The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

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5 MIN READ.

When a brand launches a new product, its primary goal is to capture a diverse audience in the market. While they aim at maximum sales, you have to be smart and focus on other aspects that can help them achieve it as a marketer. 

In these modern times, when the audience is much more aware of the various marketing and promotional techniques, brands and marketers tend to make the same mistake, i.e., adopting a product differentiation approach for marketing the product, making their strategy ineffective.

Segmentation, The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

Image Source: Smart Insights

The idea of highlighting a product among a hundred others might seem like a good plan. However, it will only work best when you have the right audience ready to accept your product with the right mindset. This is where the S.T.P. model chips in. 

What is the STP model?

The Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning model is among the highly commended approaches adopted by marketers worldwide. It comes second only to the overused SWOT/ TOWs matrix. 

The STP model works best when establishing communication with the audience. It helps you create propositions and further develop and deliver personalized messages to engage your wide spectrum of audiences. 

Segmentation, The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

Image Source: Smart Insights

As compared to the SWOT and TOWS matrix, the STP keeps the audience first when it comes to approaching and communicating with them. It also helps deliver more relevant messages to the audience commercially. 

It aims for commercial effectiveness by utilizing the essential segments of a business and then creating a marketing mix and a positioning strategy for every segment.

To get a better idea of the STP model, let’s dive a little deeper into it.

Segmentation

Segmentation is a process of bifurcating your audience into groups based on certain traits. It allows you to filter your customers into similar groups so that you can pitch your products, benefits, and features that they might find useful.

Segmentation, The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

Image Source: G2.com 

You can form the audience groups based on the following criteria: 

Demographics:

Demographics divide your audience based on their descriptive traits, including age, location, profession, and education. 

Psychographics:

This criterion describes your buyers’ behavior with traits like priorities, beliefs, values, and personality traits.

Lifestyle:

Things such as hobbies, leisure activities, and entertainment preferences help consider while pitching your products. 

Behavior:

You can also focus on behavioral parameters, such as platform preferences, shopping habits, and brand loyalty. 

It may sound similar to creating buyer personas, but segmentation is very different when narrowing the important factors for targeting your audience. At the same time, buyer personas enable you to create different profiles for your customers, representing a broader audience. 

On the other hand, segmentation enables you to divide your audiences into different segments and target them specifically. 

For instance, Stryngz, an apparel store, has divided its audience into three segments that are as follows: 

Segment A:

High-income spenders who purchase the latest collections irrespective of price. 

Segment B:

Value spenders who buy clothes while focusing on quality and are normally choosy. 

Segment C:

This segment comprises buyers who need assistance when buying clothes or are visiting your store for the first time. 

Targeting

Segmentation, The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

Image Source: Lapaas

After bifurcating your audience, you can move on to the next step that is targeting. It is important to understand and find a segment that needs to be your marketing target. For this, you need to consider the following questions about each segment:

  • Does this segment comprise potential customers that are worth targeting?
  • Will this segment generate enough profit after conversion?
  • Is this segment different from the other segments?
  • Can all the marketing and sales members reach this segment?
  • Is the brand equipped enough to serve this segment?
  • Are there any physical, social, technological, or legal barriers that could prevent the brand from catering to this segment?

If you are having a hard time choosing the right segment to target, you can use a PESTLE analysis. Since choosing a target segment is a highly strategic move, you must carefully examine all of its factors. 

Targeting a segment of your audience successfully is no less than a challenge. Even if you have identified more than ten segments, our Smart Metrics experts recommend you target one segment at a time. It will help you position the brand better while being specific with each segment. 

Let’s look at an example to learn better. Based on this targeting formula, Paws & Tails, a pet-sitting company, conducted comprehensive research to understand its audience in Chicago. 

The pet-sitting store has a segment A comprising high-income pet owners, covers 60% of its market size as they are ready to pay more for their services. Segment B has middle-class individuals and families, covering 30% of its audience. Whereas Segment C, which includes owners who need help with pet care, is only 10%.

This is why choosing Segment A as their prime target will be a much wiser move. 

Positioning

By the time you reach this point, you must be ready with demographics, motivations, psychographics, bleeding points, and other essential factors that define your target. These factors can give you a direction while positioning your product or a particular service. 

Segmentation, The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

Image Source: Lapaas

You need to look at your products or services from your chosen segment’s perspective. Consider questions like, why would you choose your products against your competitor’s products? Based on the motivations and bleeding points, which features are beneficial for you?

This information plays an important role in defining your brand’s position and how it will be perceived by your audience next to other brands. You can use a positioning map to understand where your brand stands in the market. 

Segmentation, The Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Targeting, & Positioning

Image Source: Hubspot

It gives you a visual plotting of a particular brand against the axes. Each axis represents the attribute that drives brand selection. The attributes you place on the map should show the segment that you choose to target. 

Conclusion

Effective marketing relies on strategies and understanding your audience. There are different approaches one could foray with when planning a product, but to gain substantial results, the STP model is ideal.

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