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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

Advertising On Boston Radio Remains Best Option During Corona Crisis

Apr 15, 2020 4:55:37 PM / by Larry Julius

The chaos created in New England by the onset of Coronavirus has been a disruptive force among consumers. 

Work routines, buying habits, family life, and media consumption have all been palpably affected. These are all factors that need to be considered by small business owners who continue to advertise their goods and services during the crisis.

Before the current chaos, advertising on Boston radio, by any metric, was the best way a local small business could advertise.

For instance, pre-Coronavirus, 3.5 million adult consumers tuned-in to a Boston radio station every week. This is significantly more than watched local TV, read a newspaper, accessed social media, or streamed audio from sites like Pandora and Spotify.

New research released from Nielsen indicates that amidst the current crisis, listening to local radio remains little changed. This is great news for those Boston area small business owners who are depending on advertising for their long-term survival.

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Topics newspaper advertising, radio advertising, small business owner, small business marketing, online advertising, social media advertising, television advertising, small business, digital advertising, small business advertising, streaming audio, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing

Marketing During The Corona Crisis: Advice For Boston Small Businesses

Apr 7, 2020 1:50:55 PM / by Larry Julius

In 'normal' times, Boston area consumers would be expected to rack up $100.9 billion in annual retail sales. Of course, since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, nothing has been normal.

But as Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, explained to members of the Boston area small business community via teleconference, consumers are still spending. This, it turns out, is normal.

Mr. Borrell shared research from Ibis that demonstrates during every type of crisis, including depressions, recessions, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemics, consumers still spend.

The business literature contains an abundance of examples of how continuing to market and advertise during an economic crisis can help a company survive and emerge from the episode even stronger than before.

Boston small business owners who do continue to advertise and market, however, should consider modifying their pre-crisis strategy.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing, borrell

Crisis Marketing: What Boston Small Business Owners Should Know

Apr 3, 2020 6:19:56 AM / by Larry Julius

Last week, Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, shared insights with Boston small business owners on the value of marketing to consumers during a crisis. A video replay of the teleconference is available by clicking here.

Mr. Borrell is the CEO of Borrell Associates. His company is one of the most trusted sources of trends and forecasts for local media today.

According to Mr. Borrell, despite social distancing and economic jitters induced by the Coronavirus chaos, consumers are still spending money.

He points to research from Ibis that consumer consumption continues in almost every crisis, including depressions, recessions, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemic.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing

Boston Radio: Who's Listening During The Coronavirus Crisis

Mar 27, 2020 3:11:55 PM / by Larry Julius

In a typical week, 3.5 million adult consumers tune-in to Boston radio stations.  But, since the onset of the Coronavirus, the weeks have not been typical.

Before social-distancing and work-from-home orders, 2.4 million Boston-area consumers would drive to-and-from work each day. More than 92% of these commuters could be reached by radio.  

New England small business owners who depend on radio advertising to market their goods and services, therefore, might be concerned that the disruption in commuting patterns could depress the amount of time consumers spend with local radio.

According to market research, however, radio listening remains an important part of the daily life of consumers. Even amid the current chaos.

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Topics retail, best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, corona, covid 19, coronavirus, crisis marketing

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