An Australian domestic car marketer asked this week on LinkedIn whether segmentation, targeting and positioning was possible in his small market full of foreign manufacturers. He saw STP as a simple carving up of existing data, and didn’t see how that was possible.
In my reply, I told him essentially what you just said: the data couldn’t tell him what to do. I made the analogy of data as a blank coloring page. It was up to him to use STP to color in the data, and he could make in an infinite variety of pictures before deciding which fit his circumstances best.
“Play with it!” I said. I must have sounded demented.