Reprioritizing 3D Printing Marketing Budgets: 10 Alternatives

By on March 20th, 2020 in Ideas

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Charles Goulding of R&D Tax Savers examines 10 options for replanning 3D printing marketing budgets in the face of disruption.

With many international and domestic 3D printing-related tradeshows and marketing trips being canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), 3D printing industry marketing budgets and marketing staff activities need to be thoughtfully rearranged.

Selecting the most effective marketing activities always involves alternatives, and with the sudden availability of previously committed marketing budgets, some opportunities include:

  1. Enhanced websites and search engine optimization (SEO) functions

  2. Social media technology improvements, including mobile phone apps

  3. Implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, including better and faster quotation systems

  4. Improved marketing analytics, including competitor analysis

  5. Marketing and sales force training

  6. Local (small) in-person meetings and expanded telemarketing

  7. Conversion from feature and function to business solution models

  8. Recruiting of new staff

  9. Upgrading marketing collateral and trade booth displays

  10. Redeploying the funds into other aspects of the business

The alternative activities that involve technology, software and design may be eligible for R&D tax credits.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature

  • Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business

  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process

  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit can be used to offset Alternative Minimum tax for companies with revenue below $50MM and, startup businesses can obtain up to $250,000 per year in payroll tax cash rebates.


Well-run businesses with attentive management are used to quickly adapting to unexpected changes. What first seems to be adverse may turn out to create new opportunities.

By Charles Goulding

Charles Goulding is the Founder and President of R&D Tax Savers, a New York-based firm dedicated to providing clients with quality R&D tax credits available to them. 3D printing carries business implications for companies working in the industry, for which R&D tax credits may be applicable.