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An Essay On STP Framework

AN ESSAY ON STP FRAMEWORK

Introduction

In the course of the evolution of marketing dynamics, marketing strategies along with their adherence towards a certain framework have undergone several considerable shifts. In this regard, as the marketing experts deduced that there are several other parameters, the conventional parameter of ‘product distribution’ becomes obsolete. In this regard, the parallel advent of technological expertise has ensured the entry of STP (Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning) which seems to consider each of the aspects that drives the purchase behavior of the customers.

In this regard, the current essay attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of employing the STP framework as a governor of modern market strategies against their applications in industrial premises.

Generic introduction of STP

In an empirical tone, the advent of STP, which is the acronym of Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, happens to initiate a new epoch in the domain of market as it exhibits the audacity to declare the conventional method of “product distribution” as archaic (Mokaya et al. 2017). The approach of STP is completely different from the methods of product distribution, which has been the prevalent measure of deciphering the inclinations of the potential customers against their affinities towards a certain product or services from 1950. Several eminent researchers of the current topic, such as Zia and Kumar, (2016) along with several globally lauded market experts have criticized the conventional model over the fact that they have considered ‘need’ as the driver of customer attention towards a certain product or service. In the score of these apprehensions, several recent researches have suggested that there are several other parameters, which drives the purchase behavior of the customers.

Furthermore, what STP brings in the domain of marketing is the effort of developing marketing communication plans, which has been utilized to build a long-term relationship with the immediate customers in order to ensure the retention of specific customers (Akbar et al. 2017). In an elaborative tone, the vehemence of marketing impulses has shown an evident shift in terms of trends of addressing after the advent of STP. Apart from nullify the relevance towards product as being the sole governor of the purchase behaviors of the customers, latest models of STP is supposed to suggest that, the product-oriented marketing strategies refuse to address the necessity to retain the customers through effective marketing communications. Thus, it can be stated that after STP strikes the domain of marketing, it comes with the impulse to provide personalized services that ensures more proportionate engagement of the customers (Baker, 2016). In this regard, the advent of STP have also ensured to prioritize the proportion of satisfaction proposed by the customers in order to ensure optimum engagement of the customers to the respective brand while embarking on personalized services.

Conceptual perspective

It is a relative exaggeration to mention that STP stands for Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, which addresses a particular where penetration has not been done by product but also the sense of customer satisfaction and affinity towards a particular subject or service. In a definitive tone, as mentioned by Mokaya et al (2017), the process of Market Segmentation is a process to divide the immediate market against the governing buying parameters of the customers (Posthumus, 2015). Apart from the population, which consists of the core consumers, the segmentation strategies happen to target the sub groups also which has been known as the segments in the marketing terminology. As it was feebly mentioned earlier, in lieu of characterizing the underlying market with the penetrability of a respective against their present number of potential buyers, after the advent of the segmentation strategies, several different way of characterizing the market has been established (Pyo, 2015).

In this regard, the parameters against which the underlying markets are supposed to be evaluated seem to evolve after the nullification of the product-oriented market segmentations. For instance, shared needs, identical lifestyles and demographic analysis (even) has also been included in the parameters of evaluating a particular market. In this context, as prescribed by Akbar et al (2017), the main intent of segmenting a market is to discern the high yield segments and those segments, which owns susceptibility to be profitable or show a consistent growth statistics. In this juncture of the current discourse, it can be revealed that these high yield segments of the current market are supposed to be evolved as the target markets.

In this regard, the market segmentation techniques appear to be involved within the nature of the market. For instance, in the market, which is governed by the B2B, or Business-to-Business market ethics, is inevitably supposed to rely on the market segmentation techniques, which champions the businesses across the market (Gengler and Mulvey, 2017). On the other hand, those markets which is Business-to-Consumer or B2C in nature appears to adhere to the parameters such as business segmentation, segmentation in accordance with the demographic trends or trends of lifestyle and behavioral segments as well. Thus, in a conclusive tone, it needs to be mentioned that the assumptions of market differentiation is completely distinct as compared to the penetrability of products. For instance, the assumptions of the market segmentation techniques are supposed to be reliable on the typical corridors of a market such as offers, prices, distribution or promotion. In some cases, a cumulative framework of all the market variables is also been employed in order to identify the essence of the underlying market.

After the era of initial indentation, market segmentation techniques has been used not only to decipher the profitable segments of the market rather than to discern the key segments of the underlying market in order to embark on the governing requirements of the underlying market. Apart from that, it has also proven itself as an effective tool to obtain insights regarding the motivation s that the potential customers possess before a particular purchase.

After having such a broader discussion, it is not difficult for us to understand that the derived outcomes of the proper market segmentation strategy happens to assist us to decipher the acumen which has been further used to support the marketing strategies along with the evolution of planning and strategies. This can be considered as the threshold of entering into the framework of STP in order to embark on the marketing and planning objectives (French, 2017). Thus, the moot essence of the STP or Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning framework is to decipher the high yield segments of the market (Gengler and Mulvey, 2017). Subsequently, the high yield segments of the respective market are supposed to be targeted in order to decipher the ports where the products or services are supposed to be arranged. The previously mentioned mode of approaching a particular market is associated with the impulses that are supposed to be resonated with the scope of the target markets (Hasan et al. 2015).

In order to provide a succinct lay out of the impulse and rationale of market segmentation and head the respective organizations towards superior performance and a relative competitive edge. Targeting, on the same note, is dependent upon the specific segments of the market. Furthermore, it has also been exercised to align it with the demand of the respective industry. In this regard, it is imperative to highlight the economic perspective of market segmentation, which might cater the conceptual perspective of the STP framework. In terms of economic perspective, the axiom on which the notion of market segmentation is framed upon is the attempt to identify the heterogeneity of demand, which is an entity that governs the basic demand to be disaggregated into segments of high yield with different demand function.

In order to tap the affluence that the STP framework have attained while proving the relevance with the recurring market dynamics, it is imperative to understand the historical evolution of the market segmentation techniques referring to the treatise of Baker (2016). It is vividly mentioned in one of the author’s seminal accounts that before 1880s, the segmentation strategies have been coined as fragmentation where the underlying dynamics of the market happens to be characterized by petit provincial suppliers who are condition to deal with their goods in provincial basis. In the consequent phases, the unification of the underlying economies has been considered as the inevitable result of the improvement in the transportation industries. The distribution of the governing subjects has been done based on improved transportation as, in most of the cases, they have been circulated in the national level (Khoo-Lattimore and Prayag, 2015). The rigidity that has been shown by the manufacturers can be characterized by their intent to accomplish scale economies, as they are obliged to penetrate the market in the incipient phases of the life cycle. In this regard, the instance of the Model T Ford launch can be highlighted where the governing manufacturers have strictly emphasized on the standardization of the models as it can penetrate the immediate market within its youth in terms of the product life cycle (Posthumus, 2015). As the author suggested that this “era roughly ranges from 1880 to 1920 and can be considered as the precursor of the product-oriented market segmentation”. Segmentation and the corresponding targeting and positioning can be considered as the inevitable byproduct of those impulses and can be considered inevitable since the size of the market has increased. This session of market segmentation tool lasts for almost 60 years and, in this course, the psychographic and behavioral parameters of identifying the purchase intentions have become an emerging trend of market analysis (Bickhoff et al. 2014).

In this segment of the study, it appears imperative to highlight that the STP framework has been criticized incessantly as marketing experts and business historians like Schlegelmilch (2016) have refused to acknowledge it since, according to the authors, “it is not different from the strategies of mass marketing “. In this regard, this conclusion can be confronted by unveiling the constraints of the perspective, which intends to evaluate the virtuosity of the STP model from the aspects of brand establishment and brand status. Another perennial criticism of the framework suggests that it is unable for the framework to address the narrow clusters of the market which, to some extent, acknowledgeable since this is the constraint that facilitates the birth of the framework of hyperactive segmentation (Pyo, 2015).

In the concluding note, the essences of the comprising components of the STP framework can be illustrated in order to pave the discussion towards the application of this framework in the industrial premises.

Application in industries

Several industries have adopted the apprehensions proposed by STP framework in order to obtain a relative competitive edge in the current aggressive market scenario. Furthermore, the STP framework has earned eminence in most of the aggressive industries of the underlying market due to its compatibility with the contemporary market dynamics that might assist the governing units of those industries to cope with the volatility of the market. In this note, it can be empirically suggested that STP, as perceived by Mulvey (2017) and several others, as the sustainable remedy to cope with the emerging problems of crowd marketing.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the STP framework against practical examples of industrial practices Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel from the Hospitality industry and Woolworths from the Retail Industry have been opted.

STP Practices of Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel

Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel is a 4-Star Coventry hotel situated in the manor of Brandon in United Kingdom. This hotel have earned reputation among the corporate tourists as well as the tourists who seek to spend their leisure amidst the tranquility of the villages of London. In this regard, it is evident that in order to accomplish the desired dimension of customer satisfaction, the management of the hotel happens to deploy the apprehensions of STP framework (Travelweekly.com. (2018). In order to delve deep into the STP practices of Mercure Brandon Hall hotel, it is imperative to cite that the targeted customers of this hotel is the corporate and business tourists along with the plain tourists.

Market segmentation

In an empirical tone, the essence of the market segmentation strategy of Mercure Brandon Hotel is to segment the underlying market in two divisions; such as business and channel. In this regard, in terms of the categorization technique of the customers, Brandon hotel is supposed to characterize their core customers against their purposes of travel (Travelweekly.com 2018). In this segment, the business instincts of the Brandon hotel have been aligned with the purpose of travel of their core customers. On the other hand, the notion of channel in segmentation strategy is associated with the booking methods of the guests. With this declaration, it is very evident that the Brandon hotel attempts to perceive their core properties as a combination of this two-segmentation method. Furthermore, they also believe in subcategories in order to endow the segments properly.

Targeting

It is very evident from the demeanor of the Brandon hotel that the segmentation of their assets is supposed to function as the generated data in regards to their guest pool, which happens to be parsed by the proper segmentation of their assets. Afterwards, a technologically sound unit like Brandon hotel is supposed to employ their revenue management software in order to deduce and subsequently discern the segment of the customers that have the promise to endow them with greater profits. Thus, it is very evident that the strategically sound units like Brandon hotel happens to determine the amount of cost generated our of the property acquisition in accordance with each segment (Travelweekly.com. 2018). Thus, it is evident from the strategic outline of the Brandon Hotel that the moot essence that they have planned to endow in their targeting instincts is the attitude to derive the most profitable guests out of the nominal amount of resources.

Furthermore, in order to ensure proportionately greater customer engagement, they are supposed to use derived data to prepare a demographic profile of their core customers. Furthermore, these demographic profiles happen to help them create price rooms and other promotional gimmicks in order to tailor those guests with the promise of more profit.

Positioning the assets

In the course of accomplishing the best possible market stance in the underlying market, Brandon hotel happens to emphasize on the aspect to create an ideal and alluring image of their assets for the guests they expect. Furthermore, Brandon hotels appear dedicated to prepare the properties in such a way that might be coupled with the projected image that the core customers keep in their mind as ideal. For instance, as the Brandon hotels chiefly expect to brandish their ancillary services such as room service or spa in the lieu of promoting their meeting rooms. It is inevitable for that most of the corporate tourists and business travelers seeks meeting rooms but not spa or other auxiliary services.

STP practices of Woolworths

Woolworths is a supermarket and grocery chain located in and probably the most sensational exponent of the prevalent units of retail industries in Australia. Before embarking on the STP practices that Woolworths appear to adhere to, the quote of Khoo-Lattimore (2015) can be recalled where the author seems to suggest the marketing strategies of the retail industries is supposed to be most dependent on the STP framework as compared to several other units in the respective industry.

Segmentation:

In terms of market segmentation, it is evident that Woolworths believe in the conventional methods of breaking down the underlying market into several submarkets and the categories of the customers. This categorization has been typically done by following the needs and the purchase behaviors of the core customers of the segment (Woolworths.com.au. 2018). Furthermore, in order to categorize the underlying market, Woolworths prefer to trust on the demographic as well as lifestyle analysis in order to promote the products likewise. In this regard, Woolworths use their strategic soundness to anticipate and produce the products in order to ensure the retention of their core customers.

Targeting:

As many other lauded units, Woolworths tends to use the conventional method of product offers to target the audiences they want to address. In this regard, they are prone to use the data generated through the demographic analysis along with the evaluation of purchase behavior of the customers (Woolworths.com.au. 2018). Furthermore, targeting also assists Woolworths to identify the potential odf each segment in the course of contributing to their future businesses and thus, it helps the unit to discern the required investment for each segment.

Positioning:

In an empirical tone, in terms of ensuring a proper market stance for the respective unit, Woolworths happens to use four major strategies, which is popular among the positioning strategy and the industrial practices. These strategies can be categorized as follows;

Merchandising strategy

Format strategy, which is also known as trading style

Customer service strategy

Customer communication strategies

In terms of positioning strategies, it has been seen that Woolworths, to retain their competitive stance, uses fresh and comparatively cheap merchandises in the course of establish themselves of as a complete store within retail industry.

Mode of application

In order to ensure effective application of the STP framework, it needs to be mentioned that, in most of the cases, the governing organizations are supposed to delve deep into the individual affairs of the potential consumers of the respective units in order to develop a potent and fecund market segmentation policies. Thus, in order to ensure a seamless access to the archive of data that the consumers rely and subscribe, it is impossible for the units to deal with the governing notions can be categorized as follows;

  1. Survey
  2. Market Research
  3. Demographic analysis
  4. Lifestyle analysis

In this context, as prescribed by Lees et al (2016), the main intent of segmenting a market is to discern the high yield segments and those segments which owns susceptibility to be profitable or show a consistent growth statistics. In this juncture of the current discourse, it can be revealed that these high yield segments of the current market are supposed to be evolved as the target markets (Paker and Vural, 2016). The rigidity that has been shown by the manufacturers can be characterized by their intent to accomplish scale economies, as they are obliged to penetrate the market in the incipient phases of the life cycle.

Generic recommendations

The above discussion indicates that Segmentation, Targeting and Marketing helps a company to position a product or a service. Perfect positioning of the products in the market helps to target different groups of customers efficiently. The profitable sections can be easily foreseen with the proper utilization of the STP model and it is also helpful in identifying the opportunities as well. Segmentation of the markets into different sections not only help an organization to identify most profitable product or service of the individual segments but it is also helpful in identifying the most profitable pricing strategy for the products (Khoo-Lattimore and Prayag, 2015). It is important for the organizations to concentrate more on effectively apply the STP model in order to identify the dominant trend in the market as well as expanding in the global market. Application of the STP model suggests that products and services are formulated based on the behavior and personality of a particular target market. It implies development of products and services through which the consumers can effectively connect and it enhances the scope for increased brand identity and loyalty of the products. Enhanced brand loyalty results in the repeat patronage and thus ensures success of the company.

Conclusion

It is evident from the above discussion that, STP framework has earned enough eminence due to its compatibility with the current aggressiveness of marketing dynamics. Furthermore, it has been established that after the establishment of the STP framework, the notion of customer engagement has been introduced in the domain of marketing as a imperative tool to drive customer retention. In a conclusive tone, it can be said that no marketing framework except STP have not pledged to provide customized performance while ensuring customer engagement.

Reference List

Books

Zia, M. and Kumar, N., 2016. A Three Dimensional Vertical Differentiation Model: Implications for Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning.

Mokaya, S.O., M’Nchebere, G.M. and Kanyagia, P., 2017. The effect of market positioning on organizational performance in the airlines industry in Kenya; case of Kenya airways.

Akbar, F., Omar, A.R.B., Wadood, F. and Yusoff, W., 2017. Niche marketing strategy framework for SMEs: A conceptual framework.

Baker, M.J., 2016. What is marketing?. In The Marketing Book(pp. 25-42). Routledge.

Journals

Posthumus, J., 2015. Use of market data in the recruitment of high potentials: segmentation and targeting in human resources in the pharmaceutical industry. Springer.

Schlegelmilch, B.B., 2016. Segmenting Targeting and Positioning in Global Markets. In Global Marketing Strategy(pp. 63-82). Springer, Cham.

Pyo, S., 2015. Integrating tourist market segmentation, targeting, and positioning using association rules. Information Technology & Tourism, 15(3), pp.253-281.

Gengler, C.E. and Mulvey, M.S., 2017. Planning pre-launch positioning: Segmentation via willingness-to-pay and means-end brand differentiators. Journal of Brand Management, 24(3), pp.230-249.

Hasan, M.K., Al Mamun, M.A. and Islam, M.R., 2015. MARKET SEGMENTATION AND TARGETING STRATEGY FOR PROMOTING COX’S BAZAR BEACH IN BANGLADESH AS A TOURISTS’DESTINATION. British Journal of Marketing Studies, 3(4), pp.59-72.

Khoo-Lattimore, C. and Prayag, G., 2015. The girlfriend getaway market: Segmenting accommodation and service preferences. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 45, pp.99-108.

Lees, G., Winchester, M. and De Silva, S., 2016. Demographic product segmentation in financial services products in Australia and New Zealand. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 21(3), pp.240-250.

Paker, N. and Vural, C.A., 2016. Customer segmentation for marinas: Evaluating marinas as destinations. Tourism Management, 56, pp.156-171.

Kamal, Y., 2016. Study of Trend in Digital Marketing and Evolution of Digital Marketing Strategies. International Journal of Engineering Science, 5300.

Yousafzai, M.T., Khan, M. and Khan, U., 2017. Positioning of Private Sector Business Schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: A Multidimensional Positioning Study. Journal of Managerial Sciences, 11(1).

Bickhoff, N., Hollensen, S. and Opresnik, M., 2014. Step 2: Strategic and Operative Marketing Planning—Segmenting, Targeting, Positioning. In The Quintessence of Marketing (pp. 47-110). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

French, J., 2017. The importance of segmentation in social marketing strategy. In Segmentation in Social Marketing (pp. 25-40). Springer, Singapore.

Woolworths.com.au. (2018). {{metaController.metaData.title}}. [online] Available at: https://www.woolworths.com.au/ [Accessed 31 May 2018].

Travelweekly.com. (2018). Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel & Spa- First Class Brandon, England Hotels- GDS Reservation Codes: Travel Weekly. [online] Available at: http://www.travelweekly.com/Hotels/Brandon-England/Mercure-Brandon-Hall-Hotel-Spa-p5642077 [Accessed 31 May 2018].

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