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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 Has Working From Home Affected Boston Radio?

Aug 24, 2020 6:45:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Before COVID-19, most listening to Boston radio happened outside the home. Consumers were tuning-in to their favorite stations from the car on the way to their job. Then, they tuned-in when they arrived at work. They listened again during the commute back home.

Nielsen recently surveyed consumers who worked from home before and during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The results show, as of June, 66% of respondents now work from home full-time as a consequence of the pandemic.

As consumers are compelled to work from their houses and curtail their commutes, the share of at-home listening to Boston radio has grown by 24%, according to Nielsen.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, advertise on radio, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, vehicle traffic, commuting, pandemic, radio listening, listening location, time spent listening, work from home

What Boston Consumers Need To Know Now About Your Small Business

Aug 12, 2020 6:51:05 AM / by Larry Julius

There is good news for Boston retailers and restaurants.

As a result of the pandemic, one-third of consumers indicate they will pay a premium for local brands and products, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young

However, before consumers will buy from a local business in Quincy, Newburyport, Framingham, or any town in-between, they must know they can do so without risking their health.

Advertising is the only practical way to let local shoppers and diners know about the precautions and practices your small business has taken to reduce potential health threats.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, effective advertising, writing a commercial, small business advertising, retail sales, retailer, retail store, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, commercial length, radio commercials

Advertising In Boston: Radio Listening Unchanged From Year Ago

Aug 7, 2020 9:58:28 AM / by Larry Julius

During July, Boston's 3,142,800 adult radio-listeners spent two hours per day listening to their favorite stations, according to Nielsen. Although local consumers had spent fewer minutes listening at the onset of the pandemic, the current time tuned-in remains unchanged compared to a year ago.

Some advertising experts had predicted that as consumers spent more time at home because of COVID-19 concerns, the hours devoted to radio listening would decrease. That, however, was not the case.

In July of 2019, according to Nielsen, 34.3% of radio listening occurred at home. During July of this year, in-home listening jumped to 42.6%. Despite the reduction in out-of-home activities, though, consumers still spent the exact amount of time listening to Boston radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, small business, pandora, spotify, advertise on radio, small business advertising, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, sirius/xm, pandemic, radio listening, podcasts

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

Who'll Be Buying When Boston Small Businesses Reopen?

May 19, 2020 7:16:00 AM / by Larry Julius

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Governor of Massachusetts shut down all but the most essential businesses in the state on March 24. This public safety measure inflicted a severe disruption to the Boston area's $100.9 billion retail economy.

As local small business owners prepare to reopen, each must concentrate on supercharging their cash flows to compensate for nearly 60 days of consumer abstinence. Turning the lights back on and hanging out a welcome sign might not be enough, though, to bring even the most loyal customers back.

Some customers may not return because of personal safety concerns. Other customers may have discovered alternative sources to purchase goods and services.

But, there is one thing every Boston small business owner can be assured of. Consumers will not return if they aren't aware that a business has reopened.

Advertising is a potent tactic for any New England small business that needs to reintroduce itself to local consumers.

“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.”

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, retail sales, retailer, retail store, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing, reopen

Should Your Boston Small Business Continue To Advertise?

May 15, 2020 2:22:04 PM / by Larry Julius

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on the retail receipts in New England. Every day small business owners from Newburyport to Quincy are being challenged by the recession created by the pandemic.

Just today, for instance, the US Commerce Department announced that April retail sales were down by 20% vs. the same month last year. This is sure to take an enormous bite out of the $100.9 billion in annual consumer spending Boston area business has been expecting in 2020.

“April was the cruelest month,” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, told the Wall Street Journal. "Retail spending likely bottomed out in the first week of May with spending picking up due to Mother’s Day and gradual state reopenings.

“It’s going to be less worse with each month,” said Mr. Johnson, “as people slowly come out of the foxhole and enter the mainstream of American consumerism.”

The ability of a Boston small business to survive past the lockdowns will depend on the steps it takes now.

WARC, a company that collaborates with more than 50 respected marketing organizations, including the Advertising Research Foundation and the Association of National Advertisers, has identified ten tactics that businesses should implement immediately. The #2 step on this list: Keep advertising if you can.

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Topics best way to advertise, small business owner, small business, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, recession, crisis marketing

Reclaim 'Top Of Mind' When Your Boston Small Business Re-Opens

May 1, 2020 9:29:38 AM / by Larry Julius

Business was booming in Boston. Then it was not.

Before the chaos brought on by Coronavirus, it had been predicted, based on estimates from the National Retail Federation, Boston area consumers would spend 4.1% more in 2020 than they did in 2019. On March 24, however, when Massachusetts' Governor shut down the state, the expectations of growth for many small business owners were replaced with fights for survival.

As the state prepares to reopen, Boston area small businesses will learn that turning the lights back on and hanging out the welcome sign might not be enough to bring even the most loyal customers back.

Some customers will not return because of personal safety concerns. Other customers may have discovered alternative sources to purchase goods and services.

More likely, though, customers will not come back because a business has lost a valued parcel of real estate: the position at the top of a customer's mind. This is the place where purchase decisions are made.

There is a way to regain top-of-mind status. First, though, it's important to understand why a business can be forgotten so quickly. 

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, top of mind awareness, recall, frequency, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, recency

Who Do Boston Consumers Trust During A Crisis?

Apr 27, 2020 1:10:37 PM / by Larry Julius

For Boston small business owners, marketing and advertising are crucial to surviving any crisis, including Coronavirus. The business literature has an abundance of case studies from depressions, recessions, natural disasters, and, yes, pandemics that affirm this existential conclusion.

Advertising, however, may seem extravagant right now to New England businesses that are struggling to make rent, purchase inventory, and meet payroll. Henry Ford, though, is often quoted as saying, "Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping a clock to save time."

Therefore, as business owners from Mansfield to Haverhill (and every point in between) are cinching their belts tighter-than-ever to stay alive, the dollars invested in advertising must be spent in the most effective manner possible.

During periods of uncertainty, advertising works the hardest when placed in within media that consumers trust.  During the time of COVID-19, advertising on Boston radio has earned that trust among local consumers.

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Topics best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, recall, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, recession, trust, context

Web Traffic Is Soaring For Boston Small Business Owners

Apr 24, 2020 8:55:42 AM / by Larry Julius

Since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, consumers are not flocking into the showrooms, storefronts, offices, or dining rooms of Boston's small business owners. It turns out, though, social distancing has not proven to be an impediment to shopping.

New England consumers are still spending money despite the chaos imposed by the pandemic, according to Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell & Associates. His company specializes in the collection of marketing data from business owners across the country.

"During depressions, recessions, floods, hurricane, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemics, commerce goes on," Mr. Borell told members of Boston's small business community during a recent teleconference.

To prove his point, he shared research from IBISworld  which, indicates spending continues despite a plunge in consumer confidence.

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Topics radio advertising, consumer spending, small business owner, online advertising, small business, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing, web traffic, website vistiors, e-commerce

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