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Help Wanted: The Best Way To Recruit Qualified Workers In CSRA

May 7, 2021 9:51:52 AM / by Larry Julius

The number of job openings in the Augusta, Georgia area has exceeded pre-pandemic levels, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Businesses of all sizes are adding employees in a big way, according to the ADP Research Institute, but still, large numbers of positions remain unfilled.

With the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) unemployment rate still at 4.8%, Augusta area business owners wonder why they are having difficulty attracting applicants for open positions.

According to a recent article posted in The Economist, there are two major reasons why many sidelined workers aren't anxious to come to work. The first is fear.

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Topics blue collar workers, recruitment advertising, white collar workers, social media advertising, radio advertising, employment advertising, online job boards, social media, indeed, monster.com, linkedin, passive job seekers, active job seekers, zip recruiter

Wow!! Augusta Millennials Turn 40 This Year

Apr 30, 2021 8:42:57 AM / by Larry Julius

There are 145,100 millennials in the Augusta, Georgia area.  The oldest of them turn 40 this year. According to The Pew Research Center, millennials comprise the generation of Americans born between 1981 and 1996.

As a consumer group, millennials account for an outsized percentage of retail spending. This generation represents 32% of the Augusta area population but almost one-third of metro-area sales. 

All in, Augusta millennials are expected to ring up more than $3.1 billion in purchases during 2021.  You name it, millennials are planning to buy it.

According to Nielsen, over the next 12 months, Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) millennials will show up in huge numbers at auto dealerships, furniture stores, mattress stores, appliance stores, home improvement stores, and scores of other retailers and service providers.

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Who Listens To Augusta Radio?

Apr 23, 2021 11:48:03 AM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, 88% of adult consumers tune in to an Augusta, Georgia radio station. This is significantly more people than watch broadcast TV, local cable, or video streaming services. It's more than use social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.  And, it's more than read local newspapers.

Augusta radio is also the medium with the greatest reach among millennials, a generation that not only has embraced an abundance of online media options but also accounts for nearly a third of all local consumer spending.

This reach advantage is a crucial reason why Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) small business owners depend on Augusta radio to market their goods and services.

A study released this week by Edison Research and NPR discovered that their six distinct types of radio listeners. The study also examines how each group of listeners engages with both programming and advertising.  These distinctions are important for Augusta small business owners to understand.

The six listener categories as described in the study are:

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How Much Do Augusta Business Owners Spend on Advertising?

Apr 16, 2021 2:15:05 PM / by Larry Julius

Now is a crucial time for Augusta, GA area small business owners to advertise.  

According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence has surged to 110, the highest it has been since the onset of the pandemic last March.  The index has bounced back from a low of 89.6 in February. 

Moving forward, Central Savannah River Area business owners can expect buyer optimism to remind high.

“The recovery in consumer confidence is set to continue in the coming months, buoyed by the combination of improving health conditions and wider vaccine distribution,” said Lydia Boussour, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. “This should support hearty consumer spending and pave the way for a mini-boom in economic activity this spring and summer.”

As CSRA consumers gain confidence, they are expected to unleash the record $2.3-billion in personal savings amassed during the pandemic. This number is based on figures reported by Barron's in November. 

This combination of consumer confidence and the cache of cash-on-hand has led the National Retail Federation (NRF) to forecast a 7% increase in retail spending in 2021 versus last year.

To claim a significant share of the expected spending tsunami, Augusta area business owners plan to boost advertising investments this year.

According to Borrell Associates, a company that tracks advertising trends across the country, Augusta business owners are expected to spend $210 million to advertise the goods and services they sell. This represents a 6.0% increase versus last year.

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Why Audio Advertising In Augusta Drives CSRA Purchase Decisions

Apr 8, 2021 2:21:42 PM / by Larry Julius

Augusta consumers are expected to spend nearly 7% more at retail in 2021 than in 2020. This forecast is based on recently released data from the National Retail Federation.

To lay claim to a significant share of growing consumer spending, Central Savannah River Area retailers will need to advertise.

“Think you have a great product?” asks the US Small Administration. “Unfortunately, no one’s going to know about it unless you advertise.”   

“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."

Scientifically speaking, the fastest way a marketing message can reach the areas of a Augusta consumer's brain responsible for purchase decisions is through the ear.  That's why audio advertising can be far more potent than visual messaging.

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CSRA Consumers Stick With Augusta Radio Despite Pandemic

Mar 31, 2021 4:09:24 PM / by Larry Julius

In 1930, when WRDW-AM became the first radio station in the Central Savannah River Area, many considered the medium a fad.  Even a 1937 hit song written by George Gershwin, Our Love Is Here To Stay, considered radio to be a "passing fancy and in time may go".

Augusta radio, however, has survived the advent of talking-movies, television, eight tracks, and cassettes in stereo.  More recently, radio has withstood a tsunami of digital options including, YouTube, SiriusXM, Pandora, and Spotify.

As the Coronavirus pandemic rolls over into a second year, Augusta radio has hung tough and not ceded its ground despite listener's shifting lifestyles.  This is crucial news for local small business owners who depend on local stations to market their goods and services.

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OTT & CTV: Who Watches Streaming Video In Augusta?

Mar 19, 2021 2:45:37 PM / by Larry Julius

Each week, according to Nielsen, 68.4% of Central Savannah River Area consumers watch video programs that aren't delivered over-the-air by local TV stations.  They aren't coming from a local cable company or by satellite.  Instead, these programs are being streamed directly to viewers via an internet connection.

This type of streamed video content is called OTT (Over-The-Top-Television) or CTV (Connected-Television). These two terms are sometimes are often used interchangeably but do have a subtle difference.

OTT generally means the video is watched on a small device like a computer, tablet, or smartphone.  CTV, on the other hand, typically means the content is viewed on a smart-TV or a regular television using a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon stick.

In the Augusta, Georgia area, OTT/CTV has exceeded the weekly reach of local newspapers and streaming audio services such as Pandora and Spotify. The medium is rapidly approaching the reach of local cable and broadcast TV stations.

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CSRA Homeowners Plan To Spend Stimulus Cash On Improvements

Mar 15, 2021 4:24:08 PM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area residents will begin receiving economic stimulus checks  from the Internal Revenue Service as early as today.  In all, local consumers will receive more than $705 million in payments.

This infusion of cash into the Augusta area economy was authorized by Congress last week in the American Rescue Plan legislation. 

The stimulus relief legislation calls for a one-time payment of $1,400 to single adults. Married couples who filed jointly will receive $2,800 total ($1,400 apiece). Families will get an additional $1,400 for each eligible dependent regardless of age. A family of four could get $5,600 in total payments. Like the second round of stimulus payments, the third round specifically prohibits payments to anyone who died before January 1, 2020.

Many of the stimulus dollars will end up in the wallets of 141,000 Augusta, GA area homeowners. Based on research from Modernize, a leader in the home improvement and home services industry, 57% of these consumers are planning to spend all or part of their checks on home improvement projects.

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Does Anyone Listen To Augusta Radio At Night?

Mar 10, 2021 8:37:33 AM / by Larry Julius

Each week, according to Nielsen, more than 394,000 adult consumers tune-in to a Augusta radio station. This is significantly more than watch local TV or cable. More than stream video channels like Netflix or Hulu. More than read local newspapers. More than use Facebook or Instagram. More than listen to online audio services like Pandora and Spotify.

But almost everyone knows (including many who advertise on Augusta radio) that consumers only listen to local radio stations during the day. Right? Wrong!

According to Nielsen, 40% of local consumers listen to Augusta radio stations each week between 7:00pm and 12:00am. This is a larger audience than Pandora, Spotify, and Instagram combined reach during an entire week.

For CSRA small business owners, radio's immense nighttime audience offers a unique value proposition.

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Grab A Larger Share Of The CSRA's Accelerating Retail Spending

Mar 4, 2021 4:38:37 PM / by Larry Julius

Augusta, Georgia area consumers are expected to spend upward of $7.7-billion at retail in 2021. This would be, at minimum, a 6.5% jump over 2020. The forecast is based on newly released estimates by the National Retail Federation.

“Despite the continuing health and economic challenges COVID-19 presents, we are very optimistic that healthy consumer fundamentals, pent-up demand and widespread distribution of the vaccine will generate increased economic growth, retail sales and consumer spending,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

“From the outset of the pandemic, retailers have gone above and beyond even the most conservative safety guidelines to protect and serve their associates and consumers alike."

To capture the largest possible share of spending growth, Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) retailers will need to advertise. By the most crucial marketing metrics, the best best way to reach consumers is by advertising on Augusta radio.

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, retail, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, web traffic, website visitors, small business advertising, online shopping, retail spending

Advertise in Augusta: How Local Consumers Use The Internet?

Feb 26, 2021 8:25:02 AM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area business owners are expected to invest $96-million during 2021 to advertise to consumers connected to the internet. This forecast was produced by Borrell Associates, a company that tracks business advertising expenditures across the country.

These online marketing dollars will be spent on banner advertising, search engine marketing, email, as well as audio and video advertising. This is all to capture the attention of shoppers and buyers as they go about their connected days.

According to Nielsen, 95.2% of adult consumers in the Augusta, GA area have access to the internet. They connect, primarily, with desktop and laptop computers; smartphones; or tablets.

Ninety-four percent of Augusta adults spend at least one hour per week online, with most spending at least 10 hours connected.

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5 Key Advertising Stats CSRA Small Business Owners Should Know

Feb 23, 2021 8:26:49 AM / by Larry Julius

Since 1930, advertising on Augusta radio has helped small business owners survive and thrive during times of peril. This includes world wars, natural disasters, depressions, and recessions.

Even during a pandemic, by almost every key marketing metric, radio advertising remains the best way for a Central Savannah River Area business to market its goods and services.

To prove the point, here are five statistics that vividly demonstrate the value of advertising on Augusta radio.

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Advertising In Augusta: Reaching Female Consumers

Feb 10, 2021 2:24:59 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 234,400 adult women in the Central Savannah River Area. Based on research from the Harvard Business Review, as a consumer group, females account for 70-80 percent of all consumer purchasing through a combination of their buying power and influence.  According to Nielsen, this will amount to between $6.6 billion and $7.6 billion this year.

Overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census Bureau:

  • Single women across all income brackets spend, on average, $34,817 on goods and service
  • Working married women contribute over a third of their families’ incomes
  • Over a quarter (29.4%) of wives earned more than their husbands in 2018, an increase from 15.9% in 1981.

Furthermore, according to research published by Forbes:

  • The top homebuyers after married couples are single women (18%, double the percentage for single men at 9%).
  • Women are 50% more likely than men to regularly watch online how-to videos.
  • 94% of women between the ages of 15-35 spend over an hour per day shopping online.
  • 70% of travel consumers are women.
  • 85% of women say that if they like a brand, they will remain loyal to it.

For Augusta small business owners to successfully capture a meaningful share of the local female economy requires advertising.

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How Smart Speakers Affect Advertising On Augusta Radio

Feb 4, 2021 3:18:21 PM / by Larry Julius

Augusta's first radio station, WRDW-AM, began broadcasting on June 25, 1930.  The process of getting the station's programming from the studio into the home of local listeners required tall-transmitting towers with miles of underground copper wire in the middle of massive fields.

For the next 63 years, this massive investment in real estate, steel, and cooper was the only method of delivering a radio advertiser's message into the ears of Augusta consumers.

In 1993, however, new technology permitted Augusta radio stations to augment the reach of their tall towers by simultaneously streaming its over-the-air programming via the internet. This provided local consumers with the choice of listening to their favorite stations on their car radios, clock radios, and boom boxes or on an internet connected devices like computers, smartphones, or tablets.

Today, based on estimates from Edison Research, 11% of listening to local radio stations occurs on a streaming media device.  The ability for AM/FM to migrate from their tall towers to internet streaming allows Augusta radio to reach more local consumers every week than all other media.

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Augusta Radio: Which Stations Do CSRA Consumers Prefer?

Jan 26, 2021 1:25:27 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 26 radio stations that serve consumers in the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia and South Carolina. Each provides a unique format of news, sports, music, entertainment, and inspiration. Some stations broadcast in English. Others serve Spanish speakers. Some stations cater to millennials. Others appeal to Baby Boomers.  No doubt, there is a local radio station that fulfills the preferences of every listener.

Each week, according to Nielsen, 393,762 adults tune-in to their favorite Augusta radio stations. This is more people than watch local TV, cable, or streaming channels. This is more than use Facebook and Instagram. This is more than read newspapers or connect to Pandora and Spotify. 

Despite the abundance of Augusta radio stations to choose between, Nielsen reports that, on average, adult consumers only listen to 2.2 each week.  So, which stations do local consumers choose?

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Topics radio commercials, effective radio advertising, millennials, radio advertising, streaming audio, smart speakers, in-car listening, in-car audio, radio listening, listening location, radio formats

Advertising In Augusta: Drivers Turn Up The Radio

Jan 21, 2021 8:32:42 AM / by Larry Julius

Radio came to Georgia on March 15, 1922 when WSB went on the air. The station was owned by The Atlanta Journal.

From that day, many predicted radio's success would succumb to advances from new technologies. In 1927, the challenge came from talking movies. In the 1940s, the predators were 13-inch TV sets. In the 1970s, it was 8-track and cassette tapes. In the past 20 years, there was a multi-flank attack from iPods, Zunes, YouTube, Sirius, XM, Pandora, Spotify,

So far, all of these challengers have failed. Not even a pandemic has been able to remove radio as a vital force in the life of Central Savannah River Area consumers.

Every week, according to Nielsen, more adults tune-in to Augusta radio than watch TV or cable. Use social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Read newspapers. Or, stream music from Pandora or Spotify.

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Is Advertising On Twitter Right For CSRA Small Business Owners?

Jan 12, 2021 4:29:42 PM / by Larry Julius

How important is Twitter to Central Savannah River Area consumers? Yesterday, for instance, the social media platform was mentioned in at least ten articles published by the Augusta Chronicle yesterday.  Almost every local TV newscast included references to the site as well.

Twitter's outsized presence in the news, however, is enormously disproportional to the importance of the micro-blogging app in the life of Augusta's consumers.

According to Nielsen, only about 15% of adults in the CSRA use Twitter during the course of a month. This is minuscule compared to other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Twitter offers 20 different options that Georgia and South Carolina small business owners can utilize to market their goods and services to local consumers.  The platform's minimal reach, however, can hamper the success of any advertising campaign.

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Small Business Advice: 5 Facts About Advertising On Augusta Radio

Dec 18, 2020 9:10:19 AM / by Larry Julius

Until 1930, there were no radio stations the Central Savannah River Area. Local listeners would need to tune to distant signals including WSB, a station owned by The Atlanta Journal.  WSB was Georgia's first radio station and had been on the air since March 15, 1922.

On June 25, 1930, however, Warren Davenport and Clark Jack put Augusta's first radio station, WRDW, on the air. Mr. Davenport and Mr. Clark were owners of Musicove, a store at 309 Eighth Street that sold radios, records, and sheet music.

The inaugural broadcast of WRDW began at 1:05am and lasted nearly three hours. The first program included a performance by local musician J. Bernard Carpenter.

A few days later on July 3, WRDW broadcast a speech by J. Roy Cooper, a candidate for Mayor in Augusta. This was the city's first ever political broadcast.

For 90 years, small business owners have depended on local radio stations to successfully market their goods and services through depressions, recessions, wars, and natural disasters. Even now, during a pandemic, advertising on Augusta radio remains a dependable way to make cash registers ring.

Here are five facts every CSRA small business owner needs to know about local radio in 2020.

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Online Advertising In Augusta: How Much Do Local Businesses Spend?

Dec 15, 2020 8:48:45 AM / by Larry Julius

Over 95% of Central Savannah River Areas adults have access to the internet, according to Nielsen. Almost 70% of these consumers spend more than five hours a week connected.

Nielsen reports that Augusta area consumers go online to stay connected to friends and family; research products and services; learn the latest news, and obtain directions to where they are going and know what the weather will be when they get there.  

Here are some of the many reasons why CSRA internet users go online each month

  • Social Media: 77%
  • Weather: 60%
  • Online Banking: 59%
  • Maps/Directions: 50%
  • Product Reviews: 48%
  • Sports Scores/News: 43%
  • Current Events: 42%
  • Restaurant Reviews: 37%
  • Real Estate: 19%
  • Job Search: 17%

And, of course, there is shopping.  Over the past three months, according to Nielsen, 76.7% of Augusta consumers shopped online for every imaginable product and service including, cars, golf clubs, office supplies, wedding rings, mattresses, tires, medicine, shoes, socks, and eyeglasses.

To reach local consumers while they are online, Augusta businesses will spend $95 million for digital advertising in 2020, according to Borrell Associates.  Here is how the money is being spent:

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Advertising In Augusta: Top 5 Articles From 2020

Dec 9, 2020 10:56:03 AM / by Larry Julius

As the pandemic rages on, advertising is no longer a luxury for the 5,000 small businesses in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area .  Advertising has become a tool for survival.
 
As cash becomes precious, though, Central Savannah Rivera Area small business owners and retailers need to ensure that every dollar spent  on advertising has a significant effect on sales.
 
To make the best advertising choices, thousands of CSRA business owners have sought advice and direction from www.AdvertiseInAugusta.Com.  Here is a recap of the top 5 articles read on the site during 2020.

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Who's Spending Now? CSRA Small Business Owners Ask.

Dec 4, 2020 3:42:30 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 107,300 adults in the Central Savannah River Area who have earned a four-year college or postgraduate degree, according to research from Nielsen. A study from the Federal Reserve indicates that these educated consumers have been least affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic.

"While the labor market disruptions have affected workers in a wide set of industries and occupations, those without a college degree have experienced the most severe impact," say Mary C. Daly, Shelby R. Buckman, and Lily M. Seitelman authors of The Unequal Impact of COVID-19 in the Economic Letter published by the Federal Reserve of San Francisco.

Although the unemployment rate increased among consumers of every education level in late March when the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina lockdown their states to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the smallest increase was among those with bachelor or postgraduate degrees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics..

Seven months later, job recovery among those with college degrees is closer to pre-pandemic levels than consumers with lower levels of educational attainment.

Many small business owners have seen the correlation between advertising and survival during the economic crisis inflicted by the pandemic.  With precious few dollars to invest, it is crucial that every advertisement reaches consumers who have disposable income to buy. Right now, the most likely spenders are customers with college degrees.

By key advertising metrics, the best way to reach consumers with higher education is on Augusta radio.

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Advertising In Augusta: Still Time To Ring Up Holiday Sales

Dec 2, 2020 7:05:00 AM / by Larry Julius

There is cheerful news for small business owners from Aiken to Martinez and every city and town in between.

Based on the latest projections from the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to grow 3.6%-5.2% over 2019.  This means despite the economic ravages of the pandemic, Central Savannah River Area shoppers will be spending between $1.3 and $1.4 billion on gifts and other trappings of the season.

The NRF forecast is based on an economic model that takes into consideration a variety of indicators including employment, wages, consumer confidence, disposable income, consumer credit, previous retail sales and weather. NRF defines the holiday season as November 1 through December 31. Numbers forecast by NRF may differ from other organizations that define the holiday season as a longer period or include retail sectors not included by NRF, such as automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

"Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year," says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "We expect a strong finish to the holiday season." 

“Given the pandemic, there is uncertainty about consumers’ willingness to spend, but with the economy improving most have the ability to spend,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumers have experienced a difficult year but will likely spend more than anyone would have expected just a few months ago."

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What Is The Best Way To Reach Online Shoppers In The CSRA?

Nov 17, 2020 2:08:44 PM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area shoppers are expected to spend a record $1.4 billion online in 2020, based on the most recent projections from eMarketer. This would represent year-over-year growth of 32.4%.

During the same period, according to eMarketer, receipts at brick-and-mortar stores have contracted by 3.2%.  Overall, excluding gas and auto sales, e-commerce will account for 20.6% of all retail sales this year.

The Coronavirus pandemic is credited with this seismic shift in shopping behavior as consumers continue to avoid stores and opt for online shopping.

“We’ve seen e-commerce accelerate in ways that didn’t seem possible last spring, given the extent of the economic crisis,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “While much of the shift has been led by essential categories like grocery, there has been surprising strength in discretionary categories like consumer electronics and home furnishings that benefited from pandemic-driven lifestyle needs.”

Even before the onset of the pandemic, 76.7% of CSRA consumers had bought goods online over the prior six months, according to Nielsen research. Purchases included clothing, health & beauty products, travel reservations, books, furniture, and groceries.

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Small Business Advertising In Augusta: Consumers Ready To Spend

Nov 13, 2020 8:25:38 AM / by Larry Julius

There is positive news for the 15,000 small businesses in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area,.  A majority of consumers say they are ready to start shopping again.

A lifestyle survey just released from Nielsen indicates 53% of Americans believe that despite the continuing pandemic, life is beginning to normalize, and they are likely to resume typical activities.  Nielsen refers to this majority as "Ready-To-Go".

According to the survey, Ready-To-Go consumers now perceive less risk, feel safer, and believe their cities are emerging from crisis.

The key takeaway for CSRA small business owners is that Ready-To-Go consumers are significantly more likely to start shopping within 30 days than the total population.  These buyers, according to Nielsen, are looking to spend on home improvement, professional services, auto parts/repair, shopping, food & dining, and travel.

To capture a meaningful share of the money Ready-To-Go consumers will be spending requires local small business owners to advertise.  By almost every metric, advertising on Augusta radio is the best advertising option.

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Advertising ROI In CSRA: Television vs. Radio

Nov 9, 2020 4:05:32 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, significantly more consumers are reached by local radio than by Augusta TV.

For Central Savannah River Area small business owners whose marketing budgets have been ravaged by the pandemic, though, the question is which of these media can provide the best return for their advertising investments. An ROI study conducted by Nielsen and commissioned by Cumulus Media | Westwood One provides a conclusive answer.

Between April 30 and May 27 of this year, Nielsen analyzed the sales results of a major retailer who conducted an advertising campaign on both radio and television during that period.  

Using  their Portable People Meter panel of 80,000 consumers, Nielsen measured the purchase behavior of consumers who were exposed to the advertiser's commercials on both radio and television. To learn more about the methodology, click here.

The result of the study indicates that the money invested in radio advertising had a much stronger return than the money spent on TV.

Here are the key findings of the ROI study:

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, return on investment, roi, retail, august television, radio advertising, small business owner, television advertising, small business, television, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, small business advertising

AVOD: Four Letters Every Augusta Small Business Owners Should Know

Nov 3, 2020 8:42:27 AM / by Larry Julius

Before we explain AVOD, it is important to understand SVOD.

Central Savannah River Area small business owners may not be familiar with SVOD, but chances are they let it into their homes and onto their phones.

SVOD is the abbreviation for Subscription Video On Demand. That is the collective name for streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.  For a monthly fee, these services provide commercial-free access to TV shows, original content, and movies.

These SVOD networks are delivered to viewers' phones, tablets, computers, and smart-TVs via the internet and not over-the-air or cable systems.

SVOD makes up a significant part of what advertisers refer to as OTT (Over-The-Top-Television) and CTV (Connected-Television). OTT/CTV is video-programming content that viewers can only watch on smartphones, tablets, computers, smart-TVs, Amazon Firesticks, and Roku Sticks.  Nielsen reports that 91% of CSRA adults own at least one of these devices.

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Advertising On Augusta Radio Is Back In The Driver's Seat

Oct 28, 2020 7:56:02 AM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 357,000 car radios in the Augusta area. In early April, though, many of these devices became quarantined along with their owners. That was the day when the Governors of Gerogia and South Carolina shut down their states to slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Apple Mobility Index, the Governors' public-safety orders caused traffic on CSRA roadways to plummet to 45% of pre-pandemic levels.

By the beginning of July, however,  the AMI indicates that traffic in Augusta began to exceed pre-Covid levels. The surge in mobility is due, in part, to work-from-home, furloughed, and laid-off employees returning to their workplaces.

According to Nielsen, during the week of April 30, only 39% of adults with jobs were working outside-the-home.  During the week of October 1, though, that number had expanded to 61%.

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Augusta Retail Sales Are Growing. Is It Time To Advertise?

Oct 20, 2020 10:46:25 AM / by Larry Julius

Now would be a good time for Central Savannah River Area small business owners to consider increasing their advertising expenditures.

There are just over 15,000 small businesses in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Based on some promising retail sales data, the Overall  Sentiment Index among local small business owners has improved 31.3% between April 26 and October 12 of this year.

The best news for business owners came from the Commerce Department on Friday when it reported that retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in September.  This is the fifth straight month of gains.

Local retail gains are being powered by improving consumer confidence and a large pool of cash sitting in people's savings accounts.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 101.8 in September, up 17.9% from August. This means consumers are in the mood to spend. Fortunately, they have money in the bank to do so.

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, millennials, return on investment, roi, retail, consumer spending, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, small business advertising, millennial parents, consumer confidence, purchase intent

Newspaper Advertising In Augusta: Advice For CSRA Business Owners

Oct 15, 2020 11:51:24 AM / by Larry Julius

Augusta area business owners are expected to spend $9.1 million on newspaper advertising in 2020. This will be 29% fewer dollars than were spent in 2019, according to a study by Borrell Associates, a company that analyzes local media expenditures across the country.

Of course, the pandemic is part of the reason advertising revenues have plummeted at Augusta newspapers. But, the more significant factor is the sustained erosion of readership.

For example, between October 2017 and March 2019, the Monday-Saturday circulation of the Augusta Chronicle has decreased by 27%. The Sunday edition suffered a 32% decrease.

Among all advertising media available to small business owners, newspaper's ability to reach adult consumers now lags significantly behind Augusta radio, cable, broadcast TV, and social media.

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Email Marketing In Augusta: Tips For CSRA Small Business Owners

Oct 5, 2020 7:01:06 AM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Areas business owners are forecast to invest $1.1 million in 2020 on email advertising campaigns to market their goods and services, according to Borrell Associates, a company analyzes ad spending by local companies across the country. 

Borrell predicts overall spending on email marketing by Augusta area companies is expected to be down by nearly 5% versus last year, primarily due to the pandemic. Regardless, now might be a good time for small business owners to consider engaging current and prospective customers with emails.

"Email is on-fire right now," says Jay Schwedelson, President of Worldata, a company that builds and measures email marketing success for Fortune 100 companies. "Since the start of the pandemic, consumers are spending 22% in their email inbox than they were in January."

Mr. Schwedelson speculates the increase in inbox time is due, in part, to many consumers working from home and depending more-and-more on written communication from co-workers and customers.

"It could also be that consumers are finding comfort in their email boxes rather than from all the noise on social media."

"Either way, email marketing is performing better than ever," says Mr. Schwedelson. "We've studied more than 200 million emails sent over the past 30 days to both business-to-consumer and business-to-business. We found that B2C open rates are up 16% since January, while B2B open rates are 25% higher."

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Advertise In CSRA: Shoppers' Needs Are Changing...Again!

Sep 29, 2020 8:45:04 AM / by Larry Julius

There are over 447,000 adult consumers in the Augusta area. Collectively, in a typical year, these shoppers would generate $9.3 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 Central Savannah River Area 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 CSRA small business owners and retailers to also change their advertising strategies, too.

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How CSRA Small Business Owners Can Boost 2020 Holiday Sales

Sep 25, 2020 4:21:42 PM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area shoppers are expected to spend over $2 billion during this year's November-January holiday season. This estimate is based on a forecast issued last week by Deloitte, the world's largest business accounting firm.  This spending represents a 1-1.5% increase  versus the same period last year.

How can CSRA small business owners best compete for a significant share of the 2020 holiday expenditures?

"Retailers who prioritize customers’ desires for a safe, efficient shopping journey will be the big winners this year," writes Sean Gundz on www.ChainstoreAge.com.

"The holiday season is always a stressful time for retailers, especially the ones that make the majority of their revenue in the short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas," says Mr. Gundz. 

"Within this window is Black Friday, which, along with other big holiday sales events, are going to look a lot different this year. Retailers must accommodate COVID-19 mandates that enable social distancing, minimize surface touching, and actually restrict foot traffic in their facilities. All while trying to optimize sales."

Mr. Gundz says there is no single way to deal with the challenges facing retailers this holiday season. He does offer five tips, though, that every Augusta area retailer can employ.

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, retail, holiday shopping, christmas shopping, small business owner, small business, parents, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, small business advertising, millennial parents, holiday advertising

CSRA Retailers Expect Sweet Halloween In 2020

Sep 22, 2020 12:36:09 PM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area consumers are expected to spend $14 million on Halloween related activities in 2020, according to information from the National Retail Federation.  This would be a slight 2.3% decrease from 2019. This is proof of the holiday's strong resistance to the pressures of a pandemic economy.

Based on data from the NRF's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 260,000 Augusta area adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities. Among those celebrants, safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53 percent plan to decorate their homes, 46 percent plan to carve a pumpkin, and 18 percent will dress up their pet.

“Consumers continue to place importance on celebrating our traditional holidays, even if by untraditional standards,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are prepared to meet the increased demand for seasonal décor, costumes, and other items that allow families the opportunity to observe Halloween safely.”

To earn a large share of Halloween spending in 2020, CSRA small business owner will need to advertise to let consumers know their stores are open, stocked, and ready. By any metric, advertising on Augusta radio is the best way to reach holiday shoppers.

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, working mothers, women with children, halloween, retail, holiday shopping, small business owner, small business, parents, children, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, small business advertising, millennial parents, holiday advertising

CSRA Small Business Update: Auto Parts Sales Accelerate

Sep 18, 2020 8:39:52 AM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 375,000 vehicles registered in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). Many need new windshield wipers, shocks, struts, brakes, air filters, ignition coils, and the hundreds of other items that fill the shelves of local auto part dealers.

Despite the pandemic induced slowdown, business at auto parts stores has grown nearly 13% since February, according to the US Census Bureau.

This explosive growth in auto parts sales directly relates to the  average age of cars on Augusta area roads.

"Per the latest study from IHS Markit, the current combined average age of vehicles has hit a record of 11.9 years," Rimmi Singhi wrote this week on NASDAQ.com. "The aging vehicles are a boon to auto parts, replacement, and repair companies. In a bid to ensure long-term functioning of the aging vehicle population, customers are making investments to replace faulty vehicle parts and components."

Also contributing to the rapid aging of cars on the road is the current demand for used versus new vehicles. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for used cars is 25% higher in August than it was during the same month last year.

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Banks and Credit Unions Reach ReFi Customers On Augusta Radio

Sep 12, 2020 10:35:42 AM / by Larry Julius

There are approximately 134,000 households in the Central Savannah River Area with existing mortgages, according Nielsen. The median value of these homes is $161,000.

Yesterday, there was extraordinary news for many of these borrowers and for CSRA banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies

According to The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), mortgage rates have hit an all-time low of 2.86%.

 
With interest rates at this new level, 20 million American homeowners can now refinance their existing mortgage, according to Black Knight, a data analytics company specializing in homeownership life cycles. 
 
By refinancing an existing mortgage, a Augusta area homeowner could considerably reduce the length of their loan or lower the amount 
of their monthly payments.
 
Local banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies create a great deal of revenue from refinancing. 
 
Generally, a lender can expect to earn two to five percent of the loan principal amount in closing costs, according to BankRate.com. For a $200,000 mortgage refinance, for example, closing costs could generate between $4000 and $10,000.
 
For local financial companies to claim a significant share of the expanding refi market requires advertising. By any metric, advertising on Augusta radio is the most effective way to reach homeowners.
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Now Open: Political Advertising Window on Augusta Radio

Sep 8, 2020 12:33:40 PM / by Larry Julius

On September 4, the political advertising window opened on Augusta television and radio stations.  This is a 60 day period leading up to a general election when broadcast stations licensed by the Federal Communication Commission are obligated to offer candidates for national office the opportunity to buy commercials at the lowest unit rate (LUR).

For example, if a high-frequency advertiser like McDonald's earns the lowest rates on a particular Augusta radio station during morning drive-time, then any candidate for federal office must, during the 60-day political window, be offered the same rate for morning drive time on that station, regardless of frequency.

If, however, the McDonald's rate is contingent on the radio station's ability to pre-empt commercials without notice, then qualified candidates must agree to identical terms to receive the same rate.

To facilitate the purchase of commercials on Augusta radio, stations will supply candidates with a political rate-card.  This card will show the LUR by time of day and by preemption parameters.

Here are other important facts about political advertising on Augusta radio.

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Topics politcial advertising, issue advertising, radio advertising, political rates, political rate card, advertising on radio, lowest unit rate, LUR

Advertising In Augusta: OTT & CTV Viewing Soars

Sep 4, 2020 4:32:35 PM / by Larry Julius

Advertising on Augusta television and cable is becoming less attractive to Central Savannah River Area business owners as viewers rapidly defect to alternative video entertainment sources including, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and Disney+.

Collectively these streaming services are referred to as Over-The-Top Television (OTT) and Connected-TV (CTV). Viewers can only access this OTT and CTV content via smartphone, tablets, computers, smart-TVs, Amazon Fire Sticks, and Roku Sticks, Nielsen reports that 91% of Augusta area adults own at least one these devices. Furthermore, they are using them.

According to Nielsen projections, OTT and CTV networks now reach 43.4% of CSRA consumers every week.

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B2B Advertising In The CSRA: Reaching The Decision Makers

Aug 27, 2020 1:54:22 PM / by Larry Julius

New data from the US Census Bureau has optimistic news for Central Savannah River Area companies that sell business-to-business.

There are approximately 8600 businesses in the Augusta area, according to the Census Bureau. Indeed, many of these businesses have suffered since the onset of the Coronavirus, especially in April.

Census information is now showing positive indicators that the fortunes of area companies are improving. This includes those with 500 or fewer employees. These small businesses account for 86% of all CSRA firms.

During the week of April 26, 75% of Georgia area small businesses reported temporary closures.  By July 1, the number dropped to 34%

Also, during that same week, 41% of small business owners in the state were reporting decreases in revenue versus the prior week.  By the end of June, that number fell to slightly over 10%.

In both June and July of this year, national data shows all retail and food services spending significantly outperformed the prior year by between two and three percent.

As the business climate improves in the CSRA, the fortunes of B2B companies will accelerate as well. These include those businesses that sell office supplies, restaurant supplies, cleaning services, legal services, accounting services, transportation services, banking services, technology, and commercial real estate.

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How Has Working From Home Affected Advertising on Augusta Radio

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

Before COVID-19, most listening to Augusta radio happened outside the home. CSRA 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 Augusta radio has grown by 18%, according to Nielsen.

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Advertising in Augusta: The Radio Century

Aug 20, 2020 7:20:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Augusta radio reaches more area adults every week than any other medium. During a typical seven-day period, according to Nielsen, 412,000 local consumers tune-in to their favorite AM and FM stations. This is significantly more than those who watch broadcast television, subscribe to pay-TV, browse social media, read a newspaper, or stream music from Pandora and Spotify.

Radio's omnipresence in the life of Central Savannah River Area consumers is remarkable considering today is the medium's 100th birthday.

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