When I start research something, or when I hear about something new, especially models, the first thing I want to know is “What it is”. Many people explain it with lengthy description like what it concludes, how to use, when to use. But really what is it? I need a noun which is the whole idea of it, to let me know its main function.

And STP is the first thing I want to investigate more even it appears to be too familiar with any marketers and folks in the industry.

So what is STP at its core? What is the noun that I want to know? The popular answer I get after researching is a marketing strategy model. But with this answer, I understand why it needs a lengthy description afterwards (maybe just because I don’t really know the concept of a model). The name that finally satisfies me is the process (from Phuong Ho). “Process” lets me know the steps and the importance of each task. As simple as a name like that.


Here are some other cool things I figured out when digging deeper into STP and reorganizing my scattered understanding about it:


  • Smart Insight says STP is an approach that focuses on consumers rather than product like before. “In the 1950s, the main marketing strategy was ‘product differentiation”. I think in the past we used to focus on products as there were many rooms to explore, to invent then. Look at us now, the technology development has taken us to the level that R&D is a much tougher fight.


  • Seth Godin has a simple way to define segmentation that I like the most: “breaking the audience into pieces you invent“. But to invent these groups, or to distinguish segments, it requires further research not just do it by subjective experience (like what I thought). Because different segments will response differently to different marketing mix elements. For example, if middle age single men and middle age married men do not response differently to sales on sport cars, they do not constitute separate segments. (Smart Insight)
  • Seth Godin also has a different point of view about Segmentation from most theories I know. His opinion is that segmentation is no longer important, consumers are so powerful that they are not what you think they are, nor what you can categorize. All you need is a purple cow that worth talking about. However I think what Seth mentions is more about communications, something similar to “Content” that people these days like to talk about. And what others mean by segmentation is something in upper level at the prior stage, related to the market, choosing target consumers to serve by their actual products, not just to attract them by communications.


  • According to Phuong Ho (my most favourite strategic planner so far btw), choosing which consumer segment to serve does really matter because a company just can’t be able to serve all segments. In a nutshell, Targeting is analyzing. It requires a holistic analysis of many factors which is listed in his article here

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