Three new segments to frame your marketing plan

Three new segments to frame your marketing plan:
“Made, Make and Take”

When we’re putting together a marketing plan we traditionally target segments based on industry vertical, company size, personas, geography, etc. But as you approach your plan for next year, ask yourself “where is my new business going to come from?”. There’s a simple model or framework you can use to structure your plan around three less conventional segments:

  1. ‘Made Market’
  2. ‘Make Market’
  3. ‘Take Market’

‘Made Market’ is simply the ongoing market demand for your product or service. ‘Run rate’ if you like. Here you are jostling for market share against your traditional competitors. In this part of your plan, you need to understand where customers are researching and how they are buying.

Typically, the marketing focus here will be on a website with compelling content and offers, SEO, paid search and digital advertising. For larger and more complex solutions, tradeshows are a good tactic as this is where buyers go to learn about the latest offerings and find suppliers.

‘Make Market’ requires more heavy lifting and is where you create demand for your products, services or solutions. Here, you are offering an alternative solution to an existing problem. There are two ways you can do this.

The first is by moving existing budget away from another category to your category. For example, moving budget from printed brochures (existing budget) to digital signage (no budget initially allocated). Your job here is to convince buyers that digital signage has benefits over printed brochures. The second way is to unlock new budget by proving the ROI on your particular proposition. So here, you are facilitating an investment decision rather than a spending decision. Show how you can help increase revenue, save costs or reduce risk for your customer. If you can prove an ROI on their spend then the decision should be easy.

Gaining new ‘make market’ business normally takes longer than ‘made market’ and usually involves more decision-makers, so you need to make sure you have optimised your ‘made market’ plan first.

The tactics you will use to win ‘make market’ business include thought leadership content and roundtables, investment proposals and case studies.

‘Take Market’ is existing business that is currently going to your competitors. So the good news is that there is proven demand – you just need to prove that you can do it better or cheaper than your competitor. There is power in incumbency and existing relationships but there can also be issues, dissatisfaction, complacency or unfulfilled needs. This represents opportunity for you.

The most obvious tactic here is to assess how happy the customer is with their current supplier and product. This could be an informal conversation or a more structured audit.

Remember, you don’t need to try and win everything upfront – just try and get in the door. Offer a pilot or a proof of concept. Or see if you can displace a small part of the solution and expand from there. Are there some complementary services you can offer that your competitor can’t? A more blunt approach is an aggressive price offer. This can certainly work, but it sets you up for a relationship based on price rather than value

Below the layer of Made, Make and Take, you can then get more granular with traditional segmentation: industry verticals, geographies, personas etc, but Made, Make and Take is a good high-level framework for your demand generation plan.

Conclusion

How you prioritise these three segments – Made, Make and Take – will depend on your market share position in the market and the maturity of the market you are playing in. For new markets, there will be a greater emphasis on ‘making the market’. Or, if you have a large market share, the marketing program will need to include a retention plan. But if you have a small market share or you are a new entrant, you should grow your business through ‘take market’.