What Is STP Marketing? (And How It Attracts New Customers)

STP marketing, the abbreviation for segmentation, targeting and positioning, is one of the most important concepts for modern marketing. 

While mass marketing is akin to spraying the market with a machine gun, the STP model takes a sniper-like approach in getting specific about the target and the conditions they exist in.  

STP represents the change in marketing from a product-centric focus to a customer-centric one, so brands can analyze and understand their target audience and position themselves to better appeal to them. 

In this article, you’ll learn what STP marketing is, its benefits and top examples to learn how to leverage it in your brand strategy.

STP marketing, the abbreviation for segmentation, targeting and positioning, is one of the most important concepts for modern marketing. 

While mass marketing is akin to spraying the market with a machine gun, the STP model takes a sniper-like approach in getting specific about the target and the conditions they exist in.  

STP represents the change in marketing from a product-centric focus to a customer-centric one, so brands can analyze and understand their target audience and position themselves to better appeal to them. 

In this article, you’ll learn what STP marketing is, its benefits and top examples to learn how to leverage it in your brand strategy.

STP Marketing Explained (Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning Examples)

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What Is STP Marketing?

STP marketing is a three step model that allows brands to 

#1 Segment Their Market

#2 Target Specific Segments

#3  Position To Appeal To Those Segments

It allows brands to develop hyper-targeted positioning and messaging which translate into more effective marketing strategies more relevant to their targeted groups.

STP is an acronym for the three described steps: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. 

Using the STP process, brands are armed with a powerful and highly relevant understanding of their audience, their challenges, fears, desires, wants and needs.

In other words…  They have everything they need to resonate and influence the buying decision.

The segmentation, targeting and positioning model is highly effective as it trims the fat and unnecessary cost and effort of marketing to groups who are unlikely to want or need what the brand has to offer.

Essentially, marketing becomes cheaper and responses are dramatically enhanced.

On the flip side, brands that avoid the STP approach and use broad-based messaging and positioning are less relevant to their audience and have to work much harder to achieve the desired response.

In fact, almost 60% of customers say that personalization directly affects their decisions to buy from certain brands, while 44% agreed that experiencing personalized shopping definitely influences them to buy from that brand again.

What Use STP Marketing?

The segmentation, targeting and positioning model is highly effective as it trims the fat and unnecessary cost and effort of marketing to groups who are unlikely to want or need what the brand has to offer.

Essentially, marketing becomes cheaper and responses are dramatically enhanced.

On the flip side, brands that avoid the STP approach and use broad-based messaging and positioning are less relevant to their audience and have to work much harder to achieve the desired response.

In fact, almost 60% of customers say that personalization directly affects their decisions to buy from certain brands, while 44% agreed that experiencing personalized shopping definitely influences them to buy from that brand again.

Benefits of STP Marketing

I’ve already alluded to some benefits a little earlier though enhancing the efficiency and the effectiveness of campaigns and ultimately attracting more relevant buyers is without question the main driver behind the STP approach.

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Higher Relevance To Buyers

Through segmentation and targeting, brands can refine their position, retune their message and hit the right chords with the segments of the market that want or need what the brand is offering. 

The more relevant the message, the more the audience see themselves in the story or the more acute the pain points are throughout the copy, the more likely the prospect is to sit up, take notice and pull their wallet out.

Lower Marketing Costs

Another key benefit to using the STP process is the reduction of cost on marketing spend.

Broader-based marketing that aims to cast a wide net, needs to spend money to cast that net.

There is a lot of wastage of marketing budget by using a wide net approach while laser focused STP marketing aims for specificity and relevance over media spend.

This is especially important for smaller businesses that simply don’t have deep pockets to spend on their marketing campaigns.

The more efficient the campaign the better.

More STP Benefits

The segmentation is what segregates the real potential customers from the ones that may not make the decision to buy from the brand. 

STP is how your business will avoid the risks of deciding how, where, when and whom to market for. It’s a massive gain in marketing efficiency and a great reduction in marketing costs.

Other STP marketing model benefits include:

Increased sales through highly targeted campaigns

More engaged followers who feel understood

Avoiding campaign wastage by attracting the right audience

Offers smaller businesses a seat at the table

More effective marketing budget allocation

Deeper insights into the customer

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How to Apply The STP Marketing STEP Formula

If you want to apply the STP marketing model to your business, follow the steps in the STEP formula which you’re about to learn.

The STEP formula is the easiest way to summarize and memorize the STP marketing process. 

Segmentation + Targeting = Positioning

Follow each step in the formula to arm your brand with the ability to reach customers more effectively.

Step #1: Segmentation

The first step to start implementing a robust STP marketing strategy for your brand is by segmenting your customers. The goal is to segment all the possible groups in your target market based on the criteria you judge important for your products or services.

There are four popular types of customers segmentation:

Geographic segmentation: Define this segment by dividing your audience according to their country, region, state, city, province, neighbourhood, and so on.

Demographic segmentation: Segments your customers based on their age, gender, education level, occupation, marital status, ethnicity and sexuality.

Psychographic segmentation: The audience is segmented to define who the customer is through their opinions, activities, hobbies, lifestyle, etc.

Behavioral segmentation: in this segmentation type, you can divide your audience based on their purchase behavior (in other words, by what they buy, what they browse to buy, how often they are buying, etc)