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Advertising In Boston: Radio Listening Unchanged From Year Ago

Aug 7, 2020 9:58:28 AM / by Larry Julius

During July, Boston's 3,142,800 adult radio-listeners spent two hours per day listening to their favorite stations, according to Nielsen. Although local consumers had spent fewer minutes listening at the onset of the pandemic, the current time tuned-in remains unchanged compared to a year ago.

Some advertising experts had predicted that as consumers spent more time at home because of COVID-19 concerns, the hours devoted to radio listening would decrease. That, however, was not the case.

In July of 2019, according to Nielsen, 34.3% of radio listening occurred at home. During July of this year, in-home listening jumped to 42.6%. Despite the reduction in out-of-home activities, though, consumers still spent the exact amount of time listening to Boston radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, pandora, spotify, advertise on radio, small business advertising, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, sirius/xm, pandemic, radio listening, podcasts

Advertising On Boston Radio Reaches Pay-TV's Cord Cutters

Jul 30, 2020 8:28:03 AM / by Larry Julius

More than one-third of Boston area households are 'cord-cutters' or 'cord-nevers'. This means, they have fired their cable or satellite television providers or never subscribed at all. Instead, these consumers are choosing to find their video entertainment elsewhere.

The number of local homes that subscribe to pay-TV services began plummeting in 2013. New technologies has allowed viewers to bypass cable and satellite for more compelling content at lower prices. These cord-cutters now depend on services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime to fill their multiple screens.

For many years, Boston small business owners have been investing a significant portion of their advertising budgets into cable-TV.  The medium had proven to be a low-cost, high-reach alternative to buying commercial on over-the-air television stations. 

Now, because of cord-cutting, there are 1.3 million adult consumers with unconnected TVs. This profoundly diminishes the value proposition of advertising with local cable systems.

There is a powerful and affordable solution, however, for small business owners to reach both the diminishing cable audience and the expanding number of cord-cutters.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, television advertising, small business, advertise on radio, small business advertising, television, PAY-TV, Cable TV, cord-cutter, cord-never

Boston Retailers Prepare For $537 Million Back-To-School Season

Jul 23, 2020 6:51:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on projections from the National Retail Federation, Boston area parents are expected to spend $537 million to equip K-12 kids for the upcoming school year. If so, then this shopping spree will be 29% bigger than last year's and the biggest take since 2012.

“By any measure, this is an unprecedented year with great uncertainty, including how students will get their education this fall whether they are in kindergarten or college,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says.

“Most parents don’t know whether their children will be sitting in a classroom or in front of a computer in the dining room, or a combination of the two. But they do know the value of an education and are navigating uncertainty and unknowns so that students are prepared."

Along with pencils, paper, pens, and knapsacks, the NRF survey says 63 percent of K-12 families expect to buy computers and other electronics this year, up from 54% last year, and they expect to spend more at an average $274.44, up from $203.44 last year. The $71 difference accounts for the largest share of the overall increase in average spending of almost $93.

Also, because many parents are unsure if learning will take place at school or at home, back-to-school spending this year is expected to include home furnishings such as desks, chairs, and lamps.

To claim a meaningful share of this year's booming back-to-school economy, local retailers will need to advertise to let parents know that their stores are open, it is safe to shop, and the needed supplies are in stock.

By any metric, the best way to reach these parents is on Boston radio.

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Topics store traffic, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, millennials, advertise on radio, small business advertising, retail sales, retailer, retail store, back-to-school, millennial parents

Drivers Hit The Road Taking Boston Radio Along For The Ride

Jul 21, 2020 9:01:42 AM / by Larry Julius

Car radios came to Boston in June of 1930. For just $120, about $1200 in present dollars, local drivers could install these early mobile devices into their Fords, Studebakers, Packards, and DeSotos, 

The first car radios were built by the Galvin Manufacturing Company of Chicago. They named their invention, and eventually their company, Motorola.

Today, more than 3,000,000 car radios fill ears of area drivers with music, news, sports, and information. As a result, local radio reaches more consumers than all other media.

In a typical pre-COVID-19 week, according to Nielsen, 90% of adult consumers would tune-in to a Boston radio station. This is significantly more than were reached by local TV, cable, social media, newspaper, or streaming media sites Pandora and Spotify.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, advertise on radio, small business advertising, vehicle traffic, in-car audio

Advertising On Boston Radio: What Consumers Want To Hear

Jul 16, 2020 1:25:24 PM / by Larry Julius

If you were one of the 3.5 million adults who tuned-in to a Boston radio station last week, then no doubt you heard multiple commercials that included phrases like 'troubling times', 'uncertain times', 'unprecedented times', 'new normal', and 'we're in this together'. 

In March, as the pandemic began to disrupt consumers' lives, using these phrases was a powerful way for New England small business owners to acknowledge the severity of the crisis and to exhibit empathy. But 120 days later, these words have become cliche and have lost potency.

A cliche, says the Oxford Dictionary, is "a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought." 

According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina, the dependence on cliches could create a harmful perception of a business that uses them. For instance, these overused phrases can make an advertiser's message seem boring. They can be perceived as vague. They can be interpreted to be a sign of laziness. They can also result in a lack of credibility. 

The words a Boston small business chooses for its advertising will have the most significant effect on sales. That's why eliminating cliches is critical.

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Topics radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, effective advertising, advertise on radio, small business advertising, commercial length, radio commercials, creative, scripts

Advertising In Boston: Consumers Pay More For Sustainable

Jul 13, 2020 4:06:35 PM / by Larry Julius

This year, according to Nielsen, 3.2 million Boston area consumers will spend $2.2 billion on eco-friendly goods and services. Sales for sustainable products have grown 20% since 2014, a trend expected to continue into 2021.

Tensie Whelan and Randi Kronthal-Sacco of the New York University Stern Center for Sustainable Business write in the Harvard Business Review, "Consumers are voting with their dollars against unsustainable brands. The legacy companies that will thrive are those that accept this shift and are willing to pivot.” 

For Boston small business owners who are skeptical that sustainability affects purchase decisions, retail analyst Stacey Widlitz provided this advice, recently, in Forbes.

"Retailers only need to look to IBM's recent study, in association with the National Retail Federation, to understand just how fast consumer priorities are changing," says Ms. Widlitz. "Findings from the study revealed nearly 60% of consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. For the nearly 80% of respondents who said sustainability is important to them over 70% would pay a premium of 35% on average."

To compete for a share of consumers' spending on green goods and services requires local small business owners to advertise.

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Topics retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, millennials, small business, advertise on radio, small business advertising, retail sales, retailer, retail store, sustainable, green products, eco-friendly

Boston Furniture Retailers Expect A Post-Pandemic Rebound

Jul 9, 2020 1:44:29 PM / by Larry Julius

Before the onset of COVID-19, more than 700,000 Boston area households were planning to spend $1.5 billion on furniture, according to Nielsen. Unfortunately, many of those plans were put on pause as consumers sheltered in place to help slow the spread of the virus.

A recent study by Elevate | SmithGeiger suggests that the fortunes of home furnishing retailers, however, are about to improve.

According to the study, 32% of consumers who had been planning to buy furniture will do so within three months of the pandemic easing. Fifty percent will do so within six months. The numbers for mattress shoppers are even stronger.

To capture a significant share of the post-pandemic sales of furniture and mattress will require retailers to advertise. The most effective way to reach the customers who are ready to buy is on Boston radio.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, advertise on radio, small business advertising, furniture, mattresses, retail sales, retailer, retail store

Political Advertising On Boston Radio Sways Voters

Jul 7, 2020 1:16:39 PM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 4.3 million registered voters in the Boston radio metro. Here is the number by county:

  • Essex, MA: 533,867
  • Middlesex, MA: 1,045,30
  • Norfolk, MA: 485,131
  • Plymouth, MA: 367,838
  • Suffolk, MA: 472,972
  • Worcester, MA: 541,824
  • Hillsborough, NH: 892,318

According to Nielsen, Boston radio reaches significantly more of these registered voters than all other media, including local television pay-TV, newspaper, social media platforms, and streaming audio sites like Pandora or Spotify.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, political advertising, issue advertising, advertise on radio, election advertising, voters, likely voters, registered voters, political rates

Facebook Advertising: Why Boston Business Owners May Be Pausing

Jul 3, 2020 6:10:32 AM / by Larry Julius

Following the lead of many national marketers, some Boston area small business owners are considering canceling or, at minimum, pausing their advertising schedules with social media network Facebook and its co-owned photo-sharing platform, Instagram.

According to the New York Times, "more than 400 companies, from Coca-Cola and Adidas to Ford and Lego, have vowed to halt advertising on the social network, in a growing protest over how it handles hate speech and other harmful content".

With the pandemic figured in, Boston small business owners were expected to spend $352 million on Facebook and Instagram advertising in 2020. This is according to Borrell Associates, a firm that specializes in the collection and analysis of local marketing expenditures in every city across the United States. But these expenditures could shrink if the protests become louder.

Every type of Boston business imaginable, including clothing stores, plumbers, HVAC repair, funeral homes, restaurants, dentists, and nonprofits, has come to realize how powerfully social media can contribute to their bottom lines.

Part of what makes Facebook and Instagram attractive to small business owners is the enormous reach these platforms have among consumers. Locally, the audience size for these two social media sites now rival Boston radio, TV, cable, and newspaper outlets.

For small business owners considering a hiatus from social media advertising, there is a viable way to redirect these dollars into a different medium without losing the marketing equity or momentum built-up on Facebook.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, social media advertising, small business, facebook advertising, instagram advertising, advertise on radio, facebook

Why Boston Banks & Credit Unions Need To Advertise Now

Jun 30, 2020 7:07:44 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, before the COVID-19 crisis, Boston households were putting more than $11.8 billion in the bank every year. 

Since February, however, Boston area banks and credit unions noticed that customers' savings accounts were beginning to swell to record levels.

According to the Federal Reserve, for many years, the personal savings rate has hovered well below 10%.  The PSR is the percentage of personal disposable income that remains after taxes and all other spending.

In April of this year, the PSR hit an all-time high of 33%. The rate remained at stratospheric levels in May, as well. The previous record high was 17.3% in September of 1975 at the tail-end of a deep recession.

There are more than 2500 banks and credit unions in Massachusetts who would love to earn a large share of this infusion of new savings. To compete, though, requires advertising.  By almost any metric, the best way to reach new depositors is by advertising on Boston radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, bank, credit union, advertise on radio, savings accounts, certificates of deposit

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