As a content strategist, I like to ask my clients a lot of questions, starting with “Who is your target audience?” Starts with.
But do you know the answer I’m always afraid to hear? “Everyone”
While it’s nice to believe that everyone will be interested in purchasing your product or service, this definition (or lack thereof) does too much work for you and even hurts your real target market. This is where segmentation, targeting and positioning come into play.
We’ve developed this guide to help you understand how and why you should invest time in STP for better, more effective marketing. Let’s dive in.
What is Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP Marketing)?
Segmentation, targeting, and positioning (often known as segmentation-targeting-positioning or STP marketing) is a consumer-focused approach to marketing communications. The STP model helps deliver more relevant, personalized messages to the target audience.
At its core, STP marketing helps you better target your marketing messages and better serve your customer base.
Here’s an example: I once created a marketing strategy for a fitness apparel brand. Rather than appeal to all fitness enthusiasts, the brand wanted to target a specific segment within its target market: female yoga fans in their 30s and 40s.
Ultimately, our marketing campaign was far more efficient and cost-effective because we knew our audience, where to reach them, and what messages would resonate.
Conducting STP Marketing Analysis
STP allows you to take a large, unknown audience and define how your different products (or different components of the same product) relate to specific consumer segments within that larger audience – thus making sense. How to position your product and get the message across. Attention to each section.
Let’s unpack each part of the segmentation-targeting-positioning model.
Segmentation refers to the process of dividing your audience into smaller groups based on certain characteristics. This process allows you to group your individual audiences into similar groups so you can better communicate your products, features, and benefits that may be most relevant to them.
You can segment your audience based on one or more of these criteria:
- Demographywhich generally answers the question of Who Who is your buyer (e.g. age, gender, education, location and occupation)
- Psychologywhich answers the question of Why How your buyer makes a purchase (such as preferences, personality traits, and beliefs and values)
- lifestyle symptomssuch as hobbies, entertainment preferences, and non-work activities
- Behavioursuch as brand loyalty, channel preferences and other purchasing habits
division may seem a Little Familiar with another process we frequently discuss on the HubSpot blog – creating buyer personas.
Although the two are very similar, buyer personas help you create a handful of customer profiles that represent your broader audience. Segmentation allows you to divide your audience into countless groups, each of which you can target specifically.
For example, let’s say Paws & Tails is a Chicago pet-sitting company that offers pet-sitting, dog walking, and boarding services. Given the huge number of pet owners in the city, they need to segment their audience into smaller groups to better understand their services.
Based on their research and current customer base, they divided their audience into three main segments:
- section a It is made up of high-income pet owners who often work and need daytime dog walking and pet pop-in visits.
- section b It is made up of middle-class individuals and families who travel and need overnight meals or pet care services.
- section c It is made up of older pet owners and retirees who need help caring for their pets.
With your audience segment in mind, it’s time to move on to the targeting step. First, however, you need to decide which segments are worth targeting in your marketing. To understand this, I like to ask myself the following questions about each section:
- Is this segment composed of enough potential customers to justify targeting? If this section is changed, will it provide substantial benefits?
- Is it measurably different from other segments?
- Is it accessible to all members of marketing and sales?
- Is your company capable and equipped to serve this area? Are there any physical, legal, social or technical barriers that might prevent this?
Choosing which segments to target is a strategic decision. Thankfully, some strategic planning models – the pestle analysis Have a personal favorite – can help you better understand the feasibility of each segment.
It takes a lot of work to successfully target a segment of your audience. But in my experience, whether you’ve identified two segments or ten, don’t feel the need to target more than one segment at a time. In fact, I’ve found that targeting one at a time can help you better position your marketing for each specific segment.
Following our earlier example, Paws & Tales conducts research to better understand its Chicago audience. Paws & Tales found that Segment A makes up 60% of its market size, Segment B makes up 30%, and Segment C makes up 10%. Additionally, Segment A has a higher average income and is willing to pay more for pet sitting and walking services. Because of this, they choose to focus on Segment A.
At this point, you should understand the demographics, psychographics, motivations, and pain points of the segments you’ve chosen to target, which can provide a place to start about positioning your product or service.
First, take a step back and examine your product or service from the perspective of your chosen segment. If you were in their shoes, why would you choose your product over a competitor’s product? What features or benefits are most relevant to you based on the motivations and pain points you identified?
This information is important to define your brand positioning and understand how it stands out from your competitors. One way to understand where you stand is to create a positioning map, which is a “visual plotting of specific brands against axes, where each axis represents an attribute that is known to drive brand selection. “
The segment you choose to target should dictate which two attributes you plot on your position map. For example, let’s say Paws & Tails markets to Segment A, which selects pet-sitting brands based on two characteristics: service area and reliability.
By understanding 1) what the target segment considers most important for brand selection and 2) where its competitors succeed (and fall behind), Paws & Tails is able to identify an open market opportunity and tailor its marketing. Is able to best fit the needs and goals. Its audience.
Using Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning in Marketing
The STP model is an invaluable addition to any marketing strategy, regardless of your industry, product, or audience. This prioritizes efficient and effective marketing and ensures you are delivering only the most relevant, targeted messages across the board.
It also plays an important role in developing other strategies, such as your buyer personas, customer lifecycle stages and core brand proposition.
By leading with a consumer-centric approach like STP, you can ensure that every inch of your marketing is relevant to your audience – thus, increasing the likelihood that they convert, make a purchase, and become lifelong customers. Become.
Examples of Great Market Segmentation and Positioning
Brands are segmenting, targeting and positioning their audiences and marketing constantly, often without us (consumers) even realizing it. Have you ever seen a brand or product and thought “huh, this is perfect for me” or “wow, right place at the right time”? Yes… you have been under the STP model.
Let’s review some examples of great marketing segmentation and positioning.
1. Panera Bread
With countless fast casual restaurants on the map, it’s hard to decide where to eat when you’re in the mood for a quick bite. For some reason, Panera Bread always comes to mind (at least for me).
Panera has successfully captured the “health conscious” and “climate conscious” segment of the fast casual dining industry. Is Panera’s food so different from other fast casual options? Not completely.
But by branding itself with the vision that “We believe that good food, food you can feel good about, can bring out the best in all of us”, Panera continues to top the list as a place to get high-quality food. But it remains, fast.
2. All birds
Like food opinions, there are so Many brands of shoes in the market. But that didn’t stop Allbirds from carving out a new niche in a busy space full of comfortable, active shoe options.
How does Allbirds set itself apart from the competition? By elevating its eco-consciousness and placing that front and center in its marketing. According to the Allbirds website, the brand “crafts from planet-friendly natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus trees, because they are our best chance for a sustainable future.”
At first glance, Allbirds shoes don’t look much different from other running or walking shoes. However, its audience that cares about sustainability and earth-conscious products knows the difference.
Businesses can no longer simply segment their audiences based on “men” and “women” – individuals within each broad gender group are vastly different, and razor brand Billy took note of this.
In an effort to eliminate the “Pink Tax”, Billie markets cost-friendly razors and related products. Additionally, they work to normalize body hair and other forgotten or embarrassed parts of women’s bodies.
Through this positioning, Billie is able to set its products apart from competitors and build a strong, positive community around its brand.
The world of online dating is a busy, strange place. From Tinder to FarmersOnly.com, it seems there’s a place for everyone, anyone to meet anyone. Hinge came on the scene just a few years ago, yet it has risen to the top of the list of most popular and trusted dating apps.
I’ve heard over and over that Hinge is a favorite because Works – Meaning it helps people meet people and build real relationships. You wouldn’t think that a dating app would eventually become redundant, but that’s exactly what Hinge has done. In fact, its mission statement is “[build] An app designed to delete.”
By putting the needs and desires of its audience front and center, Hinge has created a more relatable, in-demand online dating experience and set itself apart from its competitors.
STP Marketing Use Case
The segmentation-targeting-positioning model is designed to help you better target your marketing messages and better serve your customer base. It’s a win-win for you and your customers!
This article was originally published on October 29, 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.