There are 15,499 small business owners in the Augusta, Georgia area, according to the US Census Bureau. Each of these companies will need larger advertising budgets to successfully compete for a fair share of the expected explosion in consumer spending this year.
Based on new forecasts from The National Retail Federation (NRF), Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) consumers are expected to spend between $8.7 and $8.9 billion at retail in 2022, a six to eight percent growth over the previous year.
The NRF's forecasts exclude restaurants, gas stations, and automotive dealers. Included in the numbers, though, are non-store and online sales, which, in Augusta, could reach as high as $2.1 billion this year. This level of spending would be 13% more than in 2021.
Even though the rate of growth rate for 2022 is lower than the 14% jump in 2021, the NRF points out that this year's spending will be well ahead of the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.7%
To participate in the expected surge in retail spending will require CSRA business owners to advertise. Especially if retailers want to hold their own against the continued growth of non-store and online competition.
Budgeting for advertising in the Augusta area during 2022 could be a challenge, however, as local retailers continue to suffer the effects of inflation. As a matter of fact, according to the most recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business Owners (NFIB), inflation remains the single most important problem facing business owners.
Because of inflationary pressures, Augusta small business owners need to make sure every dollar invested in advertising has the highest possible return. By almost any marketing metric, advertising on Augusta radio provides the greatest return-on-investment of all media.
The first key metric is reach.
Every week, according to Nielsen, 363,800 adults are reached by Augusta radio stations. This is more consumers than are available via social media local TV, local cable, local newspapers, streaming audio, and streaming video.
The number of consumers reached is critical to the success of an advertising campaign.
According to a Nielsen study, after the actual content of the commercial message itself, reach is the most potent advertising element that can drive sales. Reach is more important than brand, recency, or even context. Augusta radio provides local business owners with the most significant reach among consumers.
Radio's unrivaled reach among consumers contributes to the medium's strong return-on-investment (ROI) among advertisers.
Augusta radio's unequaled reach among local consumers contributes to the strong return-on-investment (ROI) small business owners and retailers can expect from advertising campaigns on local stations.
Over the past few years, Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies to determine how many additional dollars in sales could be achieved for every dollar invested in radio advertising. On average, the businesses studied generate $10,000 in sales lift for every $1000 spent. The ROI, therefore, was of 10-to-1.
Between April 30 and May 27 of 2020, the darkest days of the pandemic, Nielsen analyzed the sales results of a retailer who conducted an advertising campaign during that period using both radio and TV.*
According to Nielsen, people exposed to only the retailer's radio commercials represented 20% of all advertising impressions. However, these same consumers were responsible for 42% of the sales increases.
As a result, the retailer earned a $28,000 increase in sales for every $1000 spent on radio. A 28-to-1 return-on-advertising-investment.
AdAge, a trade magazine for advertising professionals, calls these types of returns "eye-popping." The magazine goes on to say radio's ROI is superior to commercials on TV, online, and social media.
Here's the bottom line for Augusta small business owners:
- Augusta consumers are expected to spend a record $8,700,000,000 at retail in 2022
- Advertising is critical for Augusta small business owners to capture a significant share of retail spending
- Advertising on local radio earns the highest ROI compared to other local media options
- The expected ROI from advertising on Augusta Radio makes the medium the medium essential for marketing budgets curtailed by inflationary pressures.
*Study commissioned by Cumulus | Westwood One
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