Marketing according to Peter Drucker is the process by which companies and market-oriented organizations generate value for their products to satisfy the needs of their target customers (Drucker, 1954). It is therefore paramount for a firm to device a well thought out marketing process to secure a large market share as well as creating a competitive advantage. One of the most widely used marketing process models used worldwide is Professor Robert J. Dolans’ STP model- Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning.
Market segmentation is the process by which a large pool of potential customer is subdivided into portions called segments, each segment having customers with needs that are analogous or related (John,1995). Segmentation helps to allocate the firms scarce resources effectively so as to derive optimum utility from the resources. The consumers’ ability to purchase, their geological location, mind-set, practices, and preferences are among the factors that are mainly considered in segmentation (Groucutt, 2004).
Segmentation could be based on the consumers’ purchasing power which is dependent on the income of the consumers. This divided the market into high income, middle class, and low-income segments. Geological position segments customers into different regions which may fall in the class of nations, cities or estates. In consumer markets, the frequency of purchase is also a factor considered in segmentation as well as their tastes and preferences. Consumers with similar tastes and preferences fall in the same segment as this will help market brands of products or services that are commonly preferred. Consumers also differ along lines of purchasing habits in that there are consumers who are given to bulk purchases with long intervals between the purchases whereas others are given to retail purchasing rather than wholesale purchasing.
After the process of segmentation, it follows that the market-oriented companies zero in to identify, evaluate and select the market segments that would best suit their interests as part of the strategic marketing process. The firm must consider the attractiveness of the segment being analyzed that is, its profitability, size, and potential of growth as well as its risk factors and economies of scale it offers (Kotler, 2000). The firm must also consider the resources and goals of the company in analyzing the segments before identifying a target segment (Kotler, 2000).
After a careful study and scrutiny of the various segments, the organization should identify and focus its efforts to one or more segments that it has the potential and competitive strength to produce and market its products with low risk and maximum yields as far as profitability is concerned. The firm may consider a number of options based on its capability when targeting.
A firm may choose to focus on particular products in which it will specialize especially so when the product cuts across all the market segments. This, however, faces the threat of obsolescence in cases of the introduction of a better technology which may produce better products. To check on this threat the firm has the option of diversifying the risk by focusing on a particular segment in which it can conduct an intensive campaign on the product in an attempt to expand the segment. A firm may also opt to meet the various needs of particular segments rather than focusing on one single segment or a single product. This has limited risks but may require the company to invest more resources to meet the different needs. Large firms that enjoy economies of scale could choose to cover the whole market by meeting the needs of all the customer groups.
On identifying the target market a firm should endeavor to create a prominent image of their product or products in the mind of the customers to occupy the topmost priorities of the customers as well as create a greater sense of need and higher value. Positioning could either be broad positioning or specific positioning (Porter, 1996)
Broad positioning is where a firm focuses on creating a positive attitude in the minds of customers that go for firms with either advanced products, reliable performance at any given time or firms that are fairly flexible and meet the needs of the consumers with ease. On the other hand, specific positioning is where the firm presents optimum performance and quality, great performance and security as well as durability and best value for the price paid.
Marketing is essential for any firm seeking to generate high income by selling their products and therefore the STP model by Professor Dolan is an essential tool to ensure a firm gets a large market share as well as have a competitive advantage in the market.
Drucker, P. F. (1954). The practice of management. New York: Harper & Row.
Groucutt, Jon, Peter Leadley, and Patrick Forsyth. Marketing: essential principles, new realities. London: Kogan Page, 2004. Print.
Kotler, P. (2000). Marketing management (Millennium ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Shaughnessy, John. Competitive marketing: a strategic approach. 3. rev. and all. ed. London Routledge, 1995. Print.
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