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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

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

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

CSRA Small Business Advice: Marketing During the Corona Crisis

Apr 8, 2020 7:22:39 AM / by Larry Julius

In 'normal' times, Central Savannah River Area consumers would be expected to rack up $8.6 billion in annual retail sales. Of course, since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, nothing has been normal.

But as Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, explained to members of the Augusta area small business community via teleconference, consumers are still spending. This, it turns out, is normal.

Mr. Borrell shared research from Ibis that demonstrates during every type of crisis, including depressions, recessions, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemics, consumers still spend.

The business literature contains an abundance of examples of how continuing to market and advertise during an economic crisis can help a company survive and emerge from the episode even stronger than before.

CSRA small business owners who do continue to advertise and market, however, should consider modifying their pre-crisis strategy.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, crisis marketing, crisis management, small business marekting, borrell associates

Crisis Marketing: What CSRA Small Business Owners Should Know

Apr 1, 2020 7:10:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Last week, Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, shared insights with Central Savannah River Area small business owners on the value of marketing to consumers during a crisis. A video replay of the teleconference is available by clicking here.

Mr. Borrell is the CEO of Borrell Associates. His company is one of the most trusted sources of trends and forecasts for local media today.

According to Mr. Borrell, despite social distancing and economic jitters induced by the Coronavirus chaos, consumers are still spending money.

He points to research from Ibis that consumer consumption continues in almost every crisis, including depressions, recessions, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemic.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, crisis marketing, small business marekting, borrell associates

Augusta Radio: Who's Listening During The Coronavirus Crisis

Mar 27, 2020 4:13:08 PM / by Larry Julius

In a typical week, 412,000 adult consumers tune-in to Augusta radio stations.  But, since the onset of the Coronavirus, the weeks have not been typical.

Before social-distancing and work-from-home orders, 221,000 Central Savannah Area consumers would drive to-and-from work each day. More than 94% of these commuters could be reached by radio.  

CSRA small business owners who depend on radio advertising to market their goods and services, therefore, might be concerned that the disruption in commuting patterns could depress the amount of time consumers spend with local radio.

According to market research, however, radio listening remains an important part of the daily life of consumers. Even amid the current chaos.

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Topics best way to advertise, augusta small business owner, retail, radio advertising, small business owner, small business, coronavirus, corona, covid 19, crisis marketing, crisis management

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