This end of 2023 was quite special as I have had the opportunity to talk with a few entrepreneurs and industry insiders working in startups or SMEs about what they should prioritize in their strategic growth. A common thread across these conversations was the importance of trade media in developing their company. As this period allows us to reflect on the way we work, and what we should do better, I believe it is the right time to shed light on 5 reasons why you should invest in trade media. Reflection regarding the role of trade media is of paramount importance with the growing number of newcomers that turn stealth mode off in the AM industry.

  1. Trade media reaches the specific audience that can pull the trigger

A feature in trade media provides more benefits to a company that launches a new innovative 3D printer than in mass media publications for instance. Due to its targeted nature, trade media reach specific target audiences and capture even more attention of readers when they are seeking answers to their challenges or looking for specific trade information.

Reaching the right audience should be a top priority for any organization because it increases the likelihood of making your brand known and generating new inquiries. Even if they might not need the product, readers of trade media would probably know someone who does.

2. Trade media makes it easy to understand a complex product

AM technologies remain new by nature – with more and more complex products being developed every day. Be mindful of that complexity and keep in mind that there is a great chance that the decision maker and the operator do not have hands-on experience yet with the technology.

A trade media helps to unlock the mystery around such complexity and makes it easy for non-tech-savvy people to understand what you’re talking about.

3. Trade media can help you stand out from the crowd

Whether you are at a trade show, or in a room full of fellow companies providing a service similar to yours, your goal should be to stand out. This goal should remain the same when working with trade media. A press release that can be pasted in every publication is good but not enough. Be authentic and explore with trade media how you can develop and implement marketing projects that help you properly educate your audience on what matters when talking about your products, on that specific expertise that is captivating the attention of new clients, that will make a real splash on social media or even turn your customers into your ambassadors.

4. Working with trade media shows you’re aware of your environment – that of long sales cycles.

This year, a few people came to me and asked: I am looking to reduce my marketing funnel. Do you think you can help with that? Well, because of the complexities surrounding technology and the high investment each technology often implies, it takes time to convince a potential buyer. For this reason, a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign isn’t going to drive the same results in B2B marketing as it does in B2C marketing, where many people see almost immediate conversion results.

For this reason, your marketing tactics should essentially be about brand awareness. Lead generation can also be considered depending on the type of marketing campaign you explore. All of this could be explored with trade media.

5. Each effort is part of an ecosystem

Whether it is to reach a highly specific audience, gain the trust of potential buyers, explain your technical product, or gain more valuable business opportunities, trade media can provide a hundred services that can help you achieve each of these goals. Whether you choose to invest in digital or print ads, thought leadership content, case studies, webinars, social content, or even podcasts, don’t try to tie results to one specific marketing tactic. In the end, each of these marketing tactics has a purpose and brings added value when well leveraged. That’s why your main driver should always remain to target the right people with the right message in the right places.

This article has first been produced in the November/December edition of 3D ADEPT Mag.

Corporate communication and marketing expert by training at 3D Adept, Kety is currently leading the publication’s editorial and content activities. She has a unique gift for knowing how to grab an audience's attention on insights that matter – in this case, everything related to additive manufacturing. She believes that a wide range of innovations still have to be discovered about the technologies that shape the world of tomorrow and she has made it her objective at 3D ADEPT Media.