In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, businesses seek not just to reach a wide audience or sell a good product, but to connect deeply with the right audience by elaborating a solid marketing model.
Strategic Targeted Positioning (STP) marketing stands as a beacon of efficiency and precision in this pursuit. A good STP model can be created from these principles. By dividing markets into segmentations, identifying target segments, and creating a distinct position, STP marketing allows brands to craft tailored marketing messages that resonate, driving aspects such as:
and ultimately, success.
A good marketing strategy is essential, and here it is where aspects such as STP become extremely useful. As we will see, it involves much more than just creating a good product. Here, we will discuss the benefits of STP marketing, and how to use it, so that you can create a robust marketing model.
As can be seen from the letters STP, each one has a meaning. They correspond to Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. Here we will describe each one of those components of STP marketing in detail. However, for now, we can say that they follow a sequential order. The segmentation part of this marketing strategy corresponds to the moment when the entire universe of customers is separated into a specific segment where a product may then be positioned.
When those specific marketing segments have been identified, the phase of segmentation targeting of the STP model begins. Here, specific marketing goals are crafted, keeping in mind a specific audience. Finally, the positioning aspect of STP marketing corresponds to the consolidation. At this stage, brands create a name for themselves, establishing it firmly across the community they set their sights on in the first place. Let’s describe these aspects of STP marketing in more detail.
Segmentation is the bedrock of STP marketing. It acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all approach falls short in a world characterised by diversity. It is impossible to position a single product across the entire population. The segmentation part of this marketing plan categorises a broad market into distinct segments based on factors such as
Each audience-based segment identified in the STP model unveils a unique set of desires and pain points, illuminating the path for highly targeted marketing strategies. There are plenty of companies that still try to follow the one-size-fits-all approach with their product without performing proper segmentation. However, it is possible to see more and more examples of failures in this regard. For this reason, the Segmentation part of STP marketing is the task of separating the universe of possible customers into groups, where companies analyse who they should focus on when creating their marketing model.
Once segments are identified in the marketing plan and the STP model, segmentation targeting refines the focus. By selecting specific segments that align with a brand's offerings and goals, marketers channel resources effectively. Precision is key in a marketing model; instead of casting a wide net and hoping for bites, the segmentation targeting aspect of this marketing strategy ensures the net is cast where the fish, or proper segment, is. Personalised campaigns resonate, fostering brand-consumer relationships built on relevance and trust. This can only be achieved after the correct segment has been identified.
This is the moment when a company with its marketing plan and STP model can truly reveal whether it is spending money in an efficient manner or not. After all, if a company spends tons of money in creating a campaign that goes for the completely wrong segment, then it will simply be a waste of resources. A good STP campaign will make sure that the target segment is chosen in the most accurate way possible, so their product will cover their needs. This also results in a more efficient use of resources, and much better chances for success within the right segment.
After the segmentation targeting phase, the positioning aspect of a marketing plan and STP model emerges as the art of curating a brand's place in the hearts and minds of the consumers of a product. A brand's position shapes perceptions and associations, differentiating it from competitors, which is achieved through a robust marketing model. Through symbolic positioning after segmentation, brands become synonymous with particular attributes, benefits, and emotions. A strong position among the proper segment cultivates recognition and loyalty, leading to a coveted top-of-mind status.
There are plenty of brands that have succeeded in the Positioning part of a marketing plan and STP model after the respective segmentation that follows the STP principles. It is not necessary to be a meticulous observer in order to notice which brands have succeeded in this. Do you think that people go to Starbucks for the extraordinary quality of their coffee? Do you think that iPhones are overwhelmingly better than Android phones in technical specs? No - the genius relies on a solid marketing plan that follows the STP principles.
If you ask coffee experts instead of STP ones, they might mention plenty of brands whose product is light years ahead of Starbucks in terms of everything that characterises a good coffee. However, the point of Starbucks was to create a brand that resonated and became deeply embedded with its customers after the segmentation had been made on them.
Of course, we are not claiming that Starbucks coffee is bad, not at all. Their quality has contributed to their huge market share too, but their success has relied much more on their branding and marketing than on the beverage itself. While coffee experts must be credited, the marketing teams of Starbucks that have worked with STP also deserve recognition.
The same can be said about iPhones, iPad devices and any other Apple product, whose marketing and STP are among the best after the proper segmentation and the other steps have been followed. Sure, they are amazing machines that are loved by their respective segment. However, at the end of the day, some Android phones and tablets may have similar, if not better technical features. However, their marketing plan is not as solid as Apple’s.
Having an iPhone or other Apple product has a lot to do with status as well, and with the fact that Apple has been extremely successful in positioning itself as a powerful brand, with a robust marketing plan successfully utilising STP principles.
In the world of marketing, "one size fits all" is a notion that's fast fading into obscurity. Enter the captivating realm of market segmentation, where the diverse tapestry of consumer preferences takes centre stage. This will help you to get a healthy market share.
This marketing approach isn't just about performing segmentation by segmenting your audience into neat little boxes. An STP plan that does that will fail. Instead, it is about acknowledging the rich mosaic of humanity that shapes product purchasing behaviours. Market segmentation within STP unveils these microcosms of diversity. This allows marketers to understand the nuances, desires, and pain points that make each segment unique. So, forget the broad brush strokes. Currently, the main focus is to understand the finest strokes, which represent a segment that defines the canvas of modern marketing.
In the labyrinth of marketing, hitting the bullseye isn't about chance; it's about precision. After the segmentation process, the proper segment must then be chosen. This is where segmentation targeting takes centre stage, a concept that resonates more with Cupid's arrow than cold statistics.
It's the art of zeroing in on that sweet spot within your marketing plan after making the segmentation where your brand aligns perfectly with the desires and needs of your audience. Segmentation targeting isn't a scattergun approach. Those who try to simply try marketing plans that consist of random things until striking the best solution are doomed to fail.
Instead, a marketing plan that follows the STP approach is a heartfelt attempt to connect with consumers on a level that goes beyond transactional after making the proper segmentation. It's about understanding their aspirations, fears, and dreams. After this basic level of understanding has been reached, the idea is to craft a message that speaks directly to their heart. Companies who want to try this kind of marketing approach with STP should be very meticulous and systematic in order to try to find the proper target audience.
Imagine your brand and your product as a star in the vast galaxy of consumer choices whose segmentation is quite heterogeneous. How do you make it shine the brightest? Enter the symbolic positioning aspect of STP marketing, the celestial art of placing your brand in a constellation that captures hearts and minds. This isn't just about slogans or logos. Instead, it is about crafting an essence that resonates with your audience's very soul after properly segmenting it.
Positioning in STP marketing is the compass that guides perceptions and associations. It also represents the concept of setting your brand and product on a trajectory towards distinction. It's not just where you are. Instead, it is where you're meant to be, in the tapestry of consumer consciousness. This is exactly how some of the most successful brands in the entire world have succeeded in the art of positioning. When making a marketing plan, a lot of work needs to be done in the positioning aspect.
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When delving into the realm of STP marketing, a treasure trove of advantages comes to light. These benefits, stemming from the core principles of Strategic Targeted Positioning, extend far beyond the realms of mere strategy or segmentation. They encompass a profound shift in how brands approach their audiences, forging connections that go beyond transactions. Let's explore the remarkable advantages that STP marketing brings to the forefront, from strategic insight to tangible Return on Investment (ROI).
The fact that brands attempt to go beyond transactions and just selling a product is essential. Once again, remember the examples of Apple and Starbucks and their respective marketing plans with segmentation. They are not there only to sell iPhones and cups of coffee. Their idea goes far beyond that, attempting to convince their clients that their brand is a symbol. The idea of their marketing plans is to create a sense of belonging and community, where all clients of these franchises feel part of an exclusive group. If that’s achieved, then the marketing plan is on a good track.
STP marketing allows for messages that resonate deeply with specific segments. The result? Less noise, more attention, and an increased likelihood of conversion. A product will be better positioned with a good plan of this kind.
The idea of marketing campaigns is to create a need. Many times the phrase “I didn’t know I needed this” has been mentioned. Well, this part corresponds exactly to this. The idea is to convince people that the company making the campaign is doing much more than just selling a simple product. Instead, they want to show they are solving a problem.
Focusing efforts on target segments when creating a marketing plan prevents the dispersion of resources across an overly broad audience. This optimisation, which is an essential component of any STP marketing plan translates to efficient resource utilisation and higher returns on investment. Remember the concept of efficiency that we mentioned before? Imagine Apple creating a campaign for an iPhone targeted at the elderly persons segment. Most likely such a marketing plan wouldn’t be successful at all, as many individuals from this segment struggle with technological devices.
This example is quite obvious. However, there are many cases where choosing the correct demographics when elaborating a marketing plan for a product is not that obvious. For this reason, implementing an STP approach that can allocate resources in an efficient manner, minimising losses, is essential.
STP marketing places the consumer at the centre. Brands listen, understand, and tailor solutions, creating an emotional bond that extends beyond transactions. Remember that brands are not only trying to sell a product. They go far beyond that, they want to prove to their customers that they are solving a problem for them. That’s why companies invest a lot in focus groups where they attempt to listen to the needs of their segment, and how to address the needs of said segment in the most direct ways possible.
Let’s take the example of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. This was not only a technical catastrophe of a product but a marketing failure too, for its segment. While Samsung smartphones don’t create the same sense of community or belonging as the one that iPhone owners have, the company had built its reputation as a reliable brand of technological items and the solver of problems. When the batteries of their Galaxy Note 7 devices began to catch fire, it was not only an inconvenience (and quite a dangerous one by the way), but the entire reputation of the company, and obviously, its marketing plan, was at stake.
People who need a smartphone need plenty of functions, such as messaging, a camera, making phone calls and much more. And obviously, people also expect that their phones will not catch fire. A marketing plan doesn’t even need to take that into consideration. That’s why companies now put their customer segment at the centre of their focus. They want to satisfy their needs, and also deliver a product that, obviously, will not become an inconvenience.
Positioning a brand strategically using STP marketing puts it ahead of the competition. Differentiation drives preference, and preference secures a competitive advantage. Once again, we can show this with the example of Starbucks and its successful marketing plans. If we compare Starbucks with its competitors, the point is not about who creates the best coffee that satisfies the best criteria in terms of taste, acidity, amount of caffeine and other objective criteria used to rate a coffee. The idea is to create an experience and a sense of belonging. This is the core of the marketing plans of the brand.
In a world where information floods every corner, how do you make yourself noticeable? As many people say, the problem in the current world is not the lack of information. Instead, it is the excess of information. Your marketing plan needs to address that aspect too.
For this reason, good brands using an STP marketing strategy need to learn how to rise over the rest. However, this is not as simple as simply grabbing a megaphone and starting to scream at the people. Instead, businesses need to properly identify, choose and pick their customers. By catering to the proper segment, you will ensure that your marketing message will be heard.
In the world of marketing, the currency of success is ROI, meaning Return on Investment. This by itself is quite simple to understand. Those who invest in a venture want to get out more than they invested in the first place. Many businesses have tried to squeeze their audiences to the last drop. However, this can make the brand tiresome even to its most loyal clients. A marketing plan that ensures that a brand remains fresh is essential.
For this reason, the focus in STP marketing must be different, here companies must put their resources where they are really needed. A good marketing strategy knows how to make the necessary fine-tuning in order to maximise the possible outputs.
Companies no longer make just transactions. Thanks to these new marketing concepts, businesses now try to establish useful and meaningful relations with their customers. This is the core within the concept of customer-centric revolution, a key principle of marketing plans that follow the STP principles. In the past, clients simply came, purchased their product and that was it. There was no further interaction.
Now, things are different. Businesses want to solve a specific problem for their clients. Additionally, they also want to prove to their customers that they are available in case they need further solutions. That’s the core of STP and other new marketing ideas. Clients are no longer just numbers in a business statement. If a brand wants to succeed, it needs to see each one of them as a person with needs and feelings. Just like a friendship or a romantic relationship, brands also need to cultivate and work on the relationship with clients through solid marketing plans.
The key question that companies wishing to pursue an STP marketing strategy need to ask is - how to make their brand stand out over the sea of other companies. There are two key concepts that must represent the proposal they make to their clients through an STP marketing model. On one side, the service or product they offer must be unique. However, it must also be distinctive. A marketing plan with STP principles must take that into account.
The idea is not simply to perform better than a competitor or show that a product is slightly better than what other brands are offering. Things in an STP marketing strategy must go beyond that. Companies with a good marketing plan must show they have a distinctive product; one that can properly differentiate itself from the rest, and establish a sense of identity for the brand itself and its customers.
The competitive edge that a brand can achieve with an STP plan with segments rests in things such as:
and overall value.
These factors, which are key ingredients of a marketing plan, must converge in a single aspect: companies need to convince their clients that their product or service can truly solve their needs. That’s what differentiates a good STP marketing model from an unsuccessful one.
While STP marketing is potent, it's not without challenges. As markets evolve, segmentation may require constant reassessment. Technological advancements and changing consumer behaviours demand agility. The future of STP marketing hinges on embracing data-driven insights and staying attuned to shifting dynamics.
Companies need to visualise the marketing landscape as shifting sands; it is not something static. Preferences, needs and feelings are in constant change. For this reason, companies without a marketing plan or STP marketing model that puts adaptation in the first place are doomed to fail. Many businesses and their marketing departments might be terrified by thinking about these changes. However, this shouldn’t be seen as a difficulty, but instead, as an opportunity. Here a good STP can be created.
Here is where a good marketing plan that follows the STP principles comes into play. A good marketing plan that follows those principles is totally capable of navigating the sea of changes that emerge naturally from the diversity of clients whose segmentation has to be derived. It is essential to have an open mindset, follow trends, and be willing to innovate. Understanding the natural evolution of its clients is the key to success for a company and its marketing plan.
In modern marketing, technology is the conductor that orchestrates a symphony of data-driven insights. It works in the segmentation and all other aspects of the STP marketing model.
The power of technology should not be underestimated when it comes to STP marketing. However, it shouldn’t be seen as an accessory tool in STP, it should be seen as an essential asset in order to succeed when creating an STP plan or step formulas. Only the brands capable of properly understanding and tapping the full power of these technological tools are the ones that will succeed with their STP strategies. They must be considered within the marketing plan too.
Artificial intelligence is a revolutionary concept, even in STP. We are only just beginning to understand its true potential. Of course, marketers with their STP marketing model can also take huge advantages in this aspect. Considering that there are basically infinite combinations of customer bases and their respective preferences, the power of an algorithm will definitely shape the future of marketing. This will also reinforce STP as an even more useful tool for future challenges.
STP marketing is a beacon of precision in the marketing universe. It's a framework that recognises that success lies in delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. By understanding market segments, honing in on target audiences, and crafting distinctive brand positions, businesses wield the power to create lasting connections and amplify brand impact in an ever-changing landscape.
We should remember that the most successful brands in the world don’t sell a product. Instead, the core of their marketing plans or step formulas contains the fact that they are there to solve a problem. That’s why everybody wants to imitate their STP marketing model.
Selling a product is something that just comes and goes. However, by proving that they are capable of solving problems, brands through their marketing plans settle themselves in the minds of the customer base by effectively proving that they are on their side. Through their marketing model, they can be there when needed, and create a sense of identity, belonging and group. That’s why having a good STP marketing strategy is as essential as offering a good product in the modern and extremely competitive world.