Marketing is a crucial component to make any business successful. When you have an online business that needs marketing of its products and services, it is important to do it in a strategic way. Spending your marketing resources randomly towards general audiences is neither productive nor financially sustainable. The STP marketing process will help you to streamline your marketing efforts, and make it effective in producing maximum possible conversions.
What is STP marketing?
STP stands for ‘Segmentation Targeting and Positioning’. This is a widely popular method of strategic marketing, adopted by many leading brands around the world. If you have ever seen a website advertisement or promotion, and thought that the product is a right fit for you, then probably the brand has used the STP marketing process to promote their product to you. In this method, the first step is to divide the market into smaller segments. Then, one segment is chosen as the target, and the product is positioned/portrayed according to the demands of that segment.
Benefits of STP marketing
There are multiple benefits of taking up STP marketing when compared to conventional ways of marketing.
- It gives you a narrower segment that you can target precisely and do a more effective marketing.
- It reduces your cost of marketing by avoiding channels that will not be paying back.
- It increases your conversion rate by creating a feel of personalized experiences for your customers.
In order to enjoy these benefits, let us look into each of the steps - Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning - elaborately.
In any business, it is not possible to cater to the entire population of the world. There is no product or service that will be useful for anyone and everyone. You need to identify the segments within your market in order to plan your product line and marketing strategy. Generally, market segmentation is done on the basis of these four parameters.
- Geographic segmentation: This refers to dividing your market based on country, region, climatic conditions, etc.
- Demographic segmentation: In this type, you will be dividing your market based on age, gender, education level, occupation, language, etc.
- Behavioral segmentation: This is about classifying your audience based on how they behave in a consumer environment such as what do they buy, when and how often they buy something, etc.
- Psychographic segmentation: This one is classification based on personality traits such as opinions, hobbies, interests, lifestyle, etc.
To do segmentation of your market, you need to first do a thorough market analysis and draft customer personas to represent existing or potential customers. Customer persona is created by putting together details of a particular type of customer.
Let us take an example of an online clothing store. Broadly, the market can be divided based on country or state, age, and gender of the customer. Today, every consumer wants something specially crafted for them. So, you need to divide the market into further smaller segments. For example, if you take the segment of women’s apparel, you can subdivide it into teenagers, young working women, pregnant or nursing mothers, party goers, etc. For each segment, make a customer persona to show what will be their clothing interests and needs.
Image taken from Unsplash website.
Once you have divided the market into segments and created customer personas, the second step of STP marketing is to choose the one segment that will give you the maximum potential for sales and revenue. To analyze the suitability of a segment for targeting, consider these three factors:
- Size of the segment: Consider both the current size of the segment and its potential to grow in the near future. If the segment niche is too narrow, and the growth potential is long-term, then it may not be possible to sustain the business till the desired growth is achieved. So, go for a segment that has a considerable size right now.
- Profitability: This depends on which segment is willing to spend on your product or service. The size of the segment may be small but if there is more purchasing power, then it is wise to go for that segment instead of a bigger one with lesser purchasing power.
- Reachability: Think about how much effort you will have to make to create brand visibility among each segment. Some segments may be tech savvy and respond to social media promotions, while some others are old-school and need tele or print marketing. The effort you have to make in order to win a customer is called Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). Make sure this is low in your chosen segment, to get higher profits.
There are multiple market targeting examples in the real world. To understand it better, let us revisit our STP marketing example of an online clothing store. Out of the segments within women’s apparel that we discussed, the size of the working women population has the highest growth rate. Also, as more women start working, they become financially independent and are more likely to spend on their clothing. Owing to the education and digital presence of working women, your marketing efforts will be more productive in targeting them.
After zeroing in on your target segment, the last step of STP marketing is to position your product or service according to your chosen segment. This will help you to decide your marketing mix and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Positioning is done by first doing a competitor analysis. Use a ‘Positioning chart’ that will plot the relative position of you and your competitors based on two criteria that matter to your selected segment the most. For example, take affordability and fashion as the two criteria that matters the most to the working women segment of our previous STP marketing example. Plot your position and that of your competitors with affordability and fashion as your axes. Discuss with your team and decide how to move your brand to the highly affordable and highly fashionable position.
Consider these factors while deciding the positioning of your products or services in the competitive market:
- Symbolic positioning: This is about improving the image or self esteem of your consumers, by projecting your product as an elite-only entity. Products like luxury cars, high-end fashion apparel, etc. come in this section.
- Functional positioning: This is to solve a real problem that your customer is facing. Your solution may be to save their time in doing something, save money for them, or getting something done with less effort.
- Experiential positioning: This method tries to connect with the customer on an emotional level. For example, by bringing back a fashion element from the past decade when the target customer group came of age, you can bring back their memories of childhood and thereby connect with them instantly.
Now that you have done your STP marketing analysis, it is time to actually start implementing the decided marketing strategy. This is achieved by determining the marketing mix. Let us look at the 4 Ps of marketing mix, one by one.
- Product. This deals with the attributes of your actual product or service. For example, in our online clothing store case, attributes of the product will be design, material, comfort, packaging, availability, re-fitting services, etc.
- Price. This factor is regarding the pricing strategy which involves offers, discounts, coupons, payment methods, credit or installment payments, premium priced products, etc.
- Place. This factor is all about store location in a physical store. In our case of an online business, it is about the actual delivery of the product like logistics, time taken to deliver, locations for which delivery is available, etc.
- Promotion. The last P is all about marketing and advertising. It includes all types of marketing such as social media, affiliate marketing, content marketing through blog, etc.
Marketing in Strikingly
Strikingly provides an excellent platform for launching your online business and marketing your products or services. Once you have identified your segment for target, and your product position in relation to other brands, the actual marketing will be made easy by Strikingly. You can sign up for a free account on Strikingly, launch your website with a ready-made template, and explore the following features that are suitable for marketing of online brands.
Send regular newsletters to your target audience, by collecting their email addresses through pop-up forms.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website.
- Integrate your social media platforms into your website by adding share/link buttons at the footer of the website.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website.
- Add videos to your website, to promote your products and services.
- Add a blog section to your website, and post regular articles about various aspects of your product line.
- Provide discount coupons for your products and promote them through splash pages as soon as the user enters your website.
- Optimize your website content by leveraging Strikingly’s SEO implementation. Use the right subdomain name, or you can purchase your own domain name from within Strikingly.
Add social media feeds into your website and let your website visitors be aware of your promotions on social media too.
Image taken from Strikingly user’s website.
Draft your marketing strategy using the STP marketing process, and launch your online business with Strikingly. There are many many success stories that won with the help of this combination. In case you need any help with your online marketing integrations, our support team is just a ping away.