Location or audience

In the old days, when setting up your business, you would consider location based on the audience it was likely to attract.

This is still true to some extent for bricks and mortar retail – be it luxurious or high value items. However, it could be argued that we are coming full circle. The days of driving to an out of town supermarket or large superstore seems to have reached its’ natural apex. Supermarkets decided that the large out of town formats were no longer required and completely changed direction by investing heavily in smaller localised stores, basing product selection on local profiles.

We have also recently seen that IKEA has snapped up the Hammersmith Mall, to be closer to its core customers – a far cry from the enormous superstores, all based out of town.

As city dwellers, Ikea’s prime customers are giving up car ownership and have less time to drive out of town or at the very least want to spend their precious free time doing things other than driving long distances. The way that people shop has changed and is changing very quickly.

These retailers have identified this trend, and so the likes of IKEA have reinvented its location strategy to be closer to their customers.

In contrast, e-commerce businesses realised that it didn’t matter where their customer was, but rather who they were. Understanding the common aspects of the audience allowed online retailers to quickly tailor their messaging and build global footprint. But mobile advertising shows us that location is still a deciding factor and the true success lies in understanding who the two: the audience and its location affects buying decisions.

With this knowledge advertisers are able to tailor their messaging to provide local and highly relevant messaging.