Little Tommy had a knack for making strawberry lemonade. In fact, it was so good that if the world’s top strawberry lemonade connoisseurs decided to visit the small town of Bloomington, Indiana, they would collectively agree that Little Tommy’s Strawberry Lemonade was the most delicious Strawberry Lemonade they’d ever had the fortune of drinking.

But, besides offering a stupendous product, Little Tommy also sold his Strawberry lemonade for a great price –– $.99 a bottle. And, in addition to his great-priced product, he had a stellar promotion –– My name is Little Tommy, I’m selling my homemade Strawberry Lemonade to save money for college.

You’d have to either be Ebenezer Scrooge or an individual who despises college to not cough up a few quarters to support Little Tommy’s future education.

However, while Little Tommy had his product, his price and his promotion down pat, he was missing one very important “P”… Place. You see, Little Tommy was seven years old and couldn’t drive, so he was forced to sell his lemonade on the side of the road outside his parent’s ranch, which was about 10 miles from town.

Now, since this story is fictional, we can choose to give it a happy ending…

Eventually, Little Tommy has his father weld a small wagon to his bicycle, which allows him to sell his strawberry lemonade door to door. In fact, he ends up selling so much that he decides not to go to college and instead starts a strawberry lemonade empire.

Lemonade stand and the most powerful P in marketing -- Place

The reigning king of the 4 P’s

Now, as great as that story was, the lesson behind it is even greater. As a brand, one of the most important things in the world is location, location, location.

In marketing and advertising, there is something called The 4 P’s, which stands for Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. The idea is that when marketers and advertisers deliver and deliver well on these 4 P’s, they’ll sell whatever they’re selling like a Florida snow cone vendor on the hottest day of the year. Or, in Little Tommy’s case, they’ll sell a lot of lemonade.

However, while marketers and advertisers have been prolific at selling the right products at the right price with the right promotion… there has been one thing they have always struggled with –– “Place.”

As you probably know, Place can literally make or break a product.

For example, Ray-Bans offers one exceptional pair of sunglasses but if they were to try to sell their sunglasses in Rjukan, Norway the product would flop.

Why? Because the small town is almost completely dark for most of the year. In fact, it’s so dark that officials have installed giant mirrors to reflect a small amount of sunlight in highly-populated areas of the town like the square.

So, it’s great to be Ray-Bans in Miami –– not so great in Rjukan.

Now, if all instances of location were this obvious, we wouldn’t be writing this article. But, unfortunately, solving location for your business isn’t as easy as fastening a wagon to your bicycle. Today, location has become increasingly more difficult as we’ve created entire new worlds on the internet and social media.

This shift has created a fascinating (but certainly problematic gap) we are currently experiencing in advertising and marketing. We have digital advertising, and we have physical advertising.

Google and Facebook allow you to effectively advertise your products and services online and only pay when someone clicks on your link to visit your website. This is wonderful, but if you’re wanting to drive more in-store traffic, it isn’t the most effective tactic.

Then, on the other hand, you have advertising designed to drive in-store traffic –– billboards, TV commercials, radio, and even social media to a certain degree. However, throwing up a billboard that says “visit” for great deals on shoes doesn’t feel very… natural. One might argue promoting online shopping while driving isn’t necessarily a good idea either.

So, we are left with this massive gap between the physical world and the digital world. And, while social media sites like Instagram are helping bridge this gap for advertising, there has yet to be a technology, tool, or tactic that has built the intersection we’ve been looking for.

This is where location intelligence comes in –– the long-awaited intersection between the physical world and the digital world.

To use the example of Little Tommy and his lemonade business… Location Intelligence would help him locate exactly where his customers hang out. It would help him determine what stores and restaurants they most often frequent.

Then, once he has gathered data from their location, he can then use a location intelligence software to send out a digital advertisement directly to his customers via their smartphones –– “Sunday Funday got you feeling parched? Little Tommy’s Lemonade stand will be at the town square all day. Show this message and get $1 off a cold glass of strawberry lemonade.”

The result for Little Tommy would be more sales and less pulling his wagon door-to-door. But, the real question is, what would it be for you?