What Does "Location, Location, Location" Mean in Business?
What does the phrase "Location, location, location" mean? In the real estate business it usually is the response to the question "What are the three most important factors in selling real estate?" No amount of property features such as building, grounds, decorating or price can overcome the negative impact of a poor location. What's interesting is that location issues are of prime importance in other aspects of business including marketing, advertising, sales, management and human resources.
Location Factors in Marketing
Marketing involves bringing products and services to the marketplace to meet a business' revenue objectives. It includes advertising, public relations, sales, packaging, retail placement and promotions. (Advertising and sales will be discussed separately below.)
Where a product or service should be marketed is one of the most important questions that marketing managers must answer.
A marketing issue related to real estate is the location of stores and offices. If in-person customers cannot find the brick-and-mortar location of a business easily, it will less likely to survive, regardless of how appealing the environment, product or pricing are. Location analyses of retail sites are invaluable in finding suitable properties to house a business.
On a smaller stage, place a product in a store location that doesn't attract an audience with the right marketing demographics and it is sure to fail. Even placement within the store itself can make or break a product. Example: If a canned product cannot be positioned on an easily visible shelf location, it has a lower chance of being selected by consumers. Thus, marketing managers may offer promotions to retailers to achieve better placement or provide special displays (such as temporary end cap promotional racks) to attract attention.
Getting press releases and articles placed on broadcast media, publications or websites that reach a target audience demographic is the goal of the public relations function. Press located in media that doesn't reach an intended target is akin to purchasing the best property in the worst location. It's still nice, but it won't accomplish anything.
Location Factors in Advertising
Similarly, advertisements placed in the wrong places, too few places or too many places will not be effective. The concept of "where" can help find effective advertising locations.
This analysis begins with the question, "Where are your customers when they are in the market for what you sell?" Home? Car? Work? Vacation? The dentist? The location where people are likely to be making decisions about purchasing will suggest advertising opportunities. Example: Say the service promoted is teeth whitening. Where would people be when they are thinking about this? First, they might be searching online, making Internet advertising, such as PPC (Pay Per Click), a possibility. Second, they may be in the dentist's office making printed brochures located in the waiting room another viable choice.
Location Factors in Sales
All marketing and advertising is in support of the sales function of a business. Sales efforts add even more location factors.
As discussed under marketing, location of brick-and-mortar stores and offices can have an impact on sales results. For online businesses, the "Buy Now" buttons and functions should be logically located on the page to direct website shoppers through the buying process. Some organizations use heat map analysis (Wikipedia) to determine optimal placement for buttons, advertisements and links on their sites. Similarly, location of a trade show booth at an expo can affect traffic to the booth and the number of sales leads received. Ironically, right by the entrance may not be the ideal location.
For offline sales teams, also referred to as outside sales, analyzing location factors can help sales managers assign geographic territories for maximum return. Example: If a large metropolitan region takes three hours to travel from one end to the other to meet with customers, it might be wise to split the region into two parts so that sales reps spend less time in the car and more time in front of customers.
Location Factors in Management and Human Resources
Location factors can impact personnel hired as these examples illustrate:
- A warehouse is located in an industrial area where security is an issue. They may have a difficult time recruiting employees since many may be concerned for their personal safety.
- A company's offices are located at least a mile from public transportation. So only employees who drive, carpool, live within walking distance of the office or are willing to walk to public transportation in all types of weather are eligible.
- A manufacturer needs a skilled labor force for a new factory. They usually will research an area's labor pool prior to selecting a location for the factory.
While those factors are external, internal location factors can also have an impact on productivity and job satisfaction as these examples illustrate:
- If cubicles are located too close together, workers may feel claustrophobic and that their privacy is being invaded, both of which can increase job stress.
- Restrooms that are located too far away from work areas can necessitate longer bathroom breaks that decrease actual work time.
- Equipment with controls located in awkward positions can increase worker errors and lower productivity. Time and motion studies (Wikipedia) can help evaluate the workspace.
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© 2013 Heidi Thorne