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Best Way To Advertise In Boston With A Limited Budget

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

Advertising In Boston On A Budget 2021To 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.

Consumer Reach

Every week, according to Nielsen, 3.2 million adult consumers tune-in to a Boston radio station.  This is significantly more people than are reached by all other local advertising options, including TV, cable, streaming video, streaming audio, social media, and newspapers.


Reach, according to Nielsen, contributes more to the success of a radio campaign than all other media considerations. Only the message itself has a greater effect.

Advertise In Boston Successful Campaign

There are benefits for a local business owner to advertise on any of the top reaching options including Boston TV, local cable, or social networks. Only radio, however, reaches the bulk of consumers who use those other media.

Advertising on Boston Radio Media Duplication 2021

The reverse is not true, however.  Boston TV, cable, and social media reach a remarkably smaller share of local radio listeners.

Advertise on Boston Radio Media Duplication 2021

In addition to superior reach among local consumers, local radio has proven to provide the strongest return-on-investment among all advertising options available to Boston business owners.

Advertising Return-On-Investment

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 of 10-to-1.New call-to-action

Between April 30 and May 27 of last year, 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, the retailer experienced a 6.2% increase in sales growth during the campaign period.  The majority of the increase came from households where consumers were exposed to the advertising campaign.

According to Nielsen, people exposed to only the retailer's radio commercials represented only 20% of all advertising impressions. However, these same consumers were responsible for 42% of the sales increases.

Here is the bottom line of this study. The retailer earned a $28,000 increase in sales for every $1000 spent. 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.

What drives radio advertising's exceptional ROI is listener engagement. 

Consumer Engagement

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 loss of audience during advertising. They discovered a new benchmark of 3% for avoidance of radio advertising.

In other words, 97% of consumers stay glued to the station they are listening to during a commercial break.

More importantly, consumers who hear radio commercials respond to advertising messages.

A study conducted this year by Edison Research and NPR found that 50% of consumers who were exposed to radio commercials indicated that they were compelled to gather more information about a company, product, or service. Thirty-six percent of listeners said they were convinced to buy a product after hearing a radio commercial.

Advertising In Boston: Radio Commercials

To reiterate, if it is affordable, then Boston small business owners should consider using multiple media as part of an advertising campaign. When budget is an issue, however, and there is only enough money available to utilize one local option, then radio is the best bet. Boston radio provides superior reach, consumer engagement, and ROI.

*Study commissioned by Cumulus | Westwood One

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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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