What is STP in Marketing? Definition, Steps, Examples, Strategy, and Pros/Cons

What is STP Marketing?

STP marketing, short for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning, is a fundamental strategy in modern marketing. It streamlines communication by focusing on commercial efficiency. This model involves breaking down your market, pinpointing valuable segments, and tailoring marketing and product positioning for each.

In essence, STP marketing means:

  1. Segmenting Your Market: Dividing your market into distinct groups.
  2. Targeting Your Ideal Customers: Identifying your business’s most valuable customer segments.
  3. Positioning Your Offering: Crafting a unique identity for your product or service that aligns with customer expectations.

This approach lets you analyze your product and communicate its benefits effectively to specific customer groups. By doing so, you can engage more meaningfully, personalize your messaging, and boost sales.

Overall, STP is the acronym for segmentation, targeting, and positioning, which refines your marketing to be focused, relevant, and personalized for your customers.

STP Process: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

Let’s explore each component of the STP model of marketing in detail.


Market segmentation is the first element of the STP model which stands as a pivotal marketing strategy, encompassing the splitting of a vast and varied market into more compact, manageable units.

These units, known as market segments, exhibit shared traits that distinguish them from the overarching market. Segmentation entails the identification and classification of customers according to parameters such as age, gender, income, lifestyle, and conduct

Elements of Market Segmentation:

  • Demographics: This involves categorizing customers by age, gender, income, education, and other quantifiable factors.
  • Geographics: Segmenting by location, whether it’s region, city, or country, to address regional preferences and needs.
  • Psychographics: This delves into customers’ values, interests, attitudes, and lifestyles, offering insights into their motivations and desires.
  • Behavioral: Segmenting by customer behavior, such as purchase history, brand loyalty, or product usage patterns.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Market Segmentation

Benefits of Market Segmentation:

  • Precise Marketing: Segmentation allows businesses to tailor marketing efforts, ensuring that messages and products align with specific segment preferences.
  • Enhanced Product Development: By understanding the unique needs of each segment, companies can create products that better meet market requirements.
  • Elevated Customer Satisfaction: Catering to segment-specific preferences often leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Resource Optimization: Efficiently allocate resources by focusing on the most promising and profitable segments.

Market segmentation is an indispensable tool for companies seeking to connect with their target audience effectively, offering products and messaging that resonate with distinct customer groups.

Read More: Types of Market Segmentation


Market targeting is second a pivotal aspect of STP marketing, involving the division of a broad market into smaller, more homogeneous groups. These segments, known as target markets, share common characteristics that make them ideal recipients for tailored marketing efforts. A target market represents consumers expected to purchase a particular product due to shared traits, such as age, income, and lifestyle.

Selecting the right target market is a crucial step in a company’s marketing strategy. It involves segmentation, evaluation, alignment with objectives, and resource assessment. The importance of this choice cannot be overstated, as it leads to resource efficiency, tailored offerings, higher conversion rates, customer loyalty, and a competitive edge.

Read More: 4 Strategies For Market Targeting

Four key strategies for market targeting include undifferentiated marketing, differentiated marketing, concentrated marketing, and micro marketing. Each approach has its advantages and aligns with different business goals.

Target marketing enables companies to personalize their strategies, connect with the right audience, and efficiently allocate resources for marketing success. It’s about aiming marketing efforts precisely at the intended audience to maximize impact.


Positioning, the third aspect of the STP marketing model, is a strategic concept in marketing that focuses on creating a distinctive and memorable image of a product or brand in the minds of target customers. This entails establishing a unique identity that sets the product apart from competitors in the market.

At its core, positioning aims to occupy a specific and favorable space in customers’ perceptions. This helps the brand or product stand out and be associated with particular attributes or benefits. Positioning involves several types:

  • Quality Positioning: Emphasizes superior product quality, appealing to customers seeking reliability and excellence.
  • Price Positioning: Focuses on affordability, positioning the product as a cost-effective choice without compromising value.
  • User Positioning: Targets specific user categories, tailoring the product to meet the unique needs of distinct customer groups.
  • Competitor Positioning: Differentiates the product by highlighting its advantages over rival offerings, emphasizing superior features, price, or quality.
  • Value Positioning: Concentrates on the benefits the product provides, showcasing how it fulfills customer needs and offers superior value for their money.

Read More: Organizational Market Segmentation

Effective positioning yields numerous benefits, including differentiation from competitors, targeted marketing efforts, increased credibility, enhanced customer loyalty, and a competitive edge in the market.

To create a successful positioning strategy:

  • Understand Your Audience: Identify your target customers and their preferences, needs, and desires.
  • Analyze Competitors: Study how competitors position their products and identify opportunities to stand out.
  • Choose Your Position: Decide on the unique position you want your product to occupy based on quality, price, user category, use cases, occasions, or value.
  • Craft a Clear Message: Create a compelling message that effectively communicates your chosen position to customers.
  • Implement Marketing Programs: Align your marketing efforts, including product development, pricing, promotion, and distribution, with your positioning strategy.
  • Monitor and Adapt: Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your positioning strategy, making adjustments as needed to remain competitive and relevant in the market.

Read More: 10 Examples of Behavioral Segmentation

Advantages and Disadvantages of STP Marketing

Let’s explore some pros and cons of STP marketing that businesses should consider:

Pros of STP Marketing:

  • Enhanced Targeting: STP marketing allows businesses to identify and focus on specific customer segments that are most likely to be interested in their products or services. This leads to more efficient and effective marketing efforts.
  • Personalization: By tailoring marketing messages and product offerings to specific segments, businesses can create more personalized and relevant experiences for their customers, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.
  • Resource Optimization: STP marketing helps allocate resources more efficiently. Instead of spreading marketing efforts thinly across a broad audience, companies can concentrate their resources on the most profitable and responsive segments, maximizing return on investment.

Read More: 8 Pros and 7 Cons of Behavioral Segmentation

Cons of STP Marketing:

  • Complexity: Implementing an STP strategy can be complex and resource-intensive. It requires thorough market research, segmentation analysis, and continuous monitoring of changing customer behaviors and preferences.
  • Risk of Missing Opportunities: Overly narrow targeting can lead to missed opportunities. Focusing exclusively on selected segments may cause a business to overlook potential customers in other segments who could also benefit from their products or services.
  • Segmentation Errors: Inaccurate segmentation or incorrect targeting can lead to wasted resources and ineffective marketing campaigns. If segments are not well-defined or if the criteria used for segmentation are flawed, the strategy can backfire.

Read More: Behavioral Segmentation – Definition

Examples of STP Marketing

Let’s explore how different companies implement the STP marketing model in their operations and what they have achieved after implementing it.

Apple – Quality Segmentation

How They Implement It: Apple uses quality-based segmentation by positioning its products as high-quality and innovative. They focus on creating a perception of exclusivity and excellence through sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and user-friendly interfaces.

Performance: Apple’s quality segmentation strategy has been highly successful. It has cultivated a dedicated customer base willing to pay premium prices for its products. Apple consistently ranks as one of the world’s most valuable brands, achieving strong sales and profitability.

Read More: 15 Examples of Psychographic Segmentation

McDonald’s – Convenience Segmentation

How They Implement It: McDonald’s excels in convenience-based segmentation. They offer a standardized menu of familiar items, emphasize fast service, and prioritize consistency in taste and quality. Drive-thru options and efficient service contribute to their convenience positioning.

Performance: McDonald’s is a global fast-food giant known for its convenience. This strategy has resulted in widespread popularity, making it one of the most recognized and profitable fast-food chains in the world.

Tesla – Innovation and Sustainability Segmentation

How They Implement It: Tesla employs innovation and sustainability-based segmentation by positioning itself as a pioneer in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. They focus on performance, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability, creating a perception of cutting-edge technology and green automotive solutions.

Performance: Tesla’s innovative and sustainable positioning has disrupted the automotive industry. It boasts a dedicated customer base and is a leader in EV sales, consistently gaining attention and recognition for its groundbreaking approach.

Read More: 15 Examples of Demographic Segmentation

Coca-Cola – Happiness Segmentation

How They Implement It: Coca-Cola’s segmentation strategy revolves around positioning itself as a source of happiness. Their marketing campaigns often emphasize themes of joy, togetherness, and sharing moments, creating a strong emotional connection with consumers.

Performance: Coca-Cola’s happiness positioning has made it one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable brands. It has contributed significantly to the company’s enduring success and global reach.

Volvo – Safety Segmentation

How They Implement It: Volvo prioritizes safety-based segmentation by investing heavily in safety features and technologies. Their marketing messaging focuses on the protection of drivers and passengers, creating a perception of reliability and commitment to safety.

Performance: Volvo’s safety positioning has established it as a reputable and reliable brand, particularly among families and safety-conscious consumers. This strategy has contributed to its success and strong presence in the automotive market.

Read More: 8 Pros and 7 Cons of Demographic Segmentation

Strategies For Successfully Implementing the STP Model

STP model when implemented effectively offers various benefits to businesses – here are the six ways to successfully implement it. Follow these strategies and enjoy their benefits:

Thorough Market Research

Start by understanding your customers deeply. Use surveys, data analysis, and feedback to identify their preferences, behaviors, and needs. Know what they like and dislike about your product or service. This helps in accurate segmentation, ensuring you group similar customers together. Without understanding your market, your targeting and positioning may miss the mark.

Read More: The 6 Steps in Market Research Process

Effective Segmentation

Once you have insights, divide your large and diverse customer base into smaller, distinct groups. These segments should share common characteristics, making it easier to tailor your marketing efforts. Effective segmentation is the foundation of the STP model. It ensures you’re reaching the right people with relevant messaging.

Targeting the Right Segments

Choose the segments that align with your business goals and resources. Don’t try to target everyone; focus on the segments that offer the best opportunities for success. Targeting the right segments helps you allocate your resources efficiently and increases the likelihood of converting leads into customers.

Read More: What is Niche Market? Definition, 15 Examples

Clear Positioning Strategy

Create a unique and compelling identity for your product or brand. Highlight what sets you apart from competitors. Make sure your positioning aligns with the needs and preferences of your target segments. A clear positioning strategy helps customers remember and differentiate your brand, increasing loyalty and trust.

Consistency Across All Touchpoints

Ensure that your messaging, branding, and product experience are consistent across all customer interactions. Whether it’s your website, social media, or in-store experience, maintain a unified message. Consistency builds trust and reinforces your positioning. It helps customers recognize and relate to your brand easily.

Regular Monitoring and Adaptation

Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your STP strategy. Gather feedback, track sales data, and stay updated on market trends. Be ready to adjust your strategy if needed. Markets and customer preferences change over time. Adapting ensures that your STP model remains relevant and effective in a dynamic business environment.

Read Next: Niche Marketing – Definition

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

What is the full form of STP in Marketing?

The STP in marketing stands for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning.

What is Segmentation?

Segmentation is the process of dividing a large market into segments to make each market segment more reachable.

What is Targeting in Marketing?

Targeting in STP marketing comes after segmentation which means choosing the right target market that promises the highest potential for businesses.

What is Positioning in Marketing?

Positioning in marketing refers to a strategy companies use to create a distinct image of their products or services in the market or consumers minds.

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