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Larry Julius


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Advertising ROI In Boston: Television vs. Radio

Nov 9, 2020 1:11:33 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, significantly more consumers are reached by local radio than by Boston TV.

For Boston small business owners whose marketing budgets have been ravaged by the pandemic, though, the question is which of these media can provide the best return for their advertising investments. An ROI study conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by Cumulus Media | Westwood One provides a conclusive answer.

Between April 30 and May 27 of this year, Nielsen analyzed the sales results of a major retailer who conducted an advertising campaign on both radio and television during that period.  

Using  their Portable People Meter panel of 80,000 consumers, Nielsen measured the purchase behavior of consumers who were exposed to the advertiser's commercials on both radio and television. To learn more about the methodology, click here.

The result of the study indicates that the money invested in radio advertising had a much stronger return than the money spent on TV.

Here are the key findings of the ROI study:

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Topics retail, radio advertising, roi, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store

AVOD: Four Letters Every Boston Small Business Owners Should Know

Nov 2, 2020 2:05:54 PM / by Larry Julius

Before we explain AVOD, it is important to understand SVOD.

Boston small business owners may not be familiar with SVOD, but chances are they let it into their homes and onto their phones.

SVOD is the abbreviation for Subscription Video On Demand. That is the collective name for streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.  For a monthly fee, these services provide commercial-free access to TV shows, original content, and movies.

These SVOD networks are delivered to viewers' phones, tablets, computers, and smart-TVs via the internet and not over-the-air or cable systems.

SVOD makes up a significant part of what advertisers refer to as OTT (Over-The-Top-Television) and CTV (Connected-Television). OTT/CTV is video-programming content that viewers can only watch on smartphones, tablets, computers, smart-TVs, Amazon Firesticks, and Roku Sticks.  Nielsen reports that 94.3% of Boston adults own at least one of these devices.

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Topics best way to advertise, small business owner, small business marketing, television advertising, small business, small business advertising, television, Cable TV, ott, ctv, streaming video, SVOD, AVOD

Advertising On Boston Radio Is Back In The Driver's Seat

Oct 27, 2020 10:28:50 AM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 3,000,000 car radios in the Boston area. On March 24, though, many of these devices became quarantined along with their owners. That was the day when the Governor of Massachusetts shut down the state to slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Apple Mobility Index, the Governor's public-safety order caused traffic on Boston roadways to plummet to 50% of pre-pandemic levels.

By the beginning of July, however,  the AMI indicates that traffic in Boston began to exceed pre-Covid levels. The surge in mobility is due, in part, to work-from-home, furloughed, and laid-off employees returning to their workplaces.

According to Nielsen, during the week of April 30, only 39% of adults with jobs were working outside-the-home.  During the week of October 1, though, that number had expanded to 61%.

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Topics consumer spending, small business owner, effective advertising, small business advertising, targeting, vehicle traffic, in-car audio, radio listening, point of purchase, mobility, share of ear

Boston Retail Sales Are Growing. Is It Time To Advertise?

Oct 19, 2020 2:54:49 PM / by Larry Julius

Now would be a good time for Boston small business owners to consider increasing their advertising expenditures.

There are just over 205,000 small businesses in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH metro area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Based on promising retail sales data, the Overall Sentiment Index among local small business owners has improved 33.3% between April 26 and October 12 of this year.

The best news for business owners came from the Commerce Department on Friday when it reported that retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in September.  This is the fifth straight month of gains.

Local retail gains are being powered by improving consumer confidence and a large pool of cash sitting in people's savings accounts.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 101.8 in September, up 17.9% from August. This means consumers are in a better mood to spend. Fortunately, they have money in the bank to do so.

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Topics retail, roi, consumer spending, small business owner, small business marketing, millennials, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, millennial parents, consumer confidence

Newspaper Advertising In Boston: Advice For Small Business Owners

Oct 14, 2020 1:48:57 PM / by Larry Julius

Boston area business owners are expected to spend $139 million on newspaper advertising in 2020. This will be 35% fewer dollars than were spent in 2019, according to a study by Borrell Associates, a company that analyzes local media expenditures across the country.

Of course, the pandemic is part of the reason advertising revenues have plummeted at Boston newspapers. But, the more significant factor is the sustained erosion of readership.

For example, between October 2017 and March 2019, the Monday-Saturday circulation of the Boston Globe has decreased by 31%. The Sunday edition suffered a 33% decrease.

The Boston Herald has had similar declines as the circulation of both the Monday-Saturday editions and the Sunday edition fell by close to 35%.

Among all advertising media available to small business owners, newspaper's ability to reach adult consumers now lags significantly behind Boston radio, cable, broadcast TV, and social media.

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Topics best way to advertise, newspaper advertising, boston herald, boston globe, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising

Email Marketing In Boston: Tips For Small Business Owners

Oct 5, 2020 6:45:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Boston business owners are forecast to invest $20 million in 2020 on email advertising campaigns to market their goods and services, according to Borrell Associates, a company analyzes ad spending by local companies across the country. 

Borrell predicts overall spending on email marketing by Boston companies is expected to be down by nearly 12% versus last year, primarily due to the pandemic. Regardless, now might be a good time for small business owners to consider engaging current and prospective customers with emails.

"Email is on-fire right now," says Jay Schwedelson, President of Worldata, a company that builds and measures email marketing success for Fortune 100 companies. "Since the start of the pandemic, consumers are spending 22% in their email inbox than they were in January."

Mr. Schwedelson speculates the increase in inbox time is due, in part, to many consumers working from home and depending more-and-more on written communication from co-workers and customers.

"It could also be that consumers are finding comfort in their email boxes rather than from all the noise on social media."

"Either way, email marketing is performing better than ever," says Mr. Schwedelson. "We've studied more than 200 million emails sent over the past 30 days to both business-to-consumer and business-to-business. We found that B2C open rates are up 16% since January, while B2B open rates are 25% higher."

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Topics inbox, open rates, email marketing, email advertising, click through rates, CTR, subject line

Advertise In Boston: Shoppers' Needs Are Changing...Again!

Sep 28, 2020 1:04:15 PM / by Larry Julius

There are over 4 million adult consumers in the Boston area. Collectively, in a typical year, these shoppers would generate $100.9 billion in retail sales. This money would be spent on cars, shoes, fast-food, entertainment, groceries, mattresses, adult beverages, haircuts, makeup, and an over-abundance of other of goods and services. Their money was being spent on both the essential and the frivolous. 

The way Boston consumers spend money changed radically in March as COVID-19 began to spread. Six months into the pandemic, shopping strategies are about to change again.

It started with panic buying. Consumers began ignoring prices and were paying what was ever necessary to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of their families.  According to Nielsen, this sudden spike in demand caused widespread price increases. To put it in perspective, retail prices shot-up in 64% of all product categories stocked in grocery stores.

Almost immediately, advertising messages from local retailers shifted from promises of low prices and convenience to product availability and shopper safety.

Based on new research from Nielsen, consumers' shopping strategies are beginning to shift again. This will require Boston small business owners and retailers to also change their advertising strategies, too.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, roi, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, return on investment, retail sales, retailer, retail store, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, pandemic

How Boston Small Business Owners Can Boost 2020 Holiday Sales

Sep 25, 2020 8:11:27 AM / by Larry Julius

Boston area shoppers are expected to spend over $18.1 billion during this year's November-January holiday season. This estimate is based on a forecast issued last week by Deloitte, the world's largest business accounting firm.  This spending represents a 1-1.5% increase  versus the same period last year.

How can Boston small business owners best compete for a significant share of the 2020 holiday expenditures?

"Retailers who prioritize customers’ desires for a safe, efficient shopping journey will be the big winners this year," writes Sean Gundz on www.ChainstoreAge.com.

"The holiday season is always a stressful time for retailers, especially the ones that make the majority of their revenue in the short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas," says Mr. Gundz. 

"Within this window is Black Friday, which, along with other big holiday sales events, are going to look a lot different this year. Retailers must accommodate COVID-19 mandates that enable social distancing, minimize surface touching, and actually restrict foot traffic in their facilities. All while trying to optimize sales."

Mr. Gundz says there is no single way to deal with the challenges facing retailers this holiday season. He does offer five tips, though, that every Boston retailer can employ.

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Topics retail, small business owner, small business marketing, holiday shopping, small business, small business advertising, market to parents, parents, retail sales, retailer, retail store, millennial parents, holiday advertising, christmas

Boston Retailers Expect Sweet Halloween In 2020

Sep 21, 2020 9:13:50 AM / by Larry Julius

Boston area consumers are expected to spend $134 million on Halloween related activities in 2020, according to information from the National Retail Federation.  This would be a slight 2.3% decrease from 2019. This is proof of the holiday's strong resistance to the pressures of a pandemic economy.

Based on data from the NRF's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 2.3 million Boston adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities. Among those celebrants, safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53 percent plan to decorate their homes, 46 percent plan to carve a pumpkin, and 18 percent will dress up their pet.

“Consumers continue to place importance on celebrating our traditional holidays, even if by untraditional standards,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are prepared to meet the increased demand for seasonal décor, costumes, and other items that allow families the opportunity to observe Halloween safely.”

To earn a large share of Halloween spending in 2020, Boston small business owner will need to advertise to let consumers know their stores are open, stocked, and ready. By any metric, advertising on Boston radio is the best way to reach holiday shoppers.

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Topics small business owner, small business marketing, small business, working mothers, small business advertising, market to parents, parents, children, millennial parents, halloween advertising, holiday advertising

Boston Small Business Update: Auto Parts Sales Accelerate

Sep 18, 2020 7:52:00 AM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 3,000,000 vehicles registered in the Boston area. Many need new windshield wipers, shocks, struts, brakes, air filters, ignition coils, and the hundreds of other items that fill the shelves of local auto part dealers.

Despite the pandemic induced slowdown, business at auto parts stores has grown nearly 13% since February, according to the US Census Bureau.

This explosive growth in auto parts sales directly relates to the  average age of cars on Boston's roads.

"Per the latest study from IHS Markit, the current combined average age of vehicles has hit a record of 11.9 years," Rimmi Singhi wrote this week on NASDAQ.com. "The aging vehicles are a boon to auto parts, replacement, and repair companies. In a bid to ensure long-term functioning of the aging vehicle population, customers are making investments to replace faulty vehicle parts and components."

Also contributing to the rapid aging of cars on the road is the current demand for used versus new vehicles. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for used cars is 25% higher in August than it was during the same month last year.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, small business advertising, used cars, automotive, used trucks, used vehicles, retail sales, retailer, retail store, car repair, auto parts

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