If there’s one thing I see constantly in 3D printing companies, it’s room for improvement.
The booming 3D printing space has attracted dozens, well, perhaps even hundreds of new companies, all seeking a piece of the growing 3D printing market. They may be producing a 3D printer, associated hardware, software, a cloud service, print services, materials or other aspects. It’s much more than just making 3D printers; there is an enormous ecosystem of companies all seeking growth.
Some of these companies are indeed growing rapidly, but others may not be as successful.
Why would that be so?
The obvious answers might be a difference in hardware features and capabilities, or perhaps a difference in price.
But in truth it’s far deeper than those superficial elements. I believe that many companies struggle to properly present themselves to the market. One might perceive wrong features or incorrect pricing, but while they might be wrong for you, they could be right for someone else. It’s a matter of finding the right parties in the market and presenting a workable solution to them.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read a very poorly composed press release, sent at the wrong time and missing critical information. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an otherwise promising company exhibit their product at a major trade show and not even highlight their key features and values. I can’t tell you you how many times a company has told me their target market is “everyone”.
Ventures are sometimes so poorly executed I am quite certain the companies are doomed – not because of bad products, but simply because they don’t yet know how to work with the market. No one will ever discover that their products could be a very beneficial purchase.
Doing so requires considerable skills in marketing and public relations. It’s far more than just writing up a grammatically correct press release and hitting “send”. It’s determining which segment of the market is right for the offering. It’s finding out what actual need the target customers have. It’s finding out how to attract their attention and communicate with them on a level they understand.
If a company does not have those skills, what are they to do? One commonly used option is to hire a firm that does know how to do these things.
There are plenty of “PR Firms” addressing the 3D printing market, but a great deal of them are of the “hitting send” variety. It’s a bit harder to find a firm that can delve deeper into the problem space and use analytical techniques to perform market research and discover the optimal path to the market.
One very new such firm is PYL Associates, a UK-based partnership that’s specifically designed to take on these challenges. The three partners cover off all aspects of these:
- Chris Young, a veteran 3D print entrepreneur with expertise in sales, marketing and business development
- Peter Leather, another veteran of the space with expertise in business strategy, research and policy development
- Rachel Park, a long-time writer on 3D printing, with considerable experience in PR and journalism (she’s even written for us from time to time!)
Park explains PYL Associates’ strategy:
Our aim is to highlight what differentiates PYL Associates from the general run of the mill marketing agencies that abound, most notably that we focus specifically on Additive Manufacturing and drill deeper into the relationship between marketing and the bottom line. We are also not simply a marketing agency — our services are pragmatic and driven by the sales side of the equation.
Services offered by PYL include market research assignments, PR and writing commissions, as well as medium and long-term projects where we can manage and run internal sales and marketing initiatives — effectively serving as an ‘AM sales and marketing executive for hire,’ that allows companies to access our extensive AM experience, intelligence, and network for less than the price of hiring their own internal resource, often without our level of AM insight.
Chris Young, Director, PYL Associates explains further:
We established PYL to meet a significant and identifiable need in the AM sector — one that we believe that we can meet based on our collective history. Between the key directors at PYL, we have over 50 years of hands-on experience working with AM and related companies, and we therefore have good instincts and insights into how the sector works, and more importantly, how AM and AM related technology and service providers need to position themselves to resonate with their customers and secure market share. We believe this is a unique offering, and one that provides our clients with access to our extensive AM experience, sector intelligence, and a wide-reaching network.
My hope is that every 3D print-related company succeeds, and we do our best here to help them out when possible. But some companies do truly need deep marketing, sales and business development experience and could definitely make use of PYL Associates’ services.
Via PYL Associates