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Larry Julius


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Recruitment Advertising In Charlotte: Best Way To Reach Job Candidates

Jan 7, 2022 1:56:03 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 92,427 small businesses in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metro Area, according to the US Census Bureau. Based on projections from the National Federation of Independent Business Owners (NFIB), nearly half of these companies have job openings they cannot fill.

As a result of the acute labor shortage, says the NFIB, 29% of small business owners rank the quality of labor as the most important problem they face. A year ago, only 21% said finding workers was their biggest issue.

The labor crunch in the Charlotte area is being driven, in big part, by a record-high number of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs. Just last month, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.5 million employees across the country left their current place of employment.

According to the Wall Street Journal, those who are not currently working say they are in no hurry to return to the workforce. The lack of urgency stems from five primary reasons:

  • 29% say they don't need to work right now because their spouse is employed
  • 28% say they cannot return to work because of care responsibilities at home
  • 25% say they don't need to return to work because they have a financial cushion
  • 20% say they are fearful of returning to work because of COVID-19
  • 5% say they do not need to return because of current unemployment benefits

There seems to be little chance that these resigned workers can be lured back into the labor force. Therefore, to fill open jobs, local business owners will need to focus their efforts towards recruiting among Charlotte's "passive" job candidates.

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Topics radio advertising, social media advertising, recruitment advertising, job posting sites, facebook advertising, online job boards, Zip Recruiter, passive job seekers, active job seekers, indeed, Monster.com, radio recruitment advertising

Advertise On Charlotte Radio? 5 Things Business Owners Get Wrong

Dec 30, 2021 1:47:27 PM / by Larry Julius

To ensure success, every Charlotte business owner needs to advertise.

"Think you have a great product?" asks the US 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.”

There are dozens of ways for local small business owners to advertise. By most metrics, the best way to advertise is on Charlotte radio. These measures of effectiveness, however, are often obscured by the glimmer and glitz of newer technologies. 

To help reduce the glare that often blinds business owners to the potency of advertising on Charlotte radio, here are the top five things many local business owners get wrong.

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Topics radio advertising, advertise on radio, radio commercials, first radio station in Charlotte, radio history, radio listening, charlotte radio, advertising on radio, advertise on Charlotte radio, radio formats, who listens to radio, car radio

Advertise In Charlotte: Who's Watching The Local TV Stations?

Dec 22, 2021 9:22:58 AM / by Larry Julius

It wasn't too long ago when advertising on Charlotte television stations was considered the gold standard for marketing by local business owners. But over the past few years, the number of viewers reached by WBTV, WSOC, WNSC, WCNC, and WJZY has plummeted. In all only 71% of adult consumers now tune-in to at least one of these channels during the week, according to Nielsen.

The consumption of video content isn't diminishing among Charlotte consumers. What has changed, though, is how they are watching it.

In November, according to Nielsen, the share of time watching broadcast television has fallen behind other video options including cable programing and internet-delivered choices such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and hundreds of other streaming networks.

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Topics television advertising, OTT, streaming media, television, pay-tv, cable television, direcTV, satellite TV, CTV, streaming video, svod, avod, cable tv, local television, streaming television

Charlotte Small Business Owners Guide To OTT & CTV Advertising

Dec 14, 2021 2:11:32 PM / by Larry Julius

It used to be so simple. When a small business owner wanted to advertise on Charlotte television, there were only a few options including, WBTV, WSOC, WNSC, WCNC, and WJZY. But slowly, the number of options expanded to include cable channels provided by Spectrum, DISH, DirecTV, and Google Fiber.

Heading in 2022, local advertisers have even more options as internet-connected devices deliver hundreds of more programming choices to North Carolina. Collectively, this type of content is called OTT (Over-The-Top-Television) or CTV (Connected-Television). For the purpose of this discussion, OTT & CTV will be referred to singularly as streaming video.

Streaming video can be viewed on any device that can connect to the internet. This includes computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Programing can also be accessed using a smart-TV, Roku Stick, Amazon Fire Stick, or a game console. In all, according to Nielsen, 95.1% of Charlotte households own a device capable of receiving streaming video.

In all, says Nielsen, 1.4 million consumers watch streaming video content every week. Combined, these internet channels now reach more adults every week than local newspapers, podcasts, and digital audio services like Pandora, Spotify, Sirius/XM. Amazon Music, and iHeart Radio.

Surprisingly, streaming video now reaches almost as many adults as local TV and local cable.

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Topics television advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, streaming media, television, pay-tv, cable television, CTV, streaming video, cable tv, advertise in charlotte, internet, local television, streaming television, internet advertising

Charlotte Radio Still Reaches More Consumers Than All Other Media

Dec 10, 2021 2:21:15 PM / by Larry Julius

When WBT-AM became Charlotte's first radio station in 1922, there was no Facebook, no Spectrum, no Sirius/XM, no Netflix, and no podcasts. It would be 27 years before there was even a local TV station.  Consequently, it was pretty easy for radio to become the number one reach medium among local consumers.

Over the past 99 years, Charlotte business owners have come to depend on the mammoth reach of radio among local shoppers to successfully market the goods and services they sell. Advertising on Charlotte radio has helped North Carolina companies to survive and thrive during world wars, natural disasters, recessions, depressions, and even a pandemic.

Heading into 2022, local consumers have more media choices than ever before. But, despite the overabundance of social media, video streaming, audio streaming, cable, and other technological marvels, Charlotte radio is still the most used advertising medium.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, spotify, pandora, small business advertising, streaming media, streaming audio, advertise on radio, advertising reach, sirius/xm, podcasts, charlotte radio, advertise on Charlotte radio, advertising options, podcasting

Advertise In Charlotte: Top 5 Articles From 2021

Nov 29, 2021 10:55:05 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on projections from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Charlotte consumers are on track to spend $38.8 billion with retailers by the end of this year. This would be 13.5% higher than was spent in 2020.

To earn a significant share of these retail dollars, Charlotte-area business owners are expected to spend $1.1 billion to advertise by year's end, according to Borrell Associates. This company tracks advertising expenditures in local markets across the U.S.

To ensure they are spending their advertising and marketing dollars wisely, many Charlotte business owners research how to best target prospective customers by using local media. An exceptional resource for local business owners to investigate the media habits of localconsumers is on the advice section of AdvertiseInCharlotte.com.  

Here are the top five most-read articles on the site in 2021:

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Topics radio advertising, social media advertising, television advertising, co-op advertising, cooperative advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, small business advertising, employment advertising, recruitment advertising, endorsement advertising, facebook advertising, help wanted advertising, effective advertising, advertising on radio, holiday advertising, advertising ROI, advertise on Charlotte radio, advertise in charlotte, advertising options, inter advertising, how to advertise

What Are Charlotte Consumers Watching On TV?

Nov 18, 2021 1:07:15 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, 2.5 million adult consumers in Charlotte watch something on television. But, of course, the definition of what it means to watch TV has changed since the time when the number of available viewing options could be counted on the fingers of a single hand.

Today, Charlotte consumers have a gargantuan number of viewing choices. This includes programs from stations like WBTV, WSOC, WNSC, WCNC, and WJZY. Or maybe cable and satellite systems like Spectrum, DISH, DirecTV, and Google Fiber. There's also content delivered over the internet from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.

No longer are Charlotte consumers tied to the 21-inch Zenith in their living rooms. Instead, TV can be watched on giant LCDs, smartphones, and tablets from any room in the house, in the backseat of their cars, or practically anywhere else.

The best way to think about TV watching in Charlotte is in terms of three buckets:

  1. Over-the-air...including all broadcast channels
  2. Cable...including all premium and non-premium programming
  3. Internet...including all streaming services. This is also known as OTT or CTV

Here's how many Charlotte adult viewers fall into each bucket. Remember, viewers are not limited to a single bucket.

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Topics best way to advertise, television advertising, OTT, streaming media, television, pay-tv, cable television, direcTV, dish network, CTV, streaming video, cable tv, internet, local television, streaming television

Charlotte New Car Buyers Agree: Put AM/FM Radio In My Dashboard

Nov 11, 2021 10:02:58 AM / by Larry Julius

In 2020, there were 108,229 new cars and trucks registered in the Charlotte metro area. This number is based on projections from the National Auto Dealers Associaton (NADA) and the U.S. Census bureau.

In all, says NADA, there are 249 new-car dealerships in North Carolina. Despite the pandemic, these dealers, including those in the Charlotte area, sold $28.2 billion worth of new vehicles.

Through June of this year, these same dealers have already rung up $17 billion in new car sales.

When it comes to buying new vehicles, Charlotte consumers have a broad range of preferences. Some buyers want Fords while others want Chevrolets, Toyotas, or Teslas.  Some buyers want pick-up trucks, while others want sub-compacts, SUVs, or sports cars. Of course, some want blue vehicles, while others want pearl white, orchard green, or redolent red.

There is one purchase criterion, however, that most Charlotte car buyers can agree on. They want an AM/FM radio smack-dab, in the middle of their dash.

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Topics best way to advertise, used vehicles, automotive, used cars, used trucks, in car aduio, vehicle traffic, in-car audio, charlotte radio, advertise in charlotte, who listens to radio, car radio, new cars

Does The Facebook Name Change Affect Charlotte Advertisers?

Oct 29, 2021 12:49:01 PM / by Larry Julius

Every month, 1.7 million adults in Charlotte use social media, according to Nielsen. Seventy-six percent of these consumers use Facebook, far more than other sites like Instagram (also owned by Facebook), Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

As a stand-alone medium, Facebook is used by more people in Charlotte than watch local TV stations and cable channels. Only Charlotte radio reaches more consumers.

The large audience commanded by social media has attracted a significant amount of advertising dollars from local advertisers. According to Borrell Associates, a company that measures advertising expenditures across the county, Charlotte-area businesses are expected to spend $248 million on social media advertising, a 31.7% increase over 2022. The overwhelming majority of these dollars are being spent with Facebook.

Yesterday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was changing its name to "Meta".  This change, though, only affects the name of the parent company. There will be no change to the company's brands like Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp.

How will this name change affect Charlotte businesses that advertise on Facebook?

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Topics social media advertising, instagram, facebook, social media, facebook advertising, twitter, charlotte radio, LinkedIn, metaverse, meta

Best Way To Reach Charlotte's Holiday Shoppers In 2021

Oct 26, 2021 1:45:06 PM / by Larry Julius

Attention Charlotte small business owners and retailers: nearly half of holiday shoppers are already spending money. According to the National Retail Federation, 49% of consumers will start their Christmas season shopping before Hallowe'en. 

Consumers plan to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday items, and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year, according to the annual survey released today by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

In all, based on forecasts from Deloitte, the world's largest accounting firm, Charlotte consumers are expected to spend between $10.9 and $11.1 billion during the holiday shopping period. This would be a 7-9% increase over 2020.

"We anticipate strong consumer spending for the upcoming holiday season. As vaccination rates rise and consumers are more comfortable being outside of the home, we are likely to see increased spending on services, including restaurants and travel, while spending on goods will continue to hold steady. A steady decline in the savings rate to pre-pandemic levels will support consumer spending and keep retail sales elevated this season," said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte's U.S. economic forecaster. "Further, e-commerce sales will continue to grow as consumers demonstrate an ongoing and steady movement toward buying online across all categories."

Charlotte retailers are noticing that the opening bell for holiday shopping has rung earlier than ever for local shoppers.

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Topics small business, small business owner, roi, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, parent, children, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, millennial parents, holiday advertising, holiday shopping, christmas, advertising ROI, online shopping, shopping

Advertise In Charlotte: In-Store Shopping Exceeds Pre-COVID Level

Oct 19, 2021 4:46:42 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte consumers are on track to spend more than $38.8 billion at retail this year, based on projections by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Spending is expected to be 13.5% higher than last year.  

Some Charlotte small business owners, though, are wondering if the spread of the Delta Variant may slow spending if consumers sense pressure on their own financial security. Shoppers, however, don't see it that way.

New research from Nielsen indicates that 82% of consumers believe their household finances will either remain the same or improve during the upcoming months.

The Nielsen study has another finding that Charlotte business owners will find promising. Consumers are more likely to shop locally than they did before the onset of the pandemic, although in different ways.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, roi, return on investment, retail spending, retail, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, advertising ROI, shopping

Who Listens To Podcasts in Charlotte?

Oct 11, 2021 7:05:00 AM / by Larry Julius

According to Nielsen, 612,792 Charlotte consumers listened to or downloaded a podcast during the past 30 days. This is 28.1% of the adult population.

A podcast is a downloadable digital audio file available to listeners on an internet-connected device like a smartphone, tablet, or computer. These files are typically part of series focusing on a particular theme such as true crime, professional football, politics, or pop culture.

Charlotte consumers can listen to their favorite podcasts whenever they choose using apps like Spotify, Pandora, Google, and Stitcher. The most used podcasting app, though, is Apple Podcasts.

Research from PodcastHosing.org indicates that Charlotte consumers can access more than 2,000,000 podcast series comprising over 48,000,000 unique episodes. According to data compiled by Edison research, the top 10 podcasts during the second quarter of 2021 were:

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Topics best way to advertise, online advertising, digital advertising, streaming media, streaming audio, smart speakers, in-car audio, podcasts, charlotte radio, internet, podcasting

Advertising On Charlotte Radio: How Smart Speakers Add Value

Sep 28, 2021 11:47:59 AM / by Larry Julius

Since 1922 when WBT-AM first signed on, local small business owners have been advertising on Charlotte radio to market the goods and services they sell.

Lately, some of these advertisers are voicing concerns, though, that the accelerating use of smart speakers could erode the effectiveness of commercials on local stations. Current research, however, reveals that these devices actually extend the reach of the medium and its ad content.

More than 663.403 consumers in Charlotte have a smart speaker in their homes, according to Nielsen. This is 30.4% of the local adult population.

Smart speakers are internet-enabled devices controlled by spoken commands and capable of streaming audio content, relaying information, and communicating with other devices. 

According to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) data, Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) accounts for 69% of all smart speakers in use. Google's smart speaker makes up another 20% of the market. The remaining 11% of the market comprises Apple Home (aka Siri), Sonos, and Bose.

Charlotte consumers can use their smart speakers to accomplish a diverse range of tasks, including accessing news, weather, and sports information; turning on lights in the house; shopping; and food delivery.

The most common use of a smart speaker, though, is streaming audio, including Charlotte radio stations, according to eMarketer. Edison Research's Share of Ear Study indicates that consumers devote 13% of their total time using a smart speaker listening to AM/FM radio stations. This is second only to the time spent listening to Amazon Music at 19%.

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Topics radio advertising, small business, small business owner, online advertising, small business marketing, small business advertising, streaming media, streaming audio, smart speakers, google home, amazon echo, siri, effective advertising, radio listening, alexa, how to advertise, apple

Best Way To Reach Charlotte Halloween Shoppers

Sep 23, 2021 12:23:41 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte business owners who sell goods and services related to Halloween can expect far more treat than trick this year.

Based on estimates from The National Retail Federation (NRF), Charlotte consumers are expected to spend a record $86,409,813 on Halloween. This would be 19.3% more than was handed out in 2020.

The NRF estimates that 65% of consumers intend to celebrate Halloween or participate in Halloween activities this year, up from 58% in 2020 and comparable with 68% in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top ways consumers are planning to celebrate include handing out candy (66%), decorating their home or yard (52%), dressing in costumes (46%), carving a pumpkin (44%), and hosting or attending a party (25%).

Charlotte small business owners looking to scare up a share of this Halloween cash will need to advertise to drive local consumers to their stores and websites. But, to make a difference, advertising needs to begin right away.

"This year consumers are shopping for Halloween items earlier than ever," says the NRF, "with 45% planning to shop in September or earlier and another 39% during the first two weeks of October."

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, roi, return on investment, retail spending, retail, children, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, halloween, advertising ROI, pet owners

Streaming Video Terms For Charlotte Small Business Owners

Sep 20, 2021 5:14:50 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte business owners are expected to spend $167,546,000 on streaming video advertising in 2021, according to Borrell Associates, a company that tracks online marketing expenditures across the country. This spending will be 21% higher than in 2020.

Streaming video advertising expenditures are accelerating as Charlotte consumers continue to abandon shows on local TV stations and cable systems in favor of programming streamed via an internet connection. These online channels include Netflix, Hulu, Prime, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video, Roku Channel, SlingTV, PlutoTV, and dozens more.

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

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

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

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Topics television advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, OTT, streaming media, streaming audio, cable television, CTV, streaming video, cable tv, advertise in charlotte, local television, streaming television, inter advertising

How To Fill Open Jobs In Charlotte

Sep 10, 2021 3:07:08 PM / by Larry Julius

According to the US Census Bureau, there are 97,696 businesses in the Charlotte area. Some of these companies are small. Some are large. Some sell machine parts. Some sell software. Some provide legal services. Some provide eyecare.

Regardless of the size of the business or what it sells, all of these local companies have one thing in common: they are struggling to fill open jobs with qualified candidates. This is true in Charlotte as well as Davidson, Indian Trail, Rock Hill, Gastonia, and every point in between.

Right now, across the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 10.9 million open jobs. This is an all-time record.

To put this mammoth number of open jobs in perspective, the Federal Reserve says there are now five job openings per every four unemployed people.

Attempting to recruit Charlotte workers from the ranks of the unemployed has proven fruitless for local companies. This is because many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have no intention of returning to the workforce anytime soon.

There are several reasons so many Charlotte workers are not coming back.

First, older workers have opted to retire earlier than expected. Second, childcare issues are making it necessary for some parents to stay home. Third, other workers cite health safety issues for the reason why they chose not to work. Finally, some of the unemployed are choosing to live off the savings they amassed during the pandemic.

So rather than focusing recruitment efforts among former employees and the ranks of the unemployed, local business owners need to target the 1.1 million passive job seekers in Charlotte.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, employment advertising, recruitment advertising, white collar, blue collar, Zip Recruiter, indeed

B2B Advertising: Why Job Sites Depend On Charlotte Radio

Sep 2, 2021 11:40:21 AM / by Larry Julius

If you were one of the 1.9 million adults who tuned in to Charlotte radio last week, then chances are excellent that you heard advertising for ZipRecruiter.  That's because the company purchased 1,137 advertisements to air on local stations during the month of August, according to Media Monitors.

ZipRecruiter is an online recruitment site that helps companies of every size advertise open jobs. Overall, more than 2.8 million companies have posted an opening on ZipRecruiter.com

It is no wonder that ZipRecruiter and its competitors like Indeed have been making significant advertising investments on Charlotte radio. Finding qualified workers is one of the toughest challenges facing local business owners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in the U.S. has reached a record high 10.1-million jobs with just not enough candidates to fill them.

If you've heard these commercials on Charlotte radio, then you know that ZipRecruiter is not advertising to attract job seekers to its website.  Rather, the company's goal is to convince local business owners to buy help wanted ads from them.

So, why has ZipRecruiter chosen Charlotte radio as a business-to-business (B2B) advertising resource?  The first reason is revealed in the first line of their commercial.

"According to research," says the announcer, "82% of people remember radio ads."

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, small business marketing, small business advertising, recruitment advertising, b2b advertising, business-to-business advertising, Zip Recruiter, indeed, advertising options

Who Listens To Charlotte Radio Stations Online?

Aug 27, 2021 11:49:12 AM / by Larry Julius

When Charlotte's first radio station, WBT, began broadcasting on March 18, 1922, the station needed a tall antenna and lots of buried copper cable to transmit its signal.  Radio receivers at the time were mostly homemade and involved a piece of crystalline mineral and a wire coil.

Over many decades in Charlotte, both the broadcasting and receiving equipment improved. In the mid-1920s this meant store-bought radios. In the 1930s this meant car radios. In the 1960s this meant transistor radios. In the 1970s this meant boom boxes. And, in the 1980s this meant Walkmen. But, despite these improvements, the fundamental technology of big towers sending a signal through the air to a radio receiver remained the same.

In 1994, there was a new way for Charlotte consumers to listen to the radio. That was the year local stations across the country began streaming their signals over the internet and listeners could use their computers (later their smartphones and smart speakers) as receiving devices. No big antennas, no wires, and no actual radio needed.

In 2021, according to Nielsen, Charlotte radio reaches more local consumers than any other advertising media option.

Neilsen finds, too, that 32.2% of all consumers who listen to a Charlotte radio station over-the-air will, at some point during the month, also connect to a local station via the internet. 

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, online advertising, streaming media, streaming audio, smart speakers, advertise on Charlotte radio, internet, advertising options

Advertising On Charlotte Radio: The 3 Frequency Myth

Aug 18, 2021 2:41:36 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, Charlotte radio reaches 1.9 million adult consumers. This is significantly more people than are reached by local TV, cable, social media, streaming video, streaming audio, or newspapers.

Because of its humongous reach, area small business owners advertise on Charlotte radio to successfully market the products and services they sell.

Many first-time advertisers on Charlotte radio will ask how many times a consumer needs to hear a commercial before they become a customer.  Often the business owner is told that to be effective, a consumer needs to be exposed to a message three times before they will buy.  Unfortunately, this prescription for a three-time frequency is more myth than substance.

A study by Nielsen provides some data-based insights about effective frequency, But first, here's the origin of the mythological rule of three.

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Topics small business, small business owner, reach, frequency, small business marketing, small business advertising, reach & frequency, advertising reach, effective advertising, effective frequency

Best Way To Advertise In Charlotte With A Limited Budget

Aug 10, 2021 7:10:00 AM / by Larry Julius

To maximize success, every Charlotte business owner needs to advertise.

"Think you have a great product?" asks the US 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.”

According to the US Census Bureau, there are 92,497 small businesses in the Charlotte area. This geography includes Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, and every point in between.  Most of these diminutive companies have limited dollars to invest in advertising.  

Advertising successfully in Charlotte is achievable, though, with a small budget if the available funds are invested wisely.  Oftentimes, this means selecting one medium rather than spreading money over several.

So which medium makes the most sense for small business owners with limited budgets? By most key advertising metrics, advertising on Charlotte radio is the best option.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, reach, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, reach & frequency, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, advertising reach, radio commercials, advertising ROI, duplication

Back To School Shopping: Charlotte Businesses Expect Record Sales

Jul 29, 2021 12:17:58 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 448,600 school-aged children in the Charlotte area.  Based on forecasts from the National Retail Federation (NRF), local parents are expected to spend a record $316 million to prepare these kids to return to the classroom this fall. 

Overall, the NRF expects back-to-school shoppers to spend almost 10% more in 2021 than they did last year.

“The pandemic forced parents and their school-aged children to quickly adapt to virtual learning, and they did it with an incredible amount of resolve and flexibility,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We enter the new school year with plans to return to the classroom and retailers are prepared to help Americans find and purchase whatever they need to make this transition as seamless as possible.”

According to the NRF, more than 51% of parents have already started buying for their K-12 students.  But, for Charlotte business owners there is still time to benefit.

The NRF reports that nearly 76% of K-12 shoppers are still waiting on lists of school supplies needed. On average, consumers have only completed 18% of the shopping.

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Topics best way to advertise, retail spending, retail, parent, children, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, back to school, millennial parents

Advertising In Charlotte: Five Amazing Facts About Local Radio

Jul 23, 2021 8:53:34 AM / by Larry Julius

Advertising is crucial to the success of Charlotte business owners. According to Investopedia, "lack of adequate marketing and publicity are among the issues that drag down small business".

According to Borrell Associates, a company that tracks advertising trends across the country, Charlotte business owners are expected to spend $1.03 billion to advertise the goods and services they sell. This represents a 7.9% increase versus last year.

The majority of these dollars are being spent by Charlotte business owners to capture a significant share of the $38.8 billion dollars local consumers will be spending this year. These estimates are based on a revised forecast from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Of course, there is an over-abundance of ways a local business owner can advertise. Perhaps the best way to generate sales from local consumers is with Charlotte radio. Here are the top five reasons why...

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, millennials, roi, reach, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, reach & frequency, advertising reach, radio commercials, time spent listening, advertising ROI

How Often Are Charlotte Consumers Online?

Jul 15, 2021 3:25:03 PM / by Larry Julius

Almost 96% of Charlotte adults have access to the internet.  Ubiquitous technology such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs allow North Carolina consumers to go online whenever they choose, which, for some adults, is always.

The Pew Research Center, a public opinion research company, reports that one-in-three consumers say they are online constantly. A 50% increase from 2015.  In total, 85% of consumers say they connect at least one time every day.

So, how are Charlotte consumers spending all this time connected to the internet?

According to Nielsen, streaming audio and video content, social networking, checking the weather, and banking are the top online activities for Charlotte consumers each month.

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Topics best way to advertise, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, online advertising, small business marketing, small business advertising, OTT, streaming media, streaming audio, CTV, streaming video, svod, avod, online shopping

Advertise On Charlotte Radio: Still Best Option For Small Business

Jul 9, 2021 9:37:26 AM / by Larry Julius

Retail spending in the Charlotte area is expected to reach $38.8 billion this year, a 13.5% increase versus 2020. These estimates are based on a revised forecast from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Since March 18, 1922, when WBT-AM signed on as the first station in Charlotte, local business owners have depended on radio advertising to help market their goods and services to North and South Carolina consumers.  But has the Coronavirus pandemic altered the medium's ability to deliver customers to ring up sales for local retailers?

Two critical marketing metrics indicate that advertising on Charlotte radio remains the best way for a small business to advertise.

The first measurement is reach. This is the number of different consumers who are exposed to an advertising campaign.

The second measure is return-on-investment (ROI). This is the amount of sales a business can expect for every one dollar invested in advertising.

Based on these metrics, here is how advertising on Charlotte radio measures up to other options available to local small business owners.

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Topics radio advertising, small business, small business owner, roi, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, effective advertising, advertising ROI

Television Advertising In Charlotte: Where Are The Viewers?

Jul 1, 2021 2:09:50 PM / by Larry Julius

Broadcast television came to Charlotte in 1949 when WBTV-TV signed on for the first time. In those days, only about 0.5% of local households actually owned a set, a number that would grow 100-fold by the mid-1950s.

At first, Charlotte consumers needed rabbit-ears or outdoor antennas to receive signals from a small handful of local stations, including  WSOC and WAYS (now WCCB). The quality of reception varied day-to-day.

By the early 1960s, however, local cable systems began to bring higher-quality, reliable reception to households throughout the Charlotte area. The number of programming options, though, remained limited to affiliates of ABC, NBC, and CBS.

In 1972, viewing options began to expand as local cable began offering Charlotte area consumers the opportunity to purchase premium services, including HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax.  Five years later came an explosion of non-premium cable channels such as TBS and CNN.

In the early 1990s, Charlotte viewers could not only receive their television programming over-the-air or by cable, but options expanded to include satellite delivery by DishTV and DirectTV.

The next TV innovation came in 2007 as Charlotte consumers started turning to the internet to watch streaming channels like Netflix and Hulu.  These new services allowed viewers to watch TV on their phones, computers, and tablets as well as their living room LCD and Plasma screens.

Today, all of this video technology offers viewers the ultimate flexibility to choose how, when, and where to watch TV.  So, what are they watching?

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Topics television advertising, OTT, streaming media, television, cable television, CTV, streaming video, svod, avod, cable tv, local television

Charlotte Retail Sales Expected To Blow Past Forecasts

Jun 24, 2021 1:54:56 PM / by Larry Julius

Earlier this year, based on projections from The National Retail Federation, Charlotte-area consumers were expected to spend more than $36.8 billion at retail this year, a 6.5% increase versus 2020. New data, however, indicates spending will be remarkably higher.

The NRF revised its data this month, and now expects annual growth of 10.5% to 13.5%. Based on these revisions, the Charlotte area retail economy could now top $38.8 billion. Excellent news for North Carolina small business owners.

“The economy and consumer spending have proven to be much more resilient than initially forecasted,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The combination of vaccine distribution, fiscal stimulus, and private-sector ingenuity have put millions of Americans back to work. While there are downside risks related to worker shortages, an overheating economy, tax increases and over-regulation, overall households are healthier, and consumers are demonstrating their ability and willingness to spend. The pandemic was a reminder how essential small, mid-size and large retailers are to the everyday lives of Americans in communities nationwide.”

To put in historical context for Charlotte small business owners, Mr. Klenhenz noted that he anticipates the fastest growth the U.S. has experienced since 1984. The reopening of the economy has accelerated much faster than most had believed possible a year ago.

To capture the largest possible share of spending growth, local retailers will need to advertise. By the most crucial marketing metrics, the best best way to reach area consumers is by advertising on Charlotte radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, roi, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, advertising ROI

Advertising On Charlotte Radio Makes Good Sense For Business Owners

Jun 16, 2021 12:34:14 PM / by Larry Julius

Since March 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Charlotte area, more than 307,012 local people have been infected, according to data collected by USA Facts. The measures imposed to contain the outbreak have transformed the way consumers work, shop, commute, and conduct the business of everyday life.

One aspect of daily life in Charlotte that remains little changed due to the pandemic is radio listening. Despite the Coronavirus crisis, radio has held its long-held position as the most used of all local media. This is good news for area business owners who depend on radio for marketing their goods and service.

Each week, according to Nielsen, 1.9 million adult consumers tune-in to a Charlotte radio station.  This is significantly more people than are reached by all other local advertising options, including TV, cable, streaming video, streaming audio, social media, and newspapers.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, roi, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, radio listening, listening location, time spent listening, advertising ROI

How Much Time Do Charlotte Consumers Spend Online?

Jun 4, 2021 2:16:05 PM / by Larry Julius

According to Nielsen, 2.1 million adults in the Charlotte area have access to the internet, equivalent to 95.7% of the population. On average, local consumers are spending 11.08 hours per week online.

Charlotte millennials, the first generation that grew up in a digital world, spend considerably more time online. Nielsen reports that, on average, Charlotte's 25-39-year-old consumers are clocking 13.99 hours connected to the internet.

So, how are Charlotte consumers spending their time online?

According to Nielsen, streaming audio and video content, social networking, checking the weather, and banking are the top online activities for Charlotte consumers each month.

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Topics best way to advertise, social media advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, OTT, social media, streaming media, streaming audio, streaming video, online shopping, internet

Why Charlotte Kitchen & Bath Remodelers Need To Advertise Now

May 19, 2021 7:39:48 AM / by Larry Julius

In 2021, according to Nielsen, 165,302 Charlotte area homeowners are expected to spend $1.3 billion on kitchen and bathroom remodeling. This would be an increase of 16.8% increase over last year. Sales estimates are based on data from The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

Because of the ongoing pandemic, 1.4 million homeowners from Rock Hill to Moorseville are in the process of reassessing their living spaces.

According to the NKBA, homeowners cite the kitchen and bath areas as two times more important than other spaces within the home, and the kitchen particularly gained status throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with 70% of homeowners considering it extremely important compared to 64% before the crisis.

“After such a strong year for home remodeling in 2020, some wondered if we were approaching a home improvement spending ‘cliff.’ We’re pleased to say that’s not what the kitchen and bath market is expecting in 2021,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO.

“Last year, homeowners started the work of improving their living spaces with DIY projects. And this year, with early distribution of the vaccine and other measures to reduce the public health impact of the virus, we expect to see continued renovations and more projects requiring our members.”

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, homeowners, home values, Remodeling, contractors, home improvement, construction

Advertising In Charlotte: What's The Best Way To Reach Pet Owners?

May 12, 2021 3:36:10 PM / by Larry Julius

A surge in pet adoptions and sales during the pandemic has increased the number of pet owners in the Charlotte area to 1,142,277, according to Nielsen.

As a result, the amount of money that will be spent in the Charlotte area during 2021 on domestic dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, and other cuddly creatures will achieve a record-high $934 million. These figures are based on recent forecasts from The American Pet Products Association (APPA),

“We have reached a critical milestone in 2020, generating $103.6 billion in sales [in the U.S.],” said Steve King, President, and CEO of APPA. “We are bullish for the coming year, projecting growth of 5.8% - well above the historical average of 3 to 4%."

Charlotte pet owners will be spending in four ways:

  1. Food & Treats which includes everything from canned and bagged food to biscuits and chewies.
  2. Veterinary Care and Product Sales which includes routine veterinary care, surgical procedures, and sales of pharmaceuticals and other products through veterinary clinics
  3. Supplies, Live Animals, and Over-The-Counter Medications which, in addition to dogs and cats. includes fish, birds, small animals, and reptiles. This also includes cages, food and water bowls, as well as leashes and collars.  OTC includes medications for allergy relief, gastric distress, and oral hygiene.
  4. Other includes services such as boarding, grooming, and pet sitting.

To capture a significant share of the local pet economy, local business owners who provide these four types of goods and services will need to advertise.  By almost any marketing metric, the best way to reach pet owners is by advertising on Charlotte radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, millennials, reach, return on investment, retail spending, retail, reach & frequency, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, advertising reach, advertising ROI, pet owners, dog owners, cat owners

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

May 6, 2021 12:56:47 PM / by Larry Julius

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

With the North Carolina unemployment rate still at 5.9%, Charlotte business owners wonder why they are having difficulty attracting applicants for open positions.

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

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Topics radio advertising, social media advertising, employment advertising, recruitment advertising, white collar, online job boards, blue collar, Zip Recruiter, passive job seekers, active job seekers, indeed, Monster.com, LinkedIn

Wow!! Charlotte Millennials Turn 40 This Year

Apr 29, 2021 2:14:16 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 559,886 millennials in the Charlotte area.  The oldest of them turn 40 this year. According to The Pew Research Center, millennials comprise the generation of Americans born between 1981 and 1996.

As a consumer group, millennials account for an outsized percentage of retail spending. This generation represents 25.9% of the Charlotte area population but almost one-third of metro-area sales. 

All in, Charlotte millennials are expected to ring up more than $16.9 billion in purchases during 2021.  You name it, millennials are planning to buy it.

According to Nielsen, over the next 12 months, Charlotte millennials will be showing up in huge numbers at auto dealerships, furniture stores, mattress stores, appliance stores, home improvement stores, and scores of other area retailers and service providers.

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Topics best way to advertise, small business, small business owner, millennials, roi, reach, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, reach & frequency, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, advertising reach, millennial parents, advertising ROI

Who Listens To Charlotte Radio?

Apr 22, 2021 3:37:52 PM / by Larry Julius

Every week, according to Nielsen, 89% of adult consumers tune in to a Charlotte radio station. This is significantly more people than watch broadcast TV, local cable, or video streaming services. It's more than use social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.  And, it's more than read local newspapers.

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

This reach advantage is a crucial reason why local small business owners depend on Charlotte radio to market their goods and services.

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

The six listener categories as described in the study are:

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, reach, small business marketing, small business advertising, reach & frequency, advertising reach, effective advertising, share of ear

How Much Do Charlotte Business Owners Spend on Advertising?

Apr 16, 2021 9:05:37 AM / by Larry Julius

Now is a crucial time for Charlotte small business owners to advertise.  

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

Moving forward, North and South Carolina business owners can expect buyer optimism to remind high.

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

As Charlotte consumers gain confidence, they are expected to unleash the record $11.1-billion in personal savings amassed during the pandemic. This number is based on figures reported by Barron's in November. 

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

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

According to Borrell Associates, a company that tracks advertising trends across the country, Charlotte business owners are expected to spend $1-billion to advertise the goods and services they sell. This represents a 7.9% increase versus last year.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, roi, reach, return on investment, small business marketing, small business advertising, advertising reach, budget, advertising ROI, ad spending

Why Audio Advertising In Charlotte Drives Purchase Decisions

Apr 8, 2021 11:35:17 AM / by Larry Julius

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

To lay claim to a significant share of growing consumer spending, North Carolina retailers will need to advertise.

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

“Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your product sales, and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your business."

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

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, spotify, pandora, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, streaming audio, retail sales, retail stores, retailer, sirius/xm, podcasts

Consumers Stick With Charlotte Radio Despite Pandemic

Mar 30, 2021 10:26:05 AM / by Larry Julius

In 1922, when WBT became the first radio station in Charlotte, NC, many considered the medium a fad.  Even in 1937, a hit song by George Gershwin, Our Love Is Here To Stay, considered radio to be a "passing fancy and in time may go".

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

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

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Topics best way to advertise, reach, return on investment, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, in-car audio, recovery, radio listening, pandemic, listening location, time spent listening, work from home, advertising ROI, commuting

OTT & CTV: Who Watches Streaming Video In Charlotte?

Mar 19, 2021 8:27:54 AM / by Larry Julius

Each week, according to Nielsen, 67.6% of Charlotte consumers watch video programs that aren't delivered over-the-air by local TV stations.  They aren't coming from a local cable company or by satellite.  Instead, these programs are being streamed directly to viewers via an internet connection.

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

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

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

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Topics best way to advertise, small business, small business owner, online advertising, digital advertising, small business marketing, small business advertising, OTT, streaming media, CTV, streaming video, advertise in charlotte, internet

Charlotte Homeowners Plan To Spend Stimulus Cash On Improvements

Mar 15, 2021 1:00:58 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte area residents will begin receiving economic stimulus checks  from the Internal Revenue Service as early as today.  In all, local consumers will receive more than $3.4 billion in payments.

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

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

Many of the stimulus dollars will end up in the wallets of 682,000 Charlotte area homeowners. Based on research from Modernize, a leader in the home improvement and home services industry, 57% of these consumers are planning to spend all or part of their checks on home improvement projects.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, roi, return on investment, advertising ROI, Remodeling, contractors, roofing, home improvement, stimulus checks, replacement windows

Does Anyone Listen To Charlotte Radio At Night?

Mar 9, 2021 2:26:48 PM / by Larry Julius

Each week, according to Nielsen, more than 1.9 million adult consumers tune-in to a Charlotte radio station. This is significantly more than watch local TV or cable. More than stream video channels like Netflix or Hulu. More than read local newspapers. More than use Facebook or Instagram. More than listen to online audio services like Pandora and Spotify.

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

According to Nielsen, 49% of local consumers listen to Charlotte radio stations each week between 7:00pm and 12:00am. This is a larger audience than Pandora, Spotify, and Instagram combined reach during an entire week.

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

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Topics small business, small business owner, time of day, small business marketing, small business advertising, advertise on radio, effective advertising, radio listening, advertise on Charlotte radio, night, prime-time

Grab A Larger Share Of Charlotte's Accelerating Retail Spending

Mar 4, 2021 12:28:15 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte area consumers are expected to spend upward of $36.8-billion at retail in 2021. This would be, at minimum, a 6.5% jump over 2020. The forecast is based on newly released estimates by the National Retail Federation.

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

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

To capture the largest possible share of spending growth, local retailers will need to advertise. By the most crucial marketing metrics, the best best way to reach consumers is by advertising on Charlotte radio.

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Topics consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, small business marketing, small business advertising, retail spending, retail, retail sales, retail stores, retailer

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