How to Identify the Best Marketing Mix

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) in Modern Marketing

STP is one of the most commonly applied marketing models. The model helps prioritise propositions and develop messages that are meaningful to the target audience. Central to the model is the audience and not the product.


STP model



Market Segmentation

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  • Establish how best to segment your market.
  • Identify the key traits of each segment.

Target Marketing

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  • Calculate which segments best fit your organisations’ goals.

Position the Product

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  • Describe positioning for selected segments
  • Develop marketing messages for each segment

Applying STP?

Segmentation is all about understanding your target market. Can you identify specific needs where you can communicate focused, and therefore more meaningul and effective marketing messages?

Segmentation can be on pretty much any variable, as long as it’s meaningful.

Popular segmentation models:

1. Demographics

Demographics is about key facts on your audience. For example age, gender, income, marital staus, occupation.

2. Psychographics

Psychographics is looking at the segment personality by looking at their behaviour. For example hobbies, risk aversion, media choices. Popular ways of developing psychographic profiles are:

  • Interviews: In-depth interviews mean you can really understand your audience, but they can be expensive to do and ultimately it is only a small sample size.
  • Surveys: Surveys enable you to contact more people but data collected can be less valuable than an interview.
  • Customer data: If you have been collecting data via a loyalty scheme or some other means then make sure this valuable data is used to help segment your market. 

A great example of psychographic segmentation in action is how Virgin Holidays segment their market:

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Hotels so stylish, they’re destinations in their own right. Our Gurus offer you a personalised service.
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Make more of your holiday by adding a cruise to your stay. Wherever in the world floats your boat, we’ll find the perfect cruise.
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Experience a touring holidays with a virgin twist. With our knowledgeable staff and expert guides, you will be in safe hands.
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Experts in affordable, quality holidays to Florida. Their Price Match Promise is Guaranteed making your budget go a lot further.
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Experience some of worlds most inspiring journey’s with pioneers in authentic luxury travel for 65 years.
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Sample real local flavour and go on truly authentic adventures that take steps to look after the environment.

3. Lifestyle

For example hobbies, holidays, entertainment.

It’s simple to target people with a specific hobby if it is popular and well established, however some organisations have found great success by targeting small segments.  Have a look at Reddit for ideas.

4. Belief and Values

For example religious or political beliefs and values.

5. Life Stages

Life Stages is segmenting people by their stage of life. For example Center Parcs targeting people with young families.

6. Geography

Segment by country, region, area, population density or even climate.

Market targeting

To logically identify market attractiveness of the segment you will need to be able to identify:

  • Criteria Size: The market must be large enough to justify segmenting.
  • Difference: Measurable differences must exist between segments.
  • Money: Anticipated profits must exceed the costs of additional marketing plans and other changes.
  • Accessible: Each segment must be able to be reached. For example there is no point targeting leaders of each country if you don’t have access.
  • Focus on different benefits: Different segments must need different benefits.

Product positioning

The final element is positioning maps. To be of value, you need two variables to illustrate the market overview.

In the example here, I’ve taken some cars available in the UK. This isn’t a detailed product position map, more of an illustration. If there were no cars in one segment it could indicate a market opportunity.

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Expanding on the extremely basic example above, you can go into more detail by mapping your competitors onto a matrix based on key factors that determine purchase.

STP model positioning map example

The objective is to identify a gap in the market. For example, as you can see in the gap below, we’ve identified from this analysis a market for low-priced family cars.

positioning map gap in the market example


An example of a company using STP?

Any time you suspect there are significant, measurable differences in your market, you should consider STP. Would different messages for different groups add value to your marketing success?


A good example of segmentation is British Telecom (BT), the UK’s largest telecoms company. BT has adopted STP for its various customer groups which range from individuals to enterprise wide organisations to services for their competitors. 

Know your customer and youy won’t go far wrong.

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