Unlock the Potential of Your Marketing Strategy through Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP)
Why STP is Vital for Your Marketing Strategy
As a marketing consultant at MKTG Plan, one of my most essential tasks is understanding my clients’ target audience. A common answer, however, that elicits a groan is “everyone”. While the notion that every individual would find your product or service appealing is optimistic, it also complicates your marketing efforts and ignores the value inherent to your actual market segmentation. This is where Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning or STP becomes critical.
To simplify this, here at MKTG Plan, we’ve created a guide to demonstrate why investing time in STP will result in superior marketing outcomes. Sit back and let’s explore.
At its most fundamental level, STP assists in sharpening your marketing messages and improving service to your customer base.
Consider the case of a unique marketing strategy developed for a sports apparel brand that we executed at MKTG Plan. Instead of appealing broadly to all fitness aficionados, the brand was keen to focus on a specific market segment: Women in their 30s and 40s who practice yoga. As anticipated, our campaign was significantly more efficient and cost-effective, thanks to our intricate understanding of our audience, their preferred platforms, and the messages that would resonate with them.
The Intricacies of an STP Marketing Analysis
The STP model allows you to categorize disparate elements within a vast audience, each with distinct consumer preferences within this larger audience. You gain insights into how your different products correlate with these market segments and how to position your product effectively to captivate these specific segments.
Segmentation involves dividing your audience into manageable smaller groups based on certain common characteristics. This process empowers you to categorize your audience members into comparable groups, to communicate more effectively about your products, their features, and benefits relevant to them.
You can draw these groups based on:
- Demographics that decipher who your buyer is (age, gender, education, location, profession, etc.)
- Psychographics which explain why your buyer makes purchases (things like priorities, personality traits, beliefs and values)
- Lifestyle traits such as hobbies, entertainment preferences, and non-work activities
- Behavior like brand loyalty, channel preferences, and shopping habits
For instance, Paws & Tails, a pet-sitting service , realized they needed to segment their enormous client base into smaller, more manageable groups to better position their services.
After thorough research and an analysis of their existing customer base, they divided their audience into three key segments:
- Segment A: High-income pet owners often at work in need of daytime dog walking and pet pop-in visits.
- Segment B: Middle-class individuals and families requiring overnight boarding or pet-sitting services during vacations.
- Segment C: Elderly pet owners and retirees needing assistance in caring for pets.
Once you’ve segmented your audience, the next phase is to decide which of these segments are worth targeting. Key questions to consider include the potential profitability of the category, their distinctiveness, accessibility, and whether your company can sufficiently service the segment, unhindered by any physical, legal, social, or technological barriers.
Targeting a specific segment successfully can be a laborious process. However, our experience at MKTG Plan has been that focusing on one segment at a time can yield more targeted and effective results.
Having decided on the segments you wish to target, you should now have a clear understanding of their demographics, psychographics, motivations, and challenges which provide the blueprint for positioning your product or service. A positioning map can be a valuable tool to understand where you stand in relation to your competitors.
Integration of Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning in Marketing
The STP model is a valuable asset to your marketing strategy, regardless of your industry, product, or audience. It ensures efficiency in marketing and guarantees your messaging is always highly relevant and targeted. It also aids in developing your buyer personas, customer lifecycle stages, and core brand proposition.
Exemplary Cases of Market Segmentation and Positioning
Brands are consistently segmenting, targeting, and positioning their audiences and marketing, often subtly- so much so that as consumers, we barely notice the strategic positioning unfolding. Here are just a few examples:
1. Panera Bread
Panera Bread successfully distinguished itself within the “health-conscious” and “climate-conscious” segment of the fast, casual dining industry. But is Panera’s food so different from other fast casual options? Not necessarily. However, by marketing themselves as a place to get high-quality food quickly, Panera has gained a strong edge in this niche.
Another case in point is shoe brand AllBirds. In an oversaturated footwear market, AllBirds managed to create a unique identity by emphasizing its eco-consciousness, asserting that it crafts “with planet-friendly natural materials, like merino wool and eucalyptus trees, because they’re our best chance for a future.”
Razor brand, Billie, has done a remarkable job of distinguishing their products by recognizing that segmentation by simply “men” and “women” is insufficient and limiting. They have worked to normalize body hair and created a strong, positive community around their brand by making cost-friendly razors and advocating against the”pink tax”.
At MKTG Plan, our message to any business looking to enhance their marketing efficacy is to understand and embrace the power of the segmentation, targeting, and positioning model. STP serves you in better targeting your marketing messages and significantly improves your capacity to serve your customer base- a win-win for both parties!
Implementing an Effective STP Strategy with MKTG Plan
At MKTG Plan, we have immense expertise in the implementation of the STP model. We firmly believe in understanding the needs and wants of distinct customer groups and curating messages that resonate with them most effectively. We have successfully aided businesses at various scales, from startups to large corporations, in implementing effective STP strategies. Let’s explore how we do this within our client’s marketing strategies:
1. Thorough Customer Research
Every marketing strategy we devise begins with deep, qualitative, and quantitative research on clients’ customer base. We use various research techniques, including surveys, interviews, social media listening, website and app analytics, to paint a comprehensive portrait of your customer base.
2. Accurate Segmentation and Targeting
Once we have all the data we need, we dive into the segmentation process using factors like demographics, psychographics, lifestyle traits, and behavior. We then help decide which segments are most worth targeting by evaluating their potential profitability, distinctiveness, accessibility, and your company’s ability to serve these segments effectively.
3. Clever Positioning of your Product or Service
MKTG Plan helps you position your product or services in a manner that resonates best with your targeted segments. With your understanding of the demographics, psychographics, motivations, and challenges of the segments, we design unique brand messages that stand out from the competition and hold relevance for your target audience.
How STP Affects your Website Design and SEO
For those asking, ‘Does STP affect my website design or SEO?’, the answer is a resounding yes. Segmentation, targeting, and positioning have a profound effect on your website design as well as your SEO strategy. They do this in two primary ways.
1. Website Design
Segmenting your target audience helps you understand what style of website design would suit them best. It helps you understand if your target audience would prefer a traditional website design with bright colors and vibrant font representing energy, or a more minimalistic and modern design. Moreover, targeting makes it clear which webpage elements need to be highlighted or given priority for your audience.
2. SEO Guidelines
Targeting also helps identify the language your specific audience uses, facilitating an effective SEO strategy. We can discern what types of words, phrases, and questions they use when looking for your product or service and incorporate them into your SEO strategy. We understand that the competition for SEO is intense and that SEO searches involve a distinct set of keywords. By using the STP model, we can optimize your website to rank higher on search engine result pages.
In conclusion, Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP) are three simple steps having profound implications for the success of your marketing strategy. With its extensive experience and dedication to effective marketing, MKTG Plan can help your business harness the potential of STP, ensuring that your marketing messages resonate with the right audience at the right time. Trust us to guide you through the segmentation, targeting, and positioning process, developing a strategy that brings you one step closer to achieving your marketing objectives.