The Three (Marketing) Amigos: S-T-P Model

Today we’re going to discuss a marketing model that comes from the very important task (and responsibility) us marketers have: understanding your audience. We call this the STP model and it can be argued that it’s the most important planning step when creating any marketing plan. The biggest mistake I see companies make is this idea that anyone can be their customer. Sure, if you’re selling water anyone can be your customer. But is that really the best approach? Are you providing quality marketing plans by thinking that way? Everyone is different and as such should be approached differently from a marketing perspective.

So, let’s begin! Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. STP. Learn it, live it, love it.

Segmentation is pretty much exactly what it sounds like you’ll be doing. Breaking up, grouping, dividing the market customers into little clusters. There’s three different categories or ways you can go about doing this. First up, you can group by what we call “state of being” factors. This is basic, easy to find out things such as demographics, geographic, or socio-economic data. The second way to segment your customer pool is by “state of mind” factors. As the name suggests this group get a little deeper into your customers psyche and is usually the better approach to really reaching your customers. This group gets divided based on interests, psychographic factors, etc. The last way you can segment an audience is by product/market characteristics. This comes from data you may already have and analyzing it. What’s my customers average order size, how often are they ordering, how often are the using my product. This method focuses on the product rather than anything personal about the customer. All three are great ways to go about segmentation and the information for each can be easily found or it’s usually easy to attain with a few tests or surveys.

Next up, we have targeting. And as the name suggests here we will be analyzing the audience and figuring out where we want to target our marketing efforts. This one can also be broken down into three types. Group A are the people who will buy your product no matter what, group B are the people who might buy, and group C are those who will probably never buy your product (without the right marketing pitch of course). Three different audiences, three totally different ways to approach target marketing. What you do with this information and where you decided to focus your marketing efforts is totally up to you and there’s a trillion different scenarios at play here.

To bring us home, we have positioning. This one is all about taking your segmented group, deciding on where to target and now changing the message to fit said groups. This one can definitely change among segmented or targeted groups depending on the message you’re trying to get across. A pro tip to remember here is that marketing is really all about exchange. You want to put out a message that is going to yield a perceived mutually beneficial exchange among your customers, or prospective customers. You want to position your message strategically so they will see “what’s in it for them”. And of course, the sale is what’s in it for you, marketer.

And that wraps up this first post to understanding your audience. If there’s anything you’d like me to dive deeper into, please do let me know and stay tuned for next week’s Marketing 101 tidbit.