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Advertise In Boston: In-Store Shopping Exceeds Pre-COVID Level

Oct 18, 2021 5:57:25 PM / by Larry Julius

Boston consumers are on track to spend more than $72 billion at retail this year, based on projections by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Spending is expected to be 13.5% higher than last year.  

Some Boston small business owners, though, are wondering if the spread of the Delta Variant may slow spending if consumers sense pressure on their own financial security. Shoppers, however, don't see it that way.

New research from Nielsen indicates that 82% of consumers believe their household finances will either remain the same or improve during the upcoming months.

The Nielsen study has another finding that Boston business owners will find promising. Consumers are more likely to shop locally than they did before the onset of the pandemic, although in different ways.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, roi, consumer spending, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, retail spending, advertising roi, shopping

Who Listens To Podcasts in Boston?

Oct 8, 2021 5:20:24 PM / by Larry Julius

According to Nielsen, 1,323,799 Boston consumers listened to or downloaded a podcast during the past 30 days. This is 32.9% of the adult population.

A podcast is a downloadable digital audio file available to listeners on an internet-connected device like a smartphone, tablet, or computer. These files are typically part of series focusing on a particular theme such as true crime, professional football, politics, or pop culture.

Boston consumers can listen to their favorite podcasts whenever they choose using apps like Spotify, Pandora, Google, and Stitcher. The most used podcasting app, though, is Apple Podcasts.

Research from PodcastHosing.org indicates that Boston consumers can access more than 2,000,000 podcast series comprising over 48,000,000 unique episodes. According to data compiled by Edison research, the top 10 podcasts during the second quarter of 2021 were:

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Topics boston radio, best way to advertise, online advertising, streaming audio, smart speakers, in-car audio, podcasts, internet advertising, podcasting, streaming media

Advertising On Boston Radio: How Smart Speakers Add Value

Sep 28, 2021 7:50:08 AM / by Larry Julius

Since 1922, local small business owners have been advertising on Boston radio to market the goods and services they sell.

Lately, some of these advertisers are voicing concerns, though, that the accelerating use of smart speakers could erode the effectiveness of commercials on local stations. Current research, however, reveals that these devices actually extend the reach of the medium and its ad content.

More than 1.2 million consumers in Boston have a smart speaker in their homes, according to Nielsen. This is 30% of the local adult population.

Smart speakers are internet-enabled devices controlled by spoken commands and capable of streaming audio content, relaying information, and communicating with other devices. 

According to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) data, Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) accounts for 69% of all smart speakers in use. Google's smart speaker makes up another 20% of the market. The remaining 11% of the market comprises Apple Home (aka Siri), Sonos, and Bose.

Boston consumers can use their smart speakers to accomplish a diverse range of tasks, including accessing news, weather, and sports information; turning on lights in the house; shopping; and food delivery.

The most common use of a smart speaker, though, is streaming audio, including Boston radio stations, according to eMarketer. Edison Research's Share of Ear Study indicates that consumers devote 13% of their total time using a smart speaker listening to AM/FM radio stations. This is second only to the time spent listening to Amazon Music at 19%.

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Topics radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, online advertising, how to advertise, small business, effective advertising, small business advertising, streaming audio, amazon echo, siri, smart speakers, google home, radio listening, alexa, apple

Best Way To Reach Boston Halloween Shoppers

Sep 23, 2021 12:13:44 PM / by Larry Julius

Boston business owners who sell goods and services related to Halloween can expect far more treat than trick this year.

Based on estimates from The National Retail Federation (NRF), Boston consumers are expected to spend a record $160,773,775 on Halloween. This would be 19.3% more than was handed out in 2020.

The NRF estimates that 65% of consumers intend to celebrate Halloween or participate in Halloween activities this year, up from 58% in 2020 and comparable with 68% in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top ways consumers are planning to celebrate include handing out candy (66%), decorating their home or yard (52%), dressing in costumes (46%), carving a pumpkin (44%), and hosting or attending a party (25%).

Boston small business owners looking to scare up a share of this Halloween cash will need to advertise to drive local consumers to their stores and websites. But, to make a difference, advertising needs to begin right away.

"This year consumers are shopping for Halloween items earlier than ever," says the NRF, "with 45% planning to shop in September or earlier and another 39% during the first two weeks of October."

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, roi, return on investment, children, retail sales, retailer, retail store, halloween advertising, retail spending, Pet Owners

Streaming Video Terms For Boston Small Business Owners

Sep 20, 2021 4:51:12 PM / by Larry Julius

Boston business owners are expected to spend $511,032,000 on streaming video advertising in 2021, according to Borrell Associates, a company that tracks online marketing expenditures across the country. This spending will be 25% higher than in 2020.

Streaming video advertising expenditures are accelerating as Boston consumers continue to abandon shows on local TV stations and cable systems in favor of programming streamed via an internet connection. These online channels include Netflix, Hulu, Prime, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video, Roku Channel, SlingTV, PlutoTV, and dozens more.

This type of streamed video content is known collectively as OTT (Over-The-Top-Television) or CTV (Connected-Television). These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably but do have a subtle difference.

OTT generally means the video is watched on a small device like a computer, tablet, or smartphone.  CTV, on the other hand, typically means the content is viewed on a smart-TV or a regular television using a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon stick.

In Boston, according to Nielsen, OTT/CTV has exceeded the weekly reach of local newspapers and streaming audio services such as Pandora and Spotify. The medium is rapidly approaching the reach of local cable and broadcast TV stations.

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Topics online advertising, digital advertising, streaming audio, television, Cable TV, ott, ctv, streaming video, local television, internet advertising, Streaming TV

How To Fill Open Jobs In Boston

Sep 10, 2021 2:29:00 PM / by Larry Julius

According to the US Census Bureau, there are 212,351 businesses in the Boston area. Some of these companies are small. Some are large. Some sell machine parts. Some sell software. Some provide legal services. Some provide eyecare.

Regardless of the size of the business or what it sells, all of these local companies have one thing in common: they are struggling to fill open jobs with qualified candidates. This is true in Boston as well as Newburyport, Quincy, Worcester, Framingham, and every point in between.

Right now, across the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 10.9 million open jobs. This is an all-time record.

To put this mammoth number of open jobs in perspective, the Federal Reserve says there are now five job openings per every four unemployed people.

Attempting to recruit Boston workers from the ranks of the unemployed has proven fruitless for local companies. This is because many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have no intention of returning to the workforce anytime soon.

There are several reasons so many Boston workers are not coming back.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, recruitment advertising, employment advertising, white collar, Zip Recruiter, blue collar, Indeed

B2B Advertising: Why Online Job Sites Depend On Boston Radio

Sep 1, 2021 4:06:03 PM / by Larry Julius

If you were one of the 3.2 million adults who tuned in to Boston radio last week, then chances are excellent that you heard advertising for ZipRecruiter.  That's because the company purchased 1153 advertisements to air on local stations during the month of August, according to Media Monitors.

ZipRecruiter is an online recruitment site that helps companies of every size advertise open jobs. Overall, more than 2.8 million companies have posted an opening on ZipRecruiter.com

It is no wonder that ZipRecruiter and its competitors like Indeed have been making significant advertising investments on Boston radio. Finding qualified workers is one of the toughest challenges facing local business owners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in the U.S. has reached a record high 10.1-million jobs with just not enough candidates to fill them.

If you've heard these commercials on Boston radio, then you know that ZipRecruiter is not advertising to attract job seekers to its website.  Rather, the company's goal is to convince local business owners to buy help wanted ads from them.

So, why has ZipRecruiter chosen Boston radio as a business-to-business (B2B) advertising resource?  The first reason is revealed in the first line of their commercial.

"According to research," says the announcer, "82% of people remember radio ads."

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Topics radio advertising, B2B advertising, small business advertising, recruitment advertising, Zip Recruiter, Indeed, business-to-business advertising

Who Listens To Boston Radio Stations Online?

Aug 26, 2021 3:01:20 PM / by Larry Julius

When Boston's first radio station, WBZ, began broadcasting on September 21, 1921, the station needed a tall antenna and lots of buried copper cable to transmit its signal.  Radio receivers at the time were mostly homemade and involved a piece of crystalline mineral and a wire coil.

Over many decades in Boston, both the broadcasting and receiving equipment improved. In the mid-1920s this meant store-bought radios. In the 1930s this meant car radios. In the 1960s this meant transistor radios. In the 1970s this meant boom boxes. And, in the 1980s this meant Walkmen. But, despite these improvements, the fundamental technology of big towers sending a signal through the air to a radio receiver remained the same.

In 1994, there was a new way for Boston consumers to listen to the radio. That was the year local stations across the country began streaming their signals over the internet and listeners could use their computers (later their smartphones and smart speakers) as receiving devices. No big antennas, no wires, and no actual radio needed.

In 2021, according to Nielsen, Boston radio reaches more local consumers than any other advertising media option.

Neilsen finds, too, that 32% of all consumers who listen to a Boston radio station over-the-air will, at some point during the month, also connect to a local station via the internet. 

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, online advertising, streaming audio, smart speakers, internet, advertising options

Advertising On Boston Radio: The 3 Frequency Myth

Aug 18, 2021 2:22:20 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, Boston radio reaches 3.2 million adult consumers. This is significantly more people than are reached by local TV, cable, social media, streaming video, streaming audio, or newspapers.

Because of its humongous reach, area small business owners advertise on Boston radio to successfully market the products and services they sell.

Many first-time advertisers on Boston radio will ask how many times a consumer needs to hear a commercial before they become a customer.  Often the business owner is told that to be effective, a consumer needs to be exposed to a message three times before they will buy.  Unfortunately, this prescription for a three-time frequency is more myth than substance.

A study by Nielsen provides some data-based insights about effective frequency, But first, here's the origin of the mythological rule of three.

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Topics reach, radio advertising, advertising reach, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, effective advertising, small business advertising, frequency, reach & frequency, effective frequency

Best Way To Advertise In Boston With A Limited Budget

Aug 9, 2021 3:44:51 PM / by Larry Julius

To maximize success, every Boston business owner needs to advertise.

"Think you have a great product?" asks the US Small Business Administration. "Unfortunately, no one’s going to know about it unless you advertise.”

The SBA goes on to say, “Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your product sales, and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your business.”

According to the US Census Bureau, there are 255,083 small businesses in the Boston area. This geography includes Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Worcester, Manchester, and every point in between.  Most of these diminutive companies have limited dollars to invest in advertising.  

Advertising successfully in Boston is achievable, though, with a small budget if the available funds are invested wisely.  Oftentimes, this means selecting one medium rather than spreading money over several.

So which medium makes the most sense for small business owners with limited budgets? By most key advertising metrics, advertising on Boston radio is the best option.

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Topics best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, advertising reach, roi, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, advertising on a budget, reach & frequency, radio commercials

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