Location Is King When Marketing

Location Is King When Marketing

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School marketing professor David Bell was being interviewed on my local NPR station about his recently released book, and I just happened to catch the tail end of the show. Learning the full title, “Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One,” intrigued me even more. I immediately ordered a copy.


Richard VanVranken

Waiting for the book to arrive, I started postulating what it might tell me about produce marketing. Location is certainly still important in real world retailing — whether we’re talking about a farm stand (a busy suburban intersection has more potential customers than a farm lane 10 miles out of town) — or the placement of product on the grocer’s shelves.

Prime Location For Produce
Fresh produce is the biggest draw for grocers, and is usually the first thing you run into upon entering most stores.

What’s displayed front, center, and at eye level throughout? Those prime locations are filled with bright, colorful, high-margin seasonal items that might not be on every shopping list, but every customer has to pass by them to get to the staples near the back.

Could it also be about how critical your online ‘location’ is? The likelihood of shoppers finding you if your website doesn’t show up on the first page of a search has made Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a big business. Tweaking your keywords can increase social media visibility and move your website up to that first screen.

The term “location marketing” is also making news as our increasingly mobile online presence can provide opportunities to push offers and coupons directly to your smart phones as you move around a store.

However, in “Location Is (Still) Everything,” professor Bell reveals that successful online marketing can be improved by understanding the attributes of your potential customers, which likely has as much to do with their physical location, i.e. where they live, as yours.