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:
Enhanced websites and search engine optimization (SEO) functions
Social media technology improvements, including mobile phone apps
Implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, including better and faster quotation systems
Improved marketing analytics, including competitor analysis
Marketing and sales force training
Local (small) in-person meetings and expanded telemarketing
Conversion from feature and function to business solution models
Recruiting of new staff
Upgrading marketing collateral and trade booth displays
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.