Today, SmarTech Markets announced our first of several 3D printing advisory services, becoming the first provider of subscription based market research services focused exclusively on 3D printing markets.

Why should you care? If you have invested in the idea of 3D printing –whether that be via the stock market, a startup 3D printing business, or an established business that could be affected by 3D printing in the near future, then I can think a few reasons that advisory services might be a good idea.

But first, let’s consider this; if you are in search of knowledge and data related to 3D printing today, where will you get the information you need?  Scouring the internet searching the many news websites focusing on 3D printing might get you started. Industry reports are generally the next logical step for what the internet can’t provide –market data, in depth analysis, etc. SmarTech provides the most targeted and deep research reports on 3D printing in the industry.

But what off-the-shelf industry reports can’t provide can be important too – responsiveness to rapidly changing markets, or ongoing analysis that builds on itself over time to form a library of knowledge on interconnected pieces of an ecosystem. This type of holistic and continual analysis can be the most powerful of all, and is the holy grail of market research information.

If you’ve ever experienced advisory services before, however, you probably work for a fairly large business, because a typical advisory service usually costs tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

SmarTech is taking a new approach to service based market research; one we think fits the 3D printing industry very well at its current stage of development. We’ve created what we call a ‘micro’ advisory service. Designed with business development professionals in the 3D printing industry, product managers, and other 3D printing industry professionals in mind, each service is divided into three or more knowledge modules. Each module tracks a specific portion of the advisory area, and each module is updated with new market data and analysis every month.

Effectively utilizing an advisory service can be very different from purchasing an industry report. Advisory services are meant to act as an additional member of your team – one that knows the ins and outs of 3D printing technology, competitors, applications, and market trends. While an industry report will go into great depth on a particular subject, an advisory service should offer insight market-wide, and in a variety of formats including data, news items, commentary, and insights.

Since no other source for advisory services focused exclusively on the 3D printing industry exists, we want the industry to be aware of the pros and cons of all types of research offerings currently available in the market. The chart below could be a good start where we’ve rated currently available resources on four key value metrics.

Guide 3d printing business

Tracking the industry through internet news sites is a good option for those looking for a free way to get basic information on a variety of topics in the industry. You’re at the mercy of the regular PR news cycles, and in some cases writers who don’t know much about 3D printing, but it’s a starting point before more relevant and in-depth research can be carried out internally or obtained through other sources.

In-depth industry reports can be a grab bag depending on the author, but those from reputable sources that actually know 3D printing are typically unmatched for their depth of research in a particular subject. They also can be highly relevant for professionals in a particular field who can find a specialized report for their area of interest. Reports are, by definition, inflexible in their ability to reflect rapid market changes as they are written once and then generally not revisited for at least a year.

Advisory services offer high quality across all four value areas. A quality service will cover all relevant topics in a given segment or market, back up insights with quality supporting data, provide relevant information on trends and strategy to a given audience, all while remaining flexible to markets in phases of transition.

There are always exceptions to the above archetypes, of course. We recommend seeking sources that encourage honest dialogue and have a reputation specifically for knowledge within 3D printing. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the 3D printing industry for a near infinite amount of reasons, and we’re excited to be part of many industry firsts in 2015.

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