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Larry Julius


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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

Real Estate Advertising in Boston: Starter Home Sales Are Thriving

Jun 25, 2020 2:00:39 PM / by Larry Julius

From Taunton to Newburyport (and every point in between), Boston area real estate agents see a robust, post-pandemic market shaping up. Home sales are being driven by record low-interest rates.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate in June is 3.17%, according to Freddie Mac. This is down from 3.99% June of last year. That difference could save a Boston area home buyer close to $30,000 over the term of a loan.

Data from the Federal Reserve indicates that one of the fast-growing segments of the current real estate market is starter homes. Sales in May for these modest price houses have risen above pre-COVID-19 levels and have hit a three year high.

Feuling the starter home market is demand from millennials. This generation now comprises 37% of all home buyers, says the National Association of Realtors Research Group.

To claim a large share of the market for starter homes, local real estate agents will need to advertise to attract these buyers.  By almost any metric, advertising on Boston Radio is the best way to reach millennials planning to buy a house, condo, or co-op over the next year.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, millennials, small business, advertise on radio, home buyers, home sellers, real estate, mortgage rates, real estate agent

Boston Small Business: Appliance Stores Prepare For Rebound

Jun 16, 2020 12:23:41 PM / by Larry Julius

During lockdown, Boston consumers have been postponing the purchase of major appliances.  Despite the pause in buying, however, local shoppers are still expected to spend $271 million this year on ovens, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

Here's how appliance sales in the Boston area will breakdown by category:

  • Cooking: $73,400,000
  • Refrigerator/Freezer: $67,900,000
  • Laundry: $57,100,000
  • Other: $73,400,000

Based on traditional buying patterns, at least 60% of all major appliance sales will occur between now and December.

To capture a larger share of all this spending will require local appliance dealers to advertise.

“Think you have a great product?” asks the U.S. 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”. 

By almost any measure, advertising on Boston radio is the best choice for local appliance store owners.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, roi, small business owner, small business, advertise on radio, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, appliance stores

Advertising In Boston: Time For Local Jewelry Stores To Shine

Jun 12, 2020 3:56:53 PM / by Larry Julius

Despite the pandemic, Boston area consumers are expected to spend $257 million on fine jewelry this year. Based on projections from IBISWorld, here's what will be purchased:

  • $107 million worth of diamonds
  • $39 million worth of watches
  • $26 million worth of gold
  • $30 million worth of pearls and gemstones
  • $53 million in other goods and services

Boston area business owners will now have an easier time capturing a bigger share of jewelry expenditures as a monster competitive force disappears.

This week, Signet, the largest jewelry retailer in the country, announced that by December, it would be closing over 380 stores.  Signet's brands familiar to New England consumers include Kay, Jared, Zales, and Piercing Pagoda.

To successfully compete for the void created by fewer Signet stores, local retailers will need to advertise, especially between now and the end of the year. This is when 63% of all fine-jewelry sales traditionally occur.

By any metric, the best way to reach local jewelry buyers is by advertising on Boston radio.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, consumer spending, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail store, bridal, jewelry store, wedding

Boston Radio Listeners Will Power The Post-Pandemic Recovery

Jun 10, 2020 12:31:37 PM / by Larry Julius

At the dawn of 2020, Boston small business owners were expecting the area's retail economy to expand by 4.1%. This optimism was stoked by the National Retail Federation's chief economist who said, "Consumers remain upbeat and have the confidence to spend, and the steady wage growth that has come with the strong job market is fueling their spending. The state of the consumer is very healthy."

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, consumer spending, small business owner, small business, advertise on radio, automotive, retail sales, retailer, retail store, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing, reopen, recovery

Best Way A Boston Small Business Can Be Re-Introduced To Consumers

Jun 5, 2020 12:54:14 PM / by Larry Julius

Boston small business owners are learning that 're-opening' may not be an appropriate word for the challenges they face as the Coronavirus crisis winds down.  A better term might be 're-introducing'.

When the Governor of Massachusetts shuttered the state on March 24 to slow the spread of COVID-19, Boston area consumers have discovered new ways to buy the goods and services they need.  It's now the burden of local business owners to lure these customers back. The first step is re-introduction.

On September 15, 1921, WBZ-AM signed-on as the first radio station serving Boston and New England. Since then, local business owners have used radio advertising to introduce themselves successfully to new customers. Radio has also helped these businesses survive recessions, depressions, world wars, hurricanes, and blizzards. By any metric, advertising on Boston radio remains the most effective tactic a small business owner can use post-pandemic, as well.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, roi, small business, time of day, writing a commercial, advertise on radio, small business advertising, return on investment, dayparts, reopen, commercial length

Traffic In Boston Is Picking-Up. Is Your Small Business Ready?

Jun 3, 2020 10:08:01 AM / by Larry Julius

More than 87% of Boston area households own at least one vehicle. 

Pre-pandemic, 70% of workers spent, on average, 68 minutes every weekday in these cars commuting to-and-from their jobs.  

On their way to work, many of these drivers would contribute to the Boston area's $100.9 billion retail economy by visiting the convenience stores, coffeehouses, auto repair centers, gas stations, daycares, grocery stores, or hundreds of other businesses they passed.

At lunchtime, these same cars would take their owners to restaurants, dentist appointments, nail appointments, barbershops, and on an infinite number of other errands.

On the weekends, these vehicles filled the parking lots of hardware stores, furniture stores, car dealers, appliance stores, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and nightclubs, 

Then on March 24, when the Governor of Massachusetts shut down the state to slow the spread of COVID-19, traffic came to a standstill and so did the spending.

There are strong indications, though, that in the Boston area, roads are filling up again.

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Topics store traffic, retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, consumer spending, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail store, vehicle traffic, in-car audio, commuting

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