To ensure 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.”
There are dozens of ways for local small business owners to advertise. By most metrics, the best way to advertise is on Boston radio. These measures of effectiveness, however, are often obscured by the glimmer and glitz of newer technologies.
To help reduce the glare that often blinds business owners to the potency of advertising on Boston radio, here are the top five things many local business owners get wrong.
1. No One Listens To Boston Radio Anymore
🔴This is false. When WBZ-AM became Boston's first radio station in 1922, there was no Facebook, no Xfinity, no Sirius/XM, no Netflix, and no podcasts. It would be 26 years before there was even a local TV station. Consequently, it was pretty easy for radio to become the number one reach medium among local consumers.
Over the past 99 years, Boston business owners have come to depend on the mammoth reach of radio among local shoppers to successfully market the goods and services they sell. Advertising on Boston radio has helped New England companies to survive and thrive during world wars, natural disasters, recessions, depressions, and even a pandemic.
Heading into 2022, local consumers have more media choices than ever before. But, despite the overabundance of social media, video streaming, audio streaming, cable, and other technological marvels, Boston radio is still the most used advertising medium.
Every week, according to Nielsen, 3.3 million consumers tune into a Boston radio station. This is significantly more adults than watch local TV, browse social media, stream audio or video content, or view programs on cable.
2. Advertising On Boston Radio Is A Poor Investment
🔴This is false. Over the past few years, Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies to determine how many additional dollars in sales could be achieved for every dollar invested in radio advertising. On average, the businesses studied generate $10,000 in sales lift for every $1000 spent. The ROI, therefore, was 10-to-1.
Between April 30 and May 27 of 2020, the darkest days of the pandemic, Nielsen analyzed the sales results of a retailer who conducted an advertising campaign during that period using both radio and TV.*
According to Nielsen, people exposed to only the retailer's radio commercials represented 20% of all advertising impressions. However, these same consumers were responsible for 42% of the sales increases.
As a result, the retailer earned a $28,000 increase in sales for every $1000 spent on radio. This is a 28-to-1 return-on-advertising investment.
AdAge, a trade magazine for advertising professionals, calls these types of returns "eye-popping." The magazine goes on to say radio's ROI is superior to commercials on TV, online, and social media.
3. Boston Radio Listeners Switch Stations When Commercials Come on
🔴This is false. A 2011 Nielsen study discovered that, on average, 93% of listeners stayed with the radio station they are tuned-to when the commercials come on. That number amazed many advertisers at the time who believed that audiences were far more likely to defect when the music stopped.
A lot has changed since 2011. Boston area consumers have many more media options and can instantly connect to each with a button-push, mouse-click, screen-tap, or voice command. With all of these choices, do radio audiences still stay tuned during commercial breaks?
According to a new study from the Journal of Advertising Research, audiences in 2020 are more than twice as likely to stick with the radio station they are tuned to during commercials than they were nine years ago.
In the current study, the authors combined portable people-meter data ratings to measure the loss of audience during advertising. They discovered a new benchmark of 3% for avoidance of radio advertising.
4. Millennials Don't Listen To Boston Radio
🔴This is false. There are 1,028,430 millennials in the Boston area. The oldest of them turn 40 this year. According to The Pew Research Center, millennials comprise the generation of Americans born between 1981 and 1996.
As a consumer group, millennials account for an outsized percentage of retail spending. This generation represents 25.6% of the Boston area population but almost one-third of metro-area sales.
All in, Boston millennials are expected to ring up more than $33.9 billion in purchases during 2021. You name it, millennials are planning to buy it.
Every week, according to Nielsen, Boston radio reaches nearly 80% of all millennials. This is remarkably more than watch local TV, cable, or streaming video. It's more than use social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. It's more than listen to streaming audio from Pandora and Spotify.
5. No One Remembers Commercials On Boston Radio
🔴This is false. Earlier this year, the online recruitment site ZipRecruiter purchased 1153 radio commercials.
"According to research," begins the commercial, "82% of people remember radio ads."
"That means," it continues "82% of you listening right now will remember this is an ad for ZipRecruiter. If you are hiring, 82% of you will recall that ZipRecruiter makes hiring faster and easier."
During the entirety of its 60-second commercial, ZipRecruiter mentions '82%' a total of seven times and the word 'radio' six times.
ZipRecruiter just didn't pull the 82% commercial recall statistic out of thin air. In fact, many studies confirm radio advertising's high memorability advantage.
One of these studies was conducted by Nielsen. They looked at advertising campaigns for four specific brands. Although recall varied by advertiser, on average, 82% of consumers who were exposed to one of the target company's commercials remembered it...just as ZipRecruiter claims.
A similar study by research firm Local AdRecall also found that, on average, brand recall was 5-times greater for 18 companies who invest in radio advertising.
For more information on these two studies, click here.
More Advertising Advice For Boston Business Owners
- Advertise In Boston: Who's Watching The Local TV Stations?
- Boston Small Business Owners Guide To OTT & CTV Advertising
- Boston Radio Still Reaches More Local Consumers Than All Other Media
- Advertise In Boston: Top 5 Articles From 2021
- What Are Boston Consumers Watching On TV?