.

Trends

Current

The current market trend indicates that the main buyers for the products are the enthusiasts and home based users. There has been a difficulty in the uptake of the technology by the large-scale producers except for the highly specialized firms. Therefore, the main source of the direction and investment from the organization is the enthusiast followed by the small-scale buyers. The enthusiasts comprise the largest portion since they are driven by the need to discover and not the need to produce something.

The machines used by the enthusiasts are also cheaper and affordable. Home based users are the second in ranking. They are focused on the production of items that they can use such as parts to their appliances. In some instances, they also produce the parts for other production processes. The last customer group is the large scale specialized users. These users are few since they require specialized attention in the design of the printers. There is also a need to come up with new production systems that create value to the final users. The specialized nature of the highly specialized users has led to slow development. The bulk of the printers also require storage space. It is expensive to buy the printer with the view of stocking them.

Future

i.Short

The outlook in the 3D printing arena will not change over the years. However, in the short run the outlook will be relatively constant. Real changes will start being witnessed after the market has embraced the technology and the technology is no longer an issue of science fiction. The use of the technology will be aligned along the model mentioned above. Influencers of the change will be the constant hype of the technology in the market, the increased uses of the product and massive acceptance of the technology among the big industry sectors. The demand for the design software and auxiliary services for the technology will grow proportionally with the acceptance of the technology in the market.

ii. Long

The future of the printing technology is in the large-scale production systems. The developments in the technology used in this sector threaten to topple the trend leading to the main demand of the printers shifting from the users to the producers. The major manufacturing companies are focusing on the change from the traditional production system to the new three-dimensional based production. The majority of the production systems will depend on the new technology. The three-dimensional production system promises to increase the value of the production. It also promises the rapid improvement of the manufacturing system. Due to this focus, the company will shift its focus in the past from the supply of the smaller printer to large and specialized software. It will also focus on the production and supply of software for the development of new products that are more focused towards the creation of new production systems that will meet the needs of the manufacturing organizations.

Competitor analysis

Few companies in the industry have managed to make a name for themselves. Fewer companies are listed as public companies. Some of the listed companies are the market leaders.
Innovators

1.3D systems

3D systems is the leading company in the technology. It has a high investment in the market given that it has a first mover advantage. It stock is highly priced ranging at over $30 per share. The company has an experience that it draws on. It is also one of the innovators in the industry.

2.Stratasys

The company is the second ranking in the field. It is focused on the production and supply of the printers. The company has a strategic alliance with Objet making it the leader in the market even surpassing 3D systems. Its revenue size is bound to increase with the strategic alliance. The narrow focus of the company leaves a supply opportunity to companies that are currently growing.

3.Proto Labs

This is the third ranking company dealing in the technology. It focuses on the rapid manufacturing of new printers. It also manufactures parts for the printers that run on the nanotechnology platform. The company has attained high growth rates over the years leading to the development of a market sustainability. The focused production that the company engages in has enabled it attain high growth and consistent performance with a constant growth rate in the profitability (Sandhusen, 2000). All companies are in the innovator class. They develop the products but do not have the distribution network to avail the printers in the market.

Market share

Stratasys is the leading company in the market with the market share of 57%. The company has been able to control the market due to the rapid rise in demand for its products. It is also poised on being the largest producer of the desktop printers that will serve the markets of the 3D design enthusiasts. It is also focused on the organic growth.
3D systems were founded by Charles hull who is thought to be the inventor of the 3D printing technology. It has close to 30 years in the market. However, its dominance was disrupted by the merger between Stratasys and Objet. The company currently occupies 18% of the total market share in the 3D printing technology.

Life cycle elements

3D systems is assumed to be at the mature stage since it was the first company to come up with the technology. Its first mover advantage, however, can be rivaled by the new companies. Therefore, the company has to ensure that it comes up with strategies of expanding to deal with the new companies that are threatening its legacy. Despite the first mover advantage enjoyed by the company, the industry is yet to attain its maturity. Therefore, the company will grow along the increased acceptance of the company in the market. The other companies are younger and are affected by the technologies that are constantly under development. Therefore, the companies will still experience growth with the rapid acceptance of the technology in the market place.
Strategies to overcome

1.Strategic alliance

The companies are not concerned with the production and supply of the printers. This is a chance for the 888 company to come up with new strategy meant to ally itself with the producers. The fact that the technology for the printers will be daunting to develop. The company it better placed as a strategic distributor for the market leaders.

2.Exploring new market

Various markets are yet to be explored. These markets are in the third world countries and middle level economies. Asian and African countries could be new markets for the printers. The company ought to focus on the absolute supply in these countries. Providing the people in these countries with the new technology will eventually lead to the development of competitive advantage over the companies that are focused on the production or sale of the printers in the developed countries.

3.Diversification

The company can diversify its production system to focus on the development of the materials for the printers and not the actual printer making and design. It could also focus on the software development to cater for the users of the printers.

4.Online sales

The company can attain the expected market presence by focusing on the development of new sales platform that will allow it to transcend the boundaries. This can be attained by looking at the international market. It will also facilitate the process of monitoring growth of the company.
Product

Overview

The company will be focusing on the sale of printers across the world. It will also develop the software for the design of the products. Sales will be conducted using the online and retail platforms.

i.Industry of related products

There are independent distributors of the printers all over the world. They often stock different printers from numerous suppliers. They also offer support service but do not develop the design software. Major producers will supply the printers to be sold all over the world.
ii.Product form related

Various companies supply the service. They often supply different printers and do not offer the direct design services. The software for the design comes from the producers. Improvements have to be done independently (Berkowitz & Berkowitz, 1992).

iii.Brand related

The company will provide top brands in the market only. It will supply the printers made by the aforementioned companies.

Boston matrix

The company has four products. It will focus on the supply of the printers, software, materials and servicing. The servicing is the dog and it could be recommended for dropping. The material supply is the problem child. It has to be improved and converted into a star (Winer, 2004). Supply of printers is the cash cow. It is the source of funds that are used to fund the stars. It is the main source of revenue for the company. The star is the software development. It has enough production capability to produce high value output. It should be converted into a cash cow.

8. Place

Geographic analysis

The company will supply Europe and America using retail store. It will play the wholesale role in these places since there are enough retailers dealing with the supply of the technology. The rest of the areas in the world will be supplied using the online purchasing. Adequate transport and communication network will be needed in all the areas. The shipping costs in online buying will be absorbed by the client (Winer, 2004).

Logistics analysis

The company will focus on the development of supply using the normal shipping. Urgency will dictate the channel of delivery used. In the event that there is no urgency, the company will ship the products using the waterways (Sheehan, 2011).

Inventory analysis

The company will not desire holding onto much of the inventory. It will use just in time management philosophy to ensure that the suppliers provide the printers and materials when there is an order (Sandhusen, 2000). A Kanban system will be used as a trigger for orders.

Channel partners

The company will collaborate with the logistic companies to deliver the printers and materials. The main logistic partner will be DHL. The company will handle the distribution channel in Europe and America using the same logistics company.

9. Promotion

Theme

Stranger than fiction

Budget

The promotion budget will be 25% of the total revenue generated. The promotion will use expense of $8 million. These expenses will be used to pay models, television networks and sales people (Kotler, 2000).

DAGMAR

The company will design the promotion campaign to mirror the uniqueness and versatility of the product. The company will ensure that it focuses on the creation of awareness on the possibilities that the technology brings to all users (Sheehan, 2011). The results for the campaign will be assessed using the balanced score card model. The extent of the attainment of the four perspectives will be used to assess if a strategy was effective or not.

Public relations strategy

The company will not engage in any public relations strategy since it is at the inception stages. However, the need to use the strategy will be arrived at using the ad hoc approach.
Promotional activities
The company will use the customer relations marketing strategy. This strategy is effective given the nature of the product and the stage of development in which the industry is at (Kotler, 2000).

Advertising

1.Website

The company will use its website as the primary promotions strategy. The selection of the website is influenced by factors such as costs of advertising and the ease of management. It will also meet the needs of the market since it will reach out to the target market solely (Kotler, 2000).

2.Print

The company will use the print media to advertise. It will develop the adverts for each of the products (Cant, 2006). In print media, the company will use the brochures only.

Price

The company will position itself by offering the products at a slightly lower price. This strategy will enable the company to develop a market base (Pride & Ferrell, 2008). However, it will level up the price with the rest of the players (Cant, 2006).

11. Objectives

Product

The company aims at providing varied, high quality and versatile printers and materials to its market. It focuses on the creation of the best value to all the customers (Kotler, 2000).

Promotion

The company focuses on the customer and the ways that it can improve the value creation. The only strategy that will be used is customer relationship management with the aim of creating long-term relationships with the clientele (Kotler & Armstrong, 1991).

Place

The company aims at attaining global presence using the online and physical distribution channels.

People

The company aims at implementing the respect of people principle, which will lead to the development of lasting human resource all over the world. The company will treat all people equally (Blythe, 2006). It will also focus on the social responsibility that it has (Kotler & Armstrong, 1991).

Process

The company will endeavor to streamline its processes such that there will be efficiency and effectiveness in the service delivery (Winer, 2004).

12. Financials

Costs

The company will incur purchasing costs such that it will be capable of developing the network. Fixed costs will be $1000000 p.a. the fixed costs will include the rent and fixed salaries. The variable costs will be $500000 for the sale commissions, wages and distribution of the goods. The fixed costs will be $1000 per unit and variable costs will be $500 per unit.

Forecasts

Revenues

The company aims at selling 1000 units at $10000. Therefore, the sales revenue will be $10M.

Units

The company aims at selling 1000 units in the first year.

Breakeven point

The company will breakeven at 150 units.

Profits

The company is projected to make profits of x

13. Time line

Tactics

The tactics will be implemented and evaluated annually. The changes will be implemented if needed in order to come up with the desired outcome.

Strategies

Strategies will be implemented over a period of 3 years. The analysis of the strategy will be conducted continually using the attainment of the tactics as the main basis.

References

Anderson, P., & Sherman, C. (2007). A discussion of new business models for 3D printing. International Journal Of Technology Marketing, 2(3), 280. doi:10.1504/ijtmkt.2007.015205
Berkowitz, E., & Berkowitz, E. (1992). Marketing. Homewood, IL: Irwin.
Blythe, J. (2006). Marketing. London: SAGE Publications.
Cant, M. (2006). Marketing management. Cape Town, South Africa: Juta.
Jin, S. (2011). The impact of 3d virtual haptics in marketing. Psychology And Marketing, 28(3), 240-255.
Kotler, P. (2000). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (1991). Principles of marketing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Pride, W., & Ferrell, O. (2008). Marketing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Sandhusen, R. (2000). Marketing. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's.
Sheehan, B. (2011). Marketing management. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Pub.
Wang, S. (2011). Applying a 3D situational virtual learning environment to the real world business-an extended research in marketing. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 43(3), 411-427.
Winer, R. (2004). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.