There are 205,625 small businesses in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Almost every one of these businesses is competing for a portion of the $103 billion of local retail spending expected to occur in 2023.*
To capture the largest share of this giant pool of consumer cash, Boston small business owners will need to consider advertising.
"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. Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your sales., and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your company."
One of the best ways to advertise in Boston may be on local radio, a fact not lost on the world's largest advertiser, Proctor & Gamble. Last year, P&G upped spending on the radio by 43% to $235 million, according to Vivvix (formerly Kantar Media), led by a big jump in local radio.
This came as the company, under margin pressure from rising costs and trying to minimize price hikes, cut measured spending overall by more than 10% to $2.2 billion.
According to AdAge, a leading trade magazine for the advertising industry, Chairman and CEO Jon Moeller last year told P&G brand marketers to focus on how many people they reach and how often rather than how much they spend.
Every week, according to Nielsen, 3,333,841 adult consumers are reached by Boston radio. This is more than all other local advertising options, including TV, cable, social media, streaming video, streaming audio, and newspapers.
Radio's reach dominance, especially among 18-49-year-olds, has not been lost on the marketing experts at P&G.
According to AdAge, "P&G’s moves come as AM/FM radio has surprisingly neared (or, depending on the measure, passed) linear TV in time spent among people 18-49 in the U.S. for the first time since such data has been collected in the Nielsen Total Audience Report"
"This isn’t because radio audiences are growing, but because they’ve rebounded from the pandemic and have been far more stable than linear TV audiences, which have declined at an accelerating pace due to cord-cutting in recent years."
In the Boston area, according to Neilsen, there are 2,139,512 18-49-year-olds, the majority of whom are millennials, a generation that now accounts for nearly one-third of all retail spending.
Over the past five years, the downward pressure on local TV ratings among 18-49-year-olds has been from the rapid decline of both reach and time spent viewing. During that time, says Nielsen, TV's reach in that vital audience fell by 28% while the daily time spent viewing plummeted by 56%
According to WARC, a marketing strategy company that uncovers actionable insights from unbiased evidence and a unique methodology, there are even more benefits for P&G when using radio advertising, especially at the local level. This includes the company's well-publicized efforts to spend more of their advertising budget on black-owned media. In addition, radio is also a very robust medium among young Spanish-speaking audiences, too.
*Retail spending estimates are based on per capita forecasts for 2023 from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
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