STP analysis is a marketing process involving three steps: market segmentation, targeting and product positioning. According to the Market Segmentation Study Guide, STP is sequential. Therefore, the beginning point is always segmenting the market and analyzing specific consumer needs. During this initial step, marketers choose the segments to be used for targeting; positioning enables them to formulate a plan on how they want a product to be perceived.
The three-stage process of STP is followed by a final stage involving marketing mix implementation. The STP process is basically an analytical technique that assists a firm in addressing and defining its markets so that it can meet its strategic goals or refine its marketing mix. For example, according to content marketing agency Brafton, website content marketers may use case studies, webinars and white papers as a part of their marketing mix to enhance their authority.
When targeting a market, the second stage of the STP process, marketers build segment profiles for the segments under consideration. Each profile features a segment description and various profit measures to assist in targeting. Positioning, or the third stage of the STP process, entails highlighting the competitive advantages and benefits of a product. Ideally, a firm positions or presents a product that clearly meets its target audience's needs.