Diversify your location

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Guess where I am?

It’s 7:02 am and ride down a decline on my bike and dismount at the base of the hill. I look out at a massive number of seats and stairs. (69 rows & 192 respectively!) There are a little over 100 hundred people in various states of exercise. Some are running up the stairs. Some are walking back and forth on the seats. Every age is represented and most are fairly fit. At 6200 feet above sea level, this is the halfway point for my shortest training ride and I’m amazed at how many people are here. I’m also amazed at how much the area I’m standing in wreaks of beer (and sometimes vomit) from the concert, the night before. I check-in to Foursquare and remember that I recently lost my Mayorship to a young lady. “I wonder if she’s here?” Anyway, as I stand at the top of this “location” I see tourists walking up to the edge and looking down at the people exercising and the roadies getting the stage ready for tonight’s concert. I then get back on my back and head up the little hill. On my left are a couple of bird watchers and as I come over the top of the hill I see various license plates from nearby states. Utah, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska and New Jersey!!?!?!. I look to my right and I see a young doe grazing on the tall grass, under an mammoth rock called Creation Rock, seemingly oblivious to all of the fury going on at the base of the hill. I then ride out to the main road.

Give up? I’m at Red Rocks. The first I visited Red Rocks was when my family moved here when I was 5 years old. My mother and Father and I just walked around to look at the unique rock formations. Since that time I have seen many fantastic concerts. Tool, Love and Rockets, Sinead O’Connor, The Killers, STP and Soundgarden to name a few. It is simply the most amazing place to see a live show. The natural acoustics of the place, double the vocal talent of anyone singing. That is how I thought of that location. A concert venue. When we moved to Bel Mar area years ago and I mapped out some training rides and discovered that people were going to Red Rocks to exercise. (This was a complete shock to me since I vividly remember the girl who drank to much, had spent the entire concert with her head hung down, trying desperately not to throw up in site 46D and now there was someone doing calf-raises in that very seat!) Just never thought that would happen. As a business, your location can and hopefully means different things to different people.  For some Red Rocks is a place to test one’s endurance and strength. For others, it is simply a great place to see a show. Some like to watch movies there while others get together for a sunrise service on Easter Sunday. This diversity is what you want for your location/business. Not only does it diversify revenue, it increases the stickiness of your location. For me; I see concerts at Red Rocks. I ride there. I exercise there. I really NEED to go see a movie there. I take visiting family there.

So, if you’re a restaurant, people who frequent your business could think of your offering in the following ways:

  • breakfast joint
  • lunch place
  • dinner
  • anniversary dinner
  • birthday dinner
  • the place that made me sick
  • my favorite dish
  • where she dumped me

If you’re retail, you could be one or more of the following:

  • where mom takes me to shop for my birthday
  • where I buy my jeans
  • the best place to find deals
  • the place I can’t afford
  • my sister’s favorite store

All locations/businesses have some diversity. (Architects have been trying to address this for years, creating flexible spaces.) As a marketer, the more of these “persona messages” you can find the better off you are. (Social media is perfect for this.) Your location needs to not only address this diversity, but to embrace it! One method would be through mobile advertising. Think hyper-targeted advertising. First, we have to get to targeted advertising and we’re only going to get to these next levels if we partner with our customers and promise not to spam them with noise. What can you do to diversify your location?

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I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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