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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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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, return on investment, roi, retail, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, small business marekting, recovery, small business advertising, pandemic

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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What Is The Best Way To Reach The CSRA's 448,000 Consumers?

Aug 17, 2020 2:45:15 PM / by Larry Julius

Despite all of the media options available for small business owners to market their goods and services, advertising on Augusta radio is still the best way to reach local consumers in the Central Savannah River Area.

Adult consumers are spending 741 minutes per day consuming electronic media, according to a new study by Nielsen.  This is 7.8% more time than they spent last year and 11.2% more than in 2018.

The typical daily media diet consists of radio, live TV, time-shifted TV, DVD/Blue-ray devices, game consoles, internet-connected devices, as well as internet via computers, smartphone apps, and tablet apps.

According to Nielsen, despite all of these media options, local radio reaches the most consumers every week.

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What CSRA Consumers Need To Know Now About Your Small Business

Aug 12, 2020 10:43:20 AM / by Larry Julius

There is good news for Central Savannah River Area 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 Augusta, Aiken, Evans, Martinez  or any town in-between, they must know they can do so without risking their health.

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

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, restaurant advertising, retail, small business owner, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, coronavirus, corona, small business marekting, recovery, small business advertising, restaurant marketing

Advertising In Augusta: Radio Listening Holds Its Own During Pandemic

Aug 10, 2020 8:37:26 AM / by Larry Julius

During the spring, 344,400 adult radio-listeners tuned in to their favorite radio stations each week, according to Nielsen. This is 10% more than during the fall, despite the pandemic. 

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 the Spring of 2019, according to Nielsen, 38.4% of radio listening occurred at home. During July of this year, in-home listening jumped to 45.4%. Despite the reduction in out-of-home activities, though, CSRA consumers still spent the almost the same amount of time listening to Augusta radio.

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Advertising On Augusta Radio Reaches Cable TV's Cord Cutters in CSRA

Jul 31, 2020 6:17:36 AM / by Larry Julius

More than one-third of Central Savannah River Area households are 'cord-cutters' or 'cord-nevers'. This means, they have fired their cable or satellite television providers or never subscribed at all. Instead, these consumers are choosing to find their video entertainment elsewhere.

The number of local homes that subscribe to pay-TV services began plummeting in 2013. New technologies has allowed viewers to bypass cable and satellite for more compelling content at lower prices. These cord-cutters now depend on services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime to fill their multiple screens.

For many years, CSRA small business owners have been investing a significant portion of their advertising budgets into cable-TV.  The medium had proven to be a low-cost, high-reach alternative to buying commercial on over-the-air television stations. 

Now, because of cord-cutting, there are 154,000 adult consumers in the Augusta Metro with unconnected TVs. This profoundly diminishes the value proposition of advertising with local cable systems.

There is a powerful and affordable solution, however, for small business owners to reach both the diminishing cable audience and the expanding number of cord-cutters.

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CSRA Retailers Prepare For $59 Million Back-To-School Season

Jul 23, 2020 10:55:15 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on projections from the National Retail Federation, Augusta area parents are expected to spend $59.7 million to equip K-12 kids for the upcoming school year. If so, then this shopping spree will be 29% bigger than last year's and the biggest take since 2012.

“By any measure, this is an unprecedented year with great uncertainty, including how students will get their education this fall whether they are in kindergarten or college,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says.

“Most parents don’t know whether their children will be sitting in a classroom or in front of a computer in the dining room, or a combination of the two. But they do know the value of an education and are navigating uncertainty and unknowns so that students are prepared."

Along with pencils, paper, pens, and knapsacks, the NRF survey says 63 percent of K-12 families expect to buy computers and other electronics this year, up from 54% last year, and they expect to spend more at an average $274.44, up from $203.44 last year. The $71 difference accounts for the largest share of the overall increase in average spending of almost $93.

Also, because many parents are unsure if learning will take place at school or at home, back-to-school spending this year is expected to include home furnishings such as desks, chairs, and lamps.

To claim a meaningful share of this year's booming back-to-school economy, local retailers will need to advertise to let parents know that their stores are open, it is safe to shop, and the needed supplies are in stock.

By any metric, the best way to reach these parents is on Augusta radio.

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Topics CSRA small business owner, augusta small business owner, effective radio advertising, millennials, back to school shoppers, store traffic, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, advertise on radio, small business advertising, millennial parents

CSRA Drivers Hit The Road Taking Augusta Radio Along For The Ride

Jul 21, 2020 11:02:43 AM / by Larry Julius

Car radios came to the Central Savannah River Area in June of 1930. For just $120, about $1200 in present dollars, local drivers could install these early mobile devices into their Fords, Studebakers, Packards, and DeSotos, 

The first car radios were built by the Galvin Manufacturing Company of Chicago. They named their invention, and eventually their company, Motorola.

Today, more than 357,000 car radios fill ears of area drivers with music, news, sports, and information. As a result, local radio reaches more consumers than all other media.

In a typical pre-COVID-19 week, according to Nielsen, 89% of adult consumers would tune-in to an Augusta radio station. This is significantly more than were reached by local TV, cable, social media, newspaper, or streaming media sites Pandora and Spotify.

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Topics best way to advertise, augusta small business owner, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, small business marekting, advertise on radio, in-car listening, vehicle traffic, in-car audio, small business advertising

Advertising On Augusta Radio: What Consumers Want To Hear

Jul 16, 2020 3:50:26 PM / by Larry Julius

If you were one of the 412,000 adults who tuned-in to an Augusta radio station last week, then no doubt you heard multiple commercials that included phrases like 'troubling times', 'uncertain times', 'unprecedented times', 'new normal', and 'we're in this together'. 

In March, as the pandemic began to disrupt consumers' lives, using these phrases was a powerful way for CSRA small business owners to acknowledge the severity of the crisis and to exhibit empathy. But 120 days later, these words have become cliche and have lost potency.

A cliche, says the Oxford Dictionary, is "a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought." 

According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina, the dependence on cliches could create a harmful perception of a business that uses them. For instance, these overused phrases can make an advertiser's message seem boring. They can be perceived as vague. They can be interpreted to be a sign of laziness. They can also result in a lack of credibility. 

The words an Augusta area small business chooses for its advertising will have the most significant effect on sales. That's why eliminating cliches is critical.

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Topics augusta small business owner, radio commercials, effective radio advertising, commercial length, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, small business marekting, advertise on radio, creative, scripts, writing radio commercials

Advertising In Augusta: Consumers Pay More For Sustainable

Jul 14, 2020 7:59:43 AM / by Larry Julius

This year, according to Nielsen, 321,000 Central Savannah River Area consumers will spend $246,000 on eco-friendly goods and services. Sales for sustainable products have grown 20% since 2014, a trend expected to continue into 2021.

Tensie Whelan and Randi Kronthal-Sacco of the New York University Stern Center for Sustainable Business write in the Harvard Business Review, "Consumers are voting with their dollars against unsustainable brands. The legacy companies that will thrive are those that accept this shift and are willing to pivot.” 

For CSRA small business owners who are skeptical that sustainability affects purchase decisions, retail analyst Stacey Widlitz provided this advice, recently, in Forbes.

"Retailers only need to look to IBM's recent study, in association with the National Retail Federation, to understand just how fast consumer priorities are changing," says Ms. Widlitz. "Findings from the study revealed nearly 60% of consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. For the nearly 80% of respondents who said sustainability is important to them over 70% would pay a premium of 35% on average."

To compete for a share of consumers' spending on green goods and services requires local small business owners to advertise.

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Topics millennials, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, advertise on radio, small business advertising, eco-friendly, green products, sustainable

CSRA Furniture Retailers Expect A Post-Pandemic Rebound

Jul 10, 2020 6:58:02 AM / by Larry Julius

Before the onset of COVID-19, more than 77,000 Central Savannah River Area households were planning to spend $159 million on furniture, according to Nielsen. Unfortunately, many of those plans were put on pause as consumers sheltered in place to help slow the spread of the virus.

A recent study by Elevate | SmithGeiger suggests that the fortunes of home furnishing retailers, however, are about to improve.

According to the study, 32% of consumers who had been planning to buy furniture will do so within three months of the pandemic easing. Fifty percent will do so within six months. The numbers for mattress shoppers are even stronger.

To capture a significant share of the post-pandemic sales of furniture and mattress will require retailers to advertise. The most effective way to reach the customers who are ready to buy is on Augusta radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, furniture, mattresses, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marekting, advertise on radio, small business advertising

Political Advertising On Augusta Radio Sways Voters

Jul 8, 2020 8:28:30 AM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 385,000 registered voters in the Central Savannah River Area. Here is the number by county:

  • Columbia, GA: 103,404
  • McDuffie, GA: 14,856
  • Richmond, GA: 133,772
  • Aiken, SC: 116,519
  • Edgefield, SC: 17,319

According to Nielsen, Augusta radio reaches significantly more of these registered voters than all other media, including local television pay-TV, newspaper, social media platforms, and streaming audio sites like Pandora or Spotify.

To be elected, however, requires candidates for every office to share their message with those who are not only registered but who are likely to vote.  Advertising on Augusta radio will reach, by far, the most voters who can be counted on to show up on election day.

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Topics politcial advertising, issue advertising, radio advertising, advertise on radio, voters, likely voters, registered voters, political rates, political rate card, election advertising

Facebook Advertising: Why CSRA Business Owners May Be Pausing

Jul 3, 2020 10:18:59 AM / by Larry Julius

Following the lead of many national marketers, some Central Savannah River Area small business owners are considering canceling or, at minimum, pausing their advertising schedules with social media network Facebook and its co-owned photo-sharing platform, Instagram.

According to the New York Times, "more than 400 companies, from Coca-Cola and Adidas to Ford and Lego, have vowed to halt advertising on the social network, in a growing protest over how it handles hate speech and other harmful content".

With the pandemic figured in, CSRA small business owners were expected to spend $14.7 million on Facebook and Instagram advertising in 2020. This is according to Borrell Associates, a firm that specializes in the collection and analysis of local marketing expenditures in every city across the United States. But these expenditures could shrink if the protests become louder.

Every type of CSRA business imaginable, including clothing stores, plumbers, HVAC repair, funeral homes, restaurants, dentists, and nonprofits, has come to realize how powerfully social media can contribute to their bottom lines.

Part of what makes Facebook and Instagram attractive to small business owners is the enormous reach these platforms have among consumers. Locally, the audience size for these two social media sites now rival Augusta radio, TV, cable, and newspaper outlets.

For small business owners considering a hiatus from social media advertising, there is a viable way to redirect these dollars into a different medium without losing the marketing equity or momentum built-up on Facebook.

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Topics best way to advertise, social media advertising, facebook advertising, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, facebook, instagram, social media, advertise on radio

Why CSRA Banks & Credit Unions Need To Advertise Now

Jun 30, 2020 9:12:36 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, before the COVID-19 crisis, Central Savannah River Area households were putting more than $1.3 billion in the bank every year. 

Since February, however, Augusta area banks and credit unions noticed that customers' savings accounts were beginning to swell to record levels.

According to the Federal Reserve, for many years, the personal savings rate has hovered well below 10%.  The PSR is the percentage of personal disposable income that remains after taxes and all other spending.

In April of this year, the PSR hit an all-time high of 33%. The rate remained at stratospheric levels in May, as well. The previous record high was 17.3% in September of 1975 at the tail-end of a deep recession.

There are more than 4173 banks and credit unions in Georgia and South Carolina that would love to earn a large share of this infusion of new savings. To compete, though, requires advertising.  By almost any metric, the best way to reach new depositors is by advertising on Augusta radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, bank, advertise on radio, credit union, savings account, certificate of deposit

Real Estate Advertising In The CSRA: Starter Home Sales Are Thriving

Jun 26, 2020 7:49:11 AM / by Larry Julius

From Grovetown to North Augusta (and every point in between), Central Savannah River Area real estate agents see a robust, post-pandemic market shaping up. Home sales are being driven by record low-interest rates.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate in June is 3.17%, according to Freddie Mac. This is down from 3.99% June of last year. That difference could save an Augusta area home buyer close to $30,000 over the term of a loan.

Data from the Federal Reserve indicates that one of the fast-growing segments of the current real estate market is starter homes. Sales in May for these modest price houses have risen above pre-COVID-19 levels and have hit a three year high.

Feuling the starter home market is demand from millennials. This generation now comprises 37% of all home buyers, says the National Association of Realtors Research Group.

To claim a large share of the market for starter homes, local real estate agents will need to advertise to attract these buyers.  By almost any metric, advertising on Augusta radio is the best way to reach millennials planning to buy a house, condo, or co-op over the next year.

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Topics best way to advertise, real estate, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, home buyers, mortgage, mortgage broker, home sellers, advertise on radio, real estate agent

CSRA Small Business: Appliance Stores Prepare For Rebound

Jun 17, 2020 9:30:29 AM / by Larry Julius

During lockdown, Central Savannah River Area consumers have been postponing the purchase of major appliances.  Despite the pause in buying, however, local shoppers are still expected to spend $30 million this year on ovens, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

Here's how appliance sales in the Augusta area will breakdown by category:

  • Cooking: $8,400,000
  • Refrigerator/Freezer: $4,900,000
  • Laundry: $6,100,000
  • Other: $8,400,000

Based on traditional buying patterns, at least 60% of all major appliance sales will occur between now and December.

To capture a larger share of all this spending will require local appliance dealers to advertise.

“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.”

The SBA goes on to say, “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”. 

By almost any measure, advertising on Augusta radio is the best choice for local appliance store owners.

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Topics best way to advertise, return on investment, roi, store traffic, retail, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, appliance store

Advertising In Augusta: Time For Local Jewelry Stores To Shine

Jun 13, 2020 9:57:46 AM / by Larry Julius

Despite the pandemic, Central Savannah River Area consumers are expected to spend $28 million on fine jewelry this year. Based on projections from IBISWorld, here's what will be purchased:

  • $12million worth of diamonds
  • $4 million worth of watches
  • $2 million worth of gold
  • $3 million worth of pearls and gemstones
  • $6 million in other goods and services

CSRA business owners will now have an easier time capturing a bigger share of jewelry expenditures as a monster competitive force disappears.

This week, Signet, the largest jewelry retailer in the country, announced that by December, it would be closing over 380 stores.  Signet's brands familiar to Georgia and South Carolina consumers include Kay, Jared, Zales, and Piercing Pagoda.

To successfully compete for the void created by fewer Signet stores, local retailers will need to advertise, especially between now and the end of the year. This is when 63% of all fine-jewelry sales traditionally occur.

By any metric, the best way to reach local jewelry buyers is by advertising on Augusta radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, return on investment, roi, wedding advertising, bridal advertising, retail, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, jewelry stores

Augusta Radio Listeners Will Power The Post-Pandemic Recovery

Jun 10, 2020 3:20:36 PM / by Larry Julius

At the dawn of 2020, Central Savannah River Area 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."

By February, however, the country entered into a COVID-19 induced recession. Then, to slow the spread of the pandemic, in early April, the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina shut down all but the most essential businesses in their states. This brought the CSRA's $8.6 billion retail economy to a standstill.

As stores, restaurants, and offices in the Augusta area begin to re-open, consumers' appetite for spending is returning. According to Nielsen, loyal radio listeners are very likely to be first in line at the cash registers.

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Topics best way to advertise, retail, consumer spending, small business owner, small business, automotive, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, reopen, advertise on radio, recovery

Best Way To Re-Introduce A CSRA Small Business To Consumers

Jun 5, 2020 3:49:37 PM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area small business owners are learning that 're-opening' may not be an appropriate word for the challenges they face as the Coronavirus crisis winds down.  A better term might be 're-introducing'.

Since early April when the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina shut down their states to slow the spread of COVID-19, CSRA consumers have discovered new ways to buy the goods and services they need.  It's now the burden of local business owners to lure these customers back. The first step is re-introduction.

In 1930, WRDW signed on as the first radio station in Augusta, Georgia. Since then, local business owners have used radio advertising to introduce themselves successfully to new customers. Radio has also helped these businesses survive recessions, depressions, world wars, fires, and floods. By any metric, advertising on local radio remains the most effective tactic a small business owner can use post-pandemic, as well.

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Topics best way to advertise, effective radio advertising, return on investment, roi, commercial length, radio advertising, small business owner, time of day, small business, small business marekting, reopen, dayparts, prime time

Traffic In Augusta Is Picking-Up. Is Your CSRA Small Business Ready?

Jun 3, 2020 2:39:25 PM / by Larry Julius

More than 93% of Central Savannah River Area households own at least one vehicle. 

Pre-pandemic, 86% of workers spent, on average, 52 minutes every weekday in these cars commuting to-and-from their jobs.  

On their way to work, many of these drivers would contribute to the Augusta area's $9.3 billion retail economy by visiting the convenience stores, coffeehouses, auto repair centers, gas stations, daycares, grocery stores, or hundreds of other businesses they passed.

At lunchtime, these same cars would take their owners to restaurants, dentist appointments, nail appointments, barbershops, and on an infinite number of other errands.

On the weekends, these vehicles filled the parking lots of hardware stores, furniture stores, car dealers, appliance stores, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and nightclubs, 

Then in early April when the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina shut down their states to slow the spread of COVID-19, traffic came to a standstill and so did the spending.

There are strong indications, though, that in the CSRA, roads are filling up again.

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Topics best way to advertise, return on investment, roi, store traffic, retail, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, in-car listening, vehicle traffic, in-car audio

What Happens When A CSRA Small Business Stops Advertising?

May 28, 2020 7:32:18 AM / by Larry Julius

Central Savannah River Area 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 Aiken to Evans 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 Augusta radio could prove to be the best option.

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Topics best way to advertise, return on investment, roi, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, reach, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, reach & frequency

Why Augusta Real Estate Agents Need To Advertise Now

May 22, 2020 3:31:30 PM / by Larry Julius

Type "AUGUSTA REAL ESTATE AGENTS" into Google. In slightly over a half-second, the search will deliver 8,410,000 results. Similar searches for Martinez, Evans, Aiken, Greenwood, and Lexington produce a proportional number of returns.

Despite the economic hardships imposed by the Coronavirus crisis on Central Savannah River Area consumers, the demand for real estate is booming. 

The Wall Street Journal published a trend yesterday indicating that mortgage applications for purchase a home have achieved levels equal to last year.

According to redfin.com, home buying demand is 16.5% higher now than it was pre-COVID-19 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Redfin attributes this explosive growth in real estate shoppers to two factors, including record-low mortgage rates. The other primary driver is a migration trend from expensive metropolitan areas as buyers hunt for more space at lower prices.

To capture a larger share of the robust market, local real estate agents need to stand apart from the millions of Google results.  Advertising on Augusta radio will help accomplish this.  Here's why.

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Topics best way to advertise, real estate, newspaper advertising, social media advertising, online advertising, radio advertising, small business owner, television advertising, small business, streaming audio, home buyers, pay-TV, home sellers, advertise on radio

Who'll Be Buying When CSRA Small Businesses Reopen?

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

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina shut down all but the most essential businesses in their states in early April. This public safety measure inflicted a severe disruption to the Central Savannah River Area's $8.6 billion retail economy.

As local small business owners begin to reopen, each must concentrate on supercharging their cash flows to compensate for nearly 50 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 Augusta area 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 CSRA 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 best way to advertise, store traffic, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, retail sales, retailer, retail stores, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, crisis marketing, reopen

Should Your CSRA Small Business Continue To Advertise?

May 16, 2020 7:27:18 AM / by Larry Julius

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on cash register receipts in the Central Savannah River Area. Every day small business owners from Martinez to Evans are being challenged by the pandemic induced recession.

Just yesterday, 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 a massive bite out of the $8.6 billion in annual consumer spending Augusta area businesses had 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 CSRA 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, recession, small business owner, small business, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, crisis marketing

Does Cable TV Advertising Make Sense For CSRA Small Business Owners?

May 12, 2020 12:33:07 PM / by Larry Julius

Pay-TV is struggling to survive COVID-19.

Before the onset of the pandemic, Nielsen reported that 69% of Central Savannah River Area households received their television programs from cable systems, telephone companies, or satellite operators.  That number, however, is plummeting.

Pay-TV providers in the Augusta area include Xfinity, Dish, Spectrum, AT&T TV, WOW! and DirecTV.

"Cord-cutting, people dropping their cable and satellite TV subscriptions, pre-dates the onset of Covid-19. But the pandemic is exaggerating the trend, creating deeper issuers for programming that relies on those services for distribution," Eric Savitz wrote last week in Barron's.  This includes non-premium services like ESPN, TBS, TNT, USA, CNN, and Discovery.

"LightShed Partners analyst Richard Greenfield counts a loss of 1.96 million subscribers to cable, satellite TV, and virtual cable services combined in the first quarter," Savitz continued. "This is the worst combined quarterly drop ever, down 6% from a year ago."

Greenfield said in an interview with Barron’s that what is especially sobering is that most of the first quarter activity pre-dated the virus. The numbers are likely to get considerably worse in the second quarter.

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Topics best way to advertise, millennials, radio advertising, small business owner, television advertising, small business, television, pay-TV, cable television, direcTV, dish network, Xfinity

How To Bring Employees Back To Your CSRA Small Business

May 9, 2020 7:39:50 AM / by Larry Julius

In January, Central Savannah River Area small business owners were in a panic. The unemployment rate was at a record low 3.0%, and there were not enough workers to fill their open jobs. 

As of today, though, Georgia is reporting that at least one-in-four of the state's workforce have lost their jobs for COVID-19 related reasons. Yet, many small business owners are still struggling to find employees.

According to The Wall Street Journal, "For some workers, unemployment benefits are now paying more than their old jobs did. For others, safety concerns or a lack of child care, as most schools and day-care centers remain closed, are making them hesitant to go back."

“That’s going to get in the way of any real recovery,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, told WSJ.

The struggle to hire employees creates an additional threat for those CSRA small business owners who received loans under the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program.  

To qualify for the loan forgiveness provision of the PPP, business owners must restore its workforce to pre-Coronavirus levels. This must be accomplished within eight weeks of receiving the monies.

So, just like in January, local small business owners are under pressure to fill open jobs. Advertising on Augusta radio is a potent way to attract and hire the needed employees.

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Topics best way to advertise, blue collar workers, recruitment advertising, white collar workers, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, employment advertising, online job boards, help wanted

CSRA Small Business Advice: Facebook Advertising During The Pandemic

May 7, 2020 8:55:46 AM / by Larry Julius

Facebook usage has swelled since the onset of the Covid-19. 

According to Nielsen, before the current chaos, 62% of Central Savannah River Area adults used Facebook each month. This was significantly fewer than were reached by local radio or television each week.

According to the New York Times, however, since the start of the Coronavirus, daily Facebook traffic has increased by 27%. This compares to 33% growth in the amount of time consumers spend listening to local radio during a similar period.

Based on the surge in Facebook consumption, Augusta area small business owners might be tempted to purchase advertising on the social media platform to augment their regular, free postings. Here are are few facts these businesses should consider before investing.

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Topics best way to advertise, social media advertising, online advertising, facebook advertising, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, digital advertising, facebook, small business marekting, trust, social media

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

May 1, 2020 3:47:58 PM / by Larry Julius

Business was booming in the Central Savannah River Area. Then, it was not.

Before the chaos brought on by Coronavirus, it had been predicted, based on estimates from the National Retail Federation, CSRA consumers would spend 4.1% more in 2020 than they did in 2019. During the first week of April, however, when the Governors of  Georgia and South Carolina shut down their states, the expectations of growth for many small business owners were replaced with fights for survival.

As the states prepares to reopen, CSRA 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, top of mind awareness, small business, frequency, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, recall

Who Do CSRA Consumers Trust During A Crisis?

Apr 27, 2020 2:25:01 PM / by Larry Julius

For Central Savannah River Area 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 Georgia and South Carolina 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 Edgehill to Aiken (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 Augusta radio has earned that trust among local consumers.

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

Web Traffic Is Soaring For CSRA Small Business Owners

Apr 24, 2020 11:32:56 AM / by Larry Julius

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

CSRA 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 Augusta'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 consumer spending, online advertising, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, web traffic, e-commerce, attribution, website visitors

Who Listens To Commercials On Augusta Radio?

Apr 22, 2020 11:34:44 AM / by Larry Julius

Every week, 412,144 adult consumers tune-in to an Augusta radio station. That is way more than are reached by other media, including local television, newspaper, social media, or streaming audio sites like Pandora and Spotify.

A more significant number for thousands of Central Savannah River Area small business owners who advertise on Agusta radio is how many of these listeners stick around when their commercials come on.

A 2011 Nielsen study discovered that, on average, 93% of listeners stayed with the radio station they are tuned-to when the commercials come on. That number amazed many advertisers at the time who believed that audiences were far more likely to defect when the music stopped.

A lot has changed since 2011. CSRA consumers have many more media options and can instantly connect to each  with a button-push, mouse-click, screen-tap, or voice command. With all of these choices, do radio audiences still stay tuned during commercial breaks?

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Topics best way to advertise, Pandora, Spotify, newspaper advertising, social media advertising, online advertising, facebook advertising, radio advertising, small business owner, television advertising, small business, streaming audio, button pushing

Advertising On Augusta Radio Remains Best Option During Corona Crisis

Apr 16, 2020 6:39:17 AM / by Larry Julius

The chaos created in The Central Savannah River Area 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 Augusta radio, by any metric, was the best way a local small business could advertise.

For instance, pre-Coronavirus, 412,000 adult consumers tuned-in to an Augusta 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 CSRA small business owners who are depending on advertising for their long-term survival.

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

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