Boston small business owners may perceive the continuation of advertising as a luxury right now. This is especially so when compared to the necessity for covering the costs of utilities, inventory, payroll, and rent.
Before pulling the plug, though, business owners from Newburyport to Taunton must consider the consequences of 'going dark', a marketing term which means to stop advertising.
"According to our analysis, short-term decisions to go dark create significant risk for long-term revenue," says Ameneh Atai, Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy at Nielsen. "This affects both incremental revenue and base sales."
"Our database of long-term effects models suggests that cutting ad spending for the rest of 2020 could lead up-to 11% revenue decrease in 2021," says Ms. Atai. "It could take three to five years of solid and consistent brand building to recover from an extended dark period of media."
"We have a ton of evidence in our historical analysis," adds Nielsen's Tsvetan Tsvetkov, Senior Vice President of Agency and Advertiser Solutions. "Companies that step away from advertising efforts for a period of time, whether it's a couple of quarters or a full year or longer lose the momentum they have built over time the minute they stop. To recover takes a long, long time."
To avoid the economic risks of going dark, local small business owners need to make sure every dollar spent on advertising produces solid returns. By most marketing metrics, advertising on Boston radio could prove to be the best option.
Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies over the past few years, to determine what type of return-on-investment a business owner can expect from radio advertising. Although the results varied by industry, the average company generated $100 in sales for every $10 invested. This is a 10x ROI.
The chart below shows the range of returns from each study.
AdAge, a trade magazine for advertising professionals, calls these types of return "eye-popping". The magazine goes on to say radio's ROI is superior to commercials on TV, online, and social media.
One of the reasons radio advertising delivers such impressive returns is the medium's dominant reach.
According to Nielsen, the most potent media element of a marketing campaign, as it relates to sales, is reach. This is the number of consumers who actually are exposed to an advertiser's message.
Every week, pre-Coronavirus, significantly more consumers tuned-in to Boston radio than watched local TV, read a newspaper, engages with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or streamed audio from Pandora and Spotify.
Even during the pandemic's depths, despite disruptions to daily life, local radio was able to maintain its massive reach among all consumers.
Local radio has not only retained its reach during the current Coronavirus crisis, but consumers are also spending significantly more time each day listening.
The ability of a Boston small business to not only survive but also to thrive post-crisis depends on actions that are taken 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.
On September 15, 1921, WBZ-AM signed-on as the first radio station serving Boston and New England. Since then, local business owners have depended on radio advertising to market their goods and services successfully. Radio has helped these businesses survive recessions, depressions, world wars, hurricanes, and blizzards.
Based on the metrics above, advertising on Boston radio will help local business owners overcome the current chaos as well.
More Advertising Advice For Boston Small Business Owners
- Why Boston Real Estate Agents Need To Advertise Now
- Who'll Be Buying When Boston Small Businesses Reopen?
- Should Your Boston Small Business Continue To Advertise?
- Does Cable TV Advertising Make Sense For Boston Small Business Owners?
- How To Bring Employees Back To Your Boston Small Business
- Reclaim 'Top Of Mind' When Your Boston Small Business Re-Opens
- Who Do Boston Consumers Trust During A Crisis?