The particular Marketer’s Guide to Segmentation, Concentrating on, & Positioning

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I once noticed a new business owner define their target market as … wait for it … “everyone”.


While it’s nice to believe that everyone would be interested in purchasing your own product or service, it’s not wise to determine your target market as such.

Not just does this definition (or lack thereof) create way more work for you; it also does the disservice to your actual target market — by over-widening your scope, you fail to notify and educate your audience about how your product or service can improve their lives.

This is where segmentation, targeting, and positioning enter into play. We developed this guide to help you understand how and why you need to invest time into much better understanding your audience and targeting your marketing. Let’s dive in.

At the core, STP helps you to much better target your marketing communications and better serve your own customer base.

The model can also reveal niche marketplaces, uncover new customer or even market opportunities, and, ultimately, make your marketing efforts more efficient and cost-effective.

STP allows you to take a large, unknown audience and define exactly how your different products (or different components of the same product) relate to specific consumer sections within that larger audience — thus understanding how to position your product(s) and messages to grab the attention of each section.

Let’s unpack each part of the segmentation-targeting-positioning model.

1 . Segmentation

Segmentation refers to the process of separating your audience into smaller sized groups based on certain characteristics. This process allows you to group your own personal audience members into comparable groups so you can better connect your products, features, and benefits that may be most relevant to them.

You can segment your target audience based on one or more of these requirements:

  • Demographics , which generally answer the question of who your buyer is (e. g. age, gender, schooling, location, and profession)
  • Psychographics , which solution the question of why your buyer buys (e. g. priorities, personality traits, plus beliefs and values)
  • Lifestyle traits , like hobbies, entertainment preferences, and non-work activities
  • Behavior , such as brand devotion, channel preferences, and other buying habits

Segmentation may sound a little familiar to another process we often discuss here in the HubSpot blog — producing buyer personas. The two are very similar as they help you exercise down the most important factors inside your target audience.

But where buyer personas help you create a few customer profiles that represent your broader audience, segmentation allows you to split your audience into countless segments, all of which you can uniquely target.

For example , let’s say Paws & Tails is a Chicago pet-sitting company that offers pet-sitting, dog walking, and boarding services. Given the vast number associated with pet owners in the city, they need to segment their audience directly into smaller groups to better understand how to position their services.

Based on their research and current customer base, they divided their audience into 3 main segments:

  1. Segment The is made up of high-income pet owners who work often and need daytime dog walking and pet pop-in visits
  2. Segment N is made up of middle-class individuals and families who travel and need overnight boarding or pet-sitting providers
  3. Segment C is made up of older owners and retirees who need assist caring for their pets

2 . Targeting

With your audience segments in hand, it’s time to move on towards the targeting phase. First, nevertheless , you must decide which segments are usually worth targeting with your advertising. To decipher this, consider some questions about every segment:

  • Is this segment composed of enough potential customers to justify targeting? Would it yield enough revenue if the segment were to transform?
  • Is it measurably different from another segments?
  • Is it accessible by all members of Advertising Sales?
  • Is your company outfitted and able to serve the segment? Are there any physical, lawful, social, or technological obstacles that could prevent that?

Choosing exactly what segments to target is a proper decision. Thankfully, certain strategic planning models like the PESTLE analysis can help you better understand the viability of each segment.

It takes a lot of work to successfully target a segment of the audience. Whether you’ve recognized two segments or ten, don’t feel the need to target more than one segment at once. Plus — targeting one at a time will help you much better position your marketing for each specific segment much better.

Subsequent our example from prior to, Paws & Tails conducts research to better understand the Chicago audience. Paws & Tails finds that Portion A makes up 60% from the market size, Segment B makes up 30%, and Segment C makes up 10%. Furthermore, Segment A has a increased average income and is prepared to pay more for pet-sitting and walking services. Because of this, they choose to focus on Segment A.

3. Positioning

At this point, you should understand the demographics, psychographics, motivations, and pain points from the segment(s) you’ve chosen to target, which can provide a place to start when it comes to positioning your product or service.

Very first, take a step back and analyze your product or service through the viewpoint of your chosen segment. If you were in their shoes, exactly why would you choose your product over a competitor’s? What functions or benefits are most relevant to you, based on the motivations plus pain points you’ve identified?

This information is important to defining your brand positioning plus understanding how it stacks upward next to your competitors. One way to realize where you, well, stand is certainly by building a positioning map, which is “the visual plotting of specific brands against axes, where each axis represents an attribute which is known to drive brand choice. ”

The segment you decide to target should dictate what two attributes you storyline on your positioning map. For instance , let’s say Paws & Tails decides Segment The selects pet-sitting brands based on two attributes: service region and reliability. Here’s what a brand positioning map (with fictitious brands) may seem like.

brand positioning map example

By understanding 1) what the target segment believes most important for brand selection and 2) where the competitors succeed (and drop short), Paws & Tails is able to identify an open marketplace opportunity and position the marketing to best match the needs and goals from the audience.

What is segmentation, focusing on, and positioning in marketing and advertising?

The STP model is really a priceless addition to any online marketing strategy, regardless of your industry, item, or audience. It prioritizes efficient and effective marketing and ensures you’re delivering only the most relevant, targeted messaging across the board.

Additionally, it plays an important role in developing other strategies, for example your buyer personas, client lifecycle stages, and core brand proposition.

segmentation targeting and positioning


By top with a consumer-centric approach like STP, you can be sure that every inch of your marketing is pertinent to your audience — thus, increasing the likelihood that they convert, purchase, and become lifelong clients.

Examples of Great Market Segmentation and Positioning

Brands are segmenting, targeting, and positioning their audiences and marketing constantly, oftentimes without us (consumers) even noticing. Ever seen a brand or item and thought “Huh, that is perfect for me” or “Wow, right place at the right time”? Yeah … you’ve been subject to the STP model.

Let’s review a few examples of great marketing segmentation plus positioning.

1 . Panera Breads

With countless fast informal restaurants on the map, it is hard to decide where to eat when you’re in the disposition for a quick meal, But , for some reason, Panera Bread consistently comes to mind (at least just for me).

Panera has successfully cornered the “health-conscious” plus “climate-conscious” segment of the fast casual dining industry. Is Panera’s food so not the same as other fast casual choices? Not entirely.

But simply by branding themselves with the perspective that “we believe that good food, food you can feel good about, can bring out the very best in all of us”, Panera remains top-of-mind as a spot to get high-quality food, fast.

2 . AllBirds

Like dining opinions, there are so numerous shoe brands on the market. But AllBirds didn’t let that will stop it from carving out a new niche in a busy area full of comfortable, active footwear options.

How did AllBirds position itself to set by itself apart from the competition? By boosting it’s eco-consciousness and placing that front and center in its marketing. According to the AllBirds website, the brand “crafts with planet-friendly natural components, like merino wool and eucalyptus trees, because they’re our best chance for a eco friendly future. ”

At first glance, AllBirds shoes don’t look as well terribly different from other operating or walking shoes. Nevertheless , its audience segment that will cares about sustainability and earth-conscious products knows the difference.

3. Billie

No longer can businesses simply segment their own audiences by “men” and women” — the individuals within each broad sex group vary too much, plus razor brand Billie got note of this.

In an effort to reduce the “pink tax, ” Billie markets cost-friendly shavers and associated products. Moreover, they work to normalize body hair and other forgotten or shamed parts of women’s body.

Through this positioning, Billie is able to set their products apart from competitors and create a strong, positive community around their brand.

4. Hinge

The world of internet dating is a busy, strange location. From Tinder to FarmersOnly. com, there seems to be a location for everyone to meet, well, anyone. Hinge came on the picture only a handful of years ago, however it has skyrocketed to the the top of list of the most popular and reliable dating app.

Time and time again, I’ve heard that Hinge is a favorite because it works — meaning it helps people satisfy people and make true relationships. You wouldn’t think a dating app would certainly position themselves to eventually be unnecessary, but that is exactly what Hinge has done. Actually it’s mission statement is “we built an app that’s designed to be removed. ”

By putting the needs and desires of its market front and center, Hinge has created a more trustworthy, in-demand online dating experience and set alone apart from its competitors.

The segmentation-targeting-positioning model is designed to assist you to better target your marketing and advertising messages and better serve your customer base. It is a win-win for you as well as your customers!

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