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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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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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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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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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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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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

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