Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

Marketing strategy in consumer markets remains an interesting topic. How to identify and stimulate the needs of the consumers, how to incorporate with appropriate products, and also how to convince the customers to make the purchase decision, are important issues to be discussed and explored (Barrow & Roberts, 2010). In general, there is a marketing strategy system, called STP, which is widely used in making marketing strategy. S refers to segmentation, T refers to targeting and P refers to positioning. Herein, the importance and process of STP is to be introduced below in details.


As one of the marketing strategies, market segmentation refers to the method to describe the general consumer markets by use of classification into several small groups. Generally, the entire market is large. However, one single product is not able to incorporate with every need from the market. In some situation, the needs from different groups are conflicted. For example, as for luxury fans, price is the least factor to be considered, while for low income people, cost is sensitive for them to make the decision (Martin, 2011). Thus, it is necessary to group the market based on the complexity of market. In addition, different segments of the market have reflected requirements and rules in common which can be taken advantage of in the marketing practices. As for youngster, they are interested in new stuff and eager to be recognized by the public. Therefore, fashionable things are attractive for youngsters. In comparison, as for elder citizens, quality, taste and also function are more emphasized (Tang & Wezel, 2015). In a word, appropriate goods for appropriate fits are suggested.


Figure 1: Demonstration of segmentation & targeting (Tang & Wezel, 2015).


Moreover, the principle of grouping is based on several criteria according to different scenarios. To begin with, the demographical, geographical and psychological factors are the mostly frequent used classification system. The general factors include age, gender, region, income, family status, etc. However, single factor is not able to generalize the whole market in all scenarios. In some cases, different identities as the mix of factors are more recommended to use. For example, as for supermarket, the marketing segments can be divided according to both geographical and identical factors, such as housewife, youngster, single, old people, etc (Martin, 2011). The common usage of marketing segmentation is to divide the market by use of several identical factors. Afterwards, typical profiles are given to each segment. Through description, the purchasing behavior is to be forecasted.


Based on reasonable segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies can be implemented. The significance of targeting is to identify the most hopeful group for certain product and brand. The identification for targeting group should consider the criteria from segmentation, what is insider the offerings, together with the corporate strategy on business objectives (Tang & Wezel, 2015). The good example of targeting is Apple iPhone. As a consumable smart phone brand, iPhone identified different segments based on age, income, familiarity to technology, and the expectation for mobile phone. However, iPhone chooses the segment with young and middle age, high income and also middle level of familiarity to technology as the target. This segment contains people with most potentiality of purchasing power, high requirements on services, as well as large population as market size. Otherwise, people who are familiar with technology intend to study on Android system instead, which is not targeted (Martin, 2011).


Figure 2: Steven Jobs was introducing new iPhone (Apple iPhone4 Launch Event, 2010).


In the meantime, positioning strategy is provided to deliver message and meet the gap of perception on the products or promotions. Also take iPhone example. After selecting targeting group, it is identified that people in this segment had limited knowledge to smart phone. At the same time, they have request for more convenient use, and also they are interested in more application by use of mobile phone. In this case, positioning points of “convenient usage”, “a lot of interesting applications” and also “new phone to provide more than making calls” are provided as main messages to the target customer group (Barrow & Roberts, 2010). Here is the link for Apple iPhone advertisement which contains rich messages dedicating to target customers.





Barrow, J & Roberts, S (2010). 5 – Market Positioning: The Case of Barbados. Marketing Island Destinations, Pages 53-64

Martin, G. (2011) The Importance of Marketing Segmentation. American Journal of Business Education, 2011, Vol.4(6), p.15-18.

Tang, Y & Wezel, F (2015). Up to standard?: Market positioning and performance of Hong Kong films, 1975–1997. Journal of Business Venturing, 30 (3), Pages 452-466


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