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EMAC 2023 Regional Conference

To Target or Not to Target? Initial Strategic and Operational Insights from an Empirical Examination of the STP Process

Published: November 22, 2023


Marina Kyriakou, University of Piraeus; MARKOS TSOGAS, University of Piraeus


The strategic process in Marketing as depicted in the STP process, although heavily researched, presents a difficult task for managers and this difficulty has yet to be fully addressed in academia. In that respect, several authors have called for additional research on the practices and actual decision making of practitioners in the STP process. This study acknowledges the sequential nature of the STP process, but given that empirical evidence is scarce, employs a perceptions-based approach to the classification of responding firms. The first operationalization of Kotler’s targeting strategies framework is coupled with firm’s marketing capabilities to develop guidelines for their effect on firm’s performance. The paper follows the views of managers from their understanding of the market and customer segmentation, to targeting alternatives and finally to the deployment of the appropriate marketing tactics and marketing operational tools. This is perhaps the first paper which tries to unveil and understand the complex and widely unstructured strategic and operational marketing decisions along the STP track.