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Should Your Charlotte Small Business Continue To Advertise?

May 16, 2020 7:21:00 AM / by Larry Julius

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on cash register receipts in the Charlotte area. Every day small business owners from Ballantyne to Davidson 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 $49.6 billion in annual consumer spending Charlotte 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 Charlotte area 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, small business, small business owner, recession, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, crisis marketing, WARC

Does Cable TV Advertising Make Sense For Charlotte Small Businesses?

May 12, 2020 10:10:28 AM / by Larry Julius

Pay-TV is struggling to survive COVID-19.

Before the onset of the pandemic, Nielsen reported that 61.4% of Charlotte area households received their television programs from cable systems, telephone companies, or satellite operators.  That number, however, is plummeting.

Pay-TV providers in the Charlotte area include AT&T TV, Dish, Spectrum, Google Fiber, and DirecTV.

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

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

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

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

How To Bring Employees Back To Your Charlotte Small Business

May 8, 2020 5:03:52 PM / by Larry Julius

In January, Charlotte small business owners were in a panic. The unemployment rate was at a record low 3.2%, and there were not enough workers to fill their open jobs. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlotte Small Business Advice: Facebook Advertising During Pandemic

May 6, 2020 3:01:50 PM / by Larry Julius

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

According to Nielsen, before the current chaos, 75% of Charlotte area adults used Facebook each month. This was significantly fewer than were reached by local radio each week.

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

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

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

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

May 1, 2020 10:34:33 AM / by Larry Julius

Business was booming in Charlotte. Then it was not.

Before the chaos brought on by Coronavirus, it had been predicted, based on estimates from the National Retail Federation, Charlotte area consumers would spend 4.1% more in 2020 than they did in 2019. On March 30, however, when North Carolina's Governor shut down the state, the expectations of growth for many small business owners were replaced with fights for survival.

As the state prepares to reopen, Charlotte area small businesses will learn that turning the lights back on and hanging out the welcome sign might not be enough to bring even the most loyal customers back.

Some customers will not return because of personal safety concerns. Other customers may have discovered alternative sources to purchase goods and services.

More likely, though, customers will not come back because a business has lost a valued parcel of real estate: the position at the top of a customer's mind. This is the place where purchase decisions are made.

There is a way to regain top-of-mind status. First, though, it's important to understand why a business can be forgotten so quickly. 

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, frequency, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, recall, recency, top of mind awareness

Who Do Charlotte Consumers Trust During A Crisis?

Apr 27, 2020 1:26:35 PM / by Larry Julius

For Charlotte 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 North 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 Rock Hill to Davidson (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 Charlotte radio has earned that trust among local consumers.

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

Web Traffic Is Soaring For Charlotte Small Business Owners

Apr 24, 2020 10:49:53 AM / by Larry Julius

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

North Carolina consumers are still spending money despite the chaos imposed by the pandemic, according to Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell & Associates. His company specializes in the collection of marketing data from business owners across the country.

"During depressions, recessions, floods, hurricane, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemics, commerce goes on," Mr. Borell told members of Charlotte's small business community during a recent teleconference.

To prove his point, he shared research from IBISworld  which, indicates spending continues despite a plunge in consumer confidence.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, online advertising, attribution, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, web traffic, website visitor, e-commerce

Who Listens To Commercials On Charlotte Radio?

Apr 22, 2020 10:32:49 AM / by Larry Julius

Every week, 1,827,300 adult consumers tune-in to a Charlotte radio station. That is way more than are reached by other media, including local television, newspaper, social media, or streaming audio sites like Pandora and Spotify.

A more significant number for thousands of North Carolina small business owners who advertise on Charlotte radio is how many of these listeners stick around when their commercials come on.

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

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

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

Advertising On Charlotte Radio Remains Best Option During Corona Chaos

Apr 15, 2020 6:02:15 PM / by Larry Julius

The chaos created in North Carolina 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 Charlotte radio, by any metric, was the best way a local small business could advertise.

For instance, pre-Coronavirus, 1.8 million adult consumers tuned-in to a Charlotte 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 Charlotte small business owners who are depending on advertising for their long-term survival.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, facebook advertising, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, crisis marketing

ROI: How Charlotte Small Business Owners Turn Dimes Into Dollars

Apr 13, 2020 9:02:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Suppose a Charlotte small business owner woke up one morning and found a 100-year-old machine in the basement of her store. She soon discovered that every time a dime was put into the machine, one dollar came out.  Imagine, now, how profitable that business would become.

Good news: such a contraption exists,  and every business owner probably has one in their car, in their store, in their home, even on their phone. It's called Charlotte radio.

Over the past few years, Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies to determine what type of return-on-investment (ROI) a business owner  can expect from radio advertising.  Although the results varied by industry, the average company generated $100 in sales for every $10 invested. Turning dimes into dollars.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, roi, return on investment, wine, winery, facebook advertising

Charlotte Small Business Advice: Marketing During The Corona Crisis

Apr 8, 2020 6:40:48 AM / by Larry Julius

In 'normal' times, Charlotte consumers would be expected to rack up $49.6 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 Charlotte 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.

Charlotte 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, retail, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, crisis marketing, borrell

Charlotte Radio: Who's Listening During The Coronavirus Crisis

Mar 27, 2020 2:49:14 PM / by Larry Julius

In a typical week, 1.8 million adult consumers tune-in to Charlotte radio stations.  But, since the onset of the Coronavirus, the weeks have not been typical.

Before social-distancing and work-from-home orders, 1.2 million Charlotte-area consumers would drive to-and-from work each day. More than 90% of these commuters could be reached by radio.  

Charlotte 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, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, retail, corona, coronavirus, covid 19, crisis marketing

Coronavirus: Advertising In Charlotte For Small Business Survival

Mar 25, 2020 8:31:28 AM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte small business owners are fighting the coronavirus battles on multiple fronts.  Their first objective is to keep their families and employees safe. Then, of course, there are the concerns of keeping their businesses healthy enough to survive current disruptions.

The business literature has an abundance of case studies showing how survival is often connected to a thoughtful communications and marketing strategy during challenging times.  

Business owners need to let North Carolina consumers know if they are still open. If their hours have changed. Or if they are providing alternative shopping methods (e.g., delivery, curbside pick-up).

Most importantly, it is imperative consumers know that a business will still be there for them when the crisis is over.

For those owners who are depending on communication to preserve their business, the best option may be to advertise on Charlotte radio.

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Topics radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, retail, restaurant, retail stores, retailer, facebook advertising, corona, coronavirus, covid 19

How Well Does Social Media Work For Charlotte Retailers?

Mar 19, 2020 6:40:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte retailers spend a considerable amount of time and money marketing their small businesses on social media.  Is this effort paying off?

Each month, according to Nielsen, 1.5 million Charlotte area adults use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This equates to 72% of consumers.  This reach is rather anemic compared to Charlotte radio and TV, which attracts considerably more users in a single week than these social media platforms do over 30 days.

Among local millennials, the monthly reach of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is eclipsed by the weekly reach of Charlotte radio.

The number of consumers reached by an advertising campaign, according to Nielsen, is the media consideration that has the most significant effect on increasing sales. 

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, instagram, small business, small business owner, facebook, reach, retail, retail stores, engagement, retailer, facebook advertising, twitter

Keeping Your Charlotte Small Business Healthy During The Corona Crisis

Mar 16, 2020 3:29:25 PM / by Larry Julius & Bob McCurdy

The top concern of every Charlotte small business owner is the health and safety of their families and employees.  Local information and breaking news regarding the Coronavirus is available by clicking here.

Of course, a secondary concern is tending to the health of their business amid an overabundance of social and financial disruptions. 

There is one prescription that helped many Charlotte area businesses survive the Great Depression of 1929, the economic crash of 2009, and every recession in between.  The Rx for keeping a business healthy during chaotic times is to continue advertising.

The best example of how advertising can fend off tough times was shared by The New Yorker magazine financial columnist James Surowiecki.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, retail spending, retail, restaurant, retail stores, recession, corona, coronavirus, covid 19

Local Non-Profit Drives Donations With Advertising On Charlotte Radio

Mar 13, 2020 12:33:29 PM / by Larry Julius

"As a non-profit, we have to be very thoughtful about how we spend our marketing funds," says Emily Cook, Marketing and Communications Director at The Humane Society of Charlotte.

"That's why we invest the biggest chunk of our budget in advertising on Charlotte radio. I have the data that proves it works."

Founded in 1978, The Humane Society of Charlotte, HSC for short, is a no-kill animal shelter that takes in more than 3000 homeless cats and dogs each year. "We are able to place nearly every pet taken in into a loving and caring family," says Ms. Cook.

"In addition to pet adoptions, we also have a huge commitment to community outreach," she says. "This includes having three full-time vets on staff who perform more than 12,000 low-cost spay and neuter surgeries per year. This really helps reduce the population of the  homeless animals in the area."

HSC also works with members of the community who are temporarily unable to care for their dogs and cats, primarily due to financial hardship. This includes stocking a pet food bank.

"Our goal is to keep these loved animals out of the shelter and in their homes with their families," says Ms. Cook.

It costs HSC more than $4 million each year to fulfill its mission of delivering effective, innovative services that strengthen the human-animal bond and improve the lives of companion animals and the people who care about them.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, television advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, social media, non-profit, charity, animal welfare, analytics, attribution, billboard advertising

Charlotte Small Business Owners Grab A Big Slice Of Pizza Business

Mar 9, 2020 7:28:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Seven years ago, the first Bisonte Pizza Co. location fired-up its ovens.

"Advertising on Charlotte radio really accelerated our growth," says Jim DaPolito. He and his older brother Steven are the owners and co-founders of the small business.

"Injust three years, with the help of our radio commercials, we had already achieved our year five sales goals."

The brothers were convinced to move to North Carolina from their native Buffalo, New York, by Steven's son, who had moved to Charlotte in 2007.

My son believed that someone could do very well down here serving up Buffalo-style pizza and wings," says Steven. "So, when he told me my first grandchild was on the way, I decided to quit my job in the automotive business in New York and move to Charlotte to open a restaurant."

Fortunately, Jim, who had 38 years in the food business, including running the largest pizza restaurant in the country, decided to make the move with his brother.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, restaurant, pizza

Why Charlotte Mortgage Lenders And Brokers Need to Advertise Now

Mar 6, 2020 3:26:02 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 1.3 million consumers in Charlotte who own their own home. 

According to Zillow, more than 60% of homeowners carry a mortgage. A record number of owners are considering refinancing  now, which means millions of dollars in fees for local lenders and brokers are up for grabs.

Why the sudden urgency for Charlotte homeowners to refinance their mortgages?

According to The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (aka, Freddie Mac), "The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29% this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history."

"Meanwhile, mortgage applications increased 10 percent last week from one year ago and show no signs of slowing down. Given these strong indicators in rates and sales, as well as recent increases in new construction, it’s clear the housing market continues to be a positive force for the broader economy."

If a consumer Googles 'refinance my mortgage in Charlotte', more than 8.1 million results come back, So, to set themselves apart, lenders and brokers will need to advertise.  By, any key metric, advertising on local radio is the best way to reach area homeowners.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, real estate, homeowners, financial services, home values, mortgage, mortgage rates, refinance, bank, mortgage broker

Small Business Advertising In Charlotte: Target The Spenders

Mar 3, 2020 1:40:54 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte consumers spent more than $49 billion with retailers last year. The National Retail Federation forecasts 4.1% more will be spent this year.

Who are the shoppers that will be spending all this money?

According to Nielsen, 47.8% of retail dollars are spent by Charlotte area consumers over the age of 50. This may surprise many small business owners because older consumers comprise only 36.6% of the area's adult population.

These older consumers account for the largest share of spending in almost every retail category. This includes furniture, cars, pet supplies, fast food, and electronics.

To earn a share of these massive dollars spent by these older consumers requires Charlotte small business owners to advertise.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, retail spending, retail, store traffic, retail sales, baby boomers, retail stores

Retail Boom: How Your Charlotte Small Business Can Benefit

Feb 28, 2020 9:33:47 AM / by Larry Julius

Retailers in the Charlotte area rang-up $49,607,009,000 in retail sales last year, according to Nielsen. But wait. It's about to get better.

The National Retail Federation forecasts that in 2020, sales will increase by as much as 4.1%. This will create another $2.1 billion for local small business owners.  

“The economy is growing at a more modest pace, but the underlying economic fundamentals remain in place and are positive,” stated NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “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.

To claim a fair share of this enlarged pool of spending will require Charlotte small business owners 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.”  

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, facebook, millennials, reach, spotify, pandora, online advertising, digital advertising, retail spending, retail, store traffic, retail sales

Advertising On Charlotte Television vs. Local Radio

Feb 25, 2020 8:22:37 AM / by Larry Julius

There is alarming news for small business owners who advertise on Charlotte television stations: broadcast TV viewers are disappearing at a rapid pace.

Nielsen reports that halfway through the first quarter of this year, the number of people using television has dropped 7.5%. This compares to -6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019, and -7.0% a year ago,

"If the trend holds, it would represent the largest quarterly decline for TV viewership in our data set," explains UBS analyst John C. Hodulikadding. "Trends have worsened across most age demos with persons 25-34 now falling -17% vs. low double-digit declines throughout 2019. The persons 55+ demo continues to trend down -2%, similar to 2019 (the first year of declining ratings for the demo)."

Radio listenership, on the other hand, has remained quite stable, according to Nielsen. Since 1970, the medium has reached more than 9-in-10 consumers every week.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, millennials, reach, frequency, branding, reach & frequency, television, generation y, generation x

Advertise In Charlotte: Reaching Millennial Parents

Feb 20, 2020 9:12:00 AM / by Larry Julius

How quickly the millennials have grown up.

According to Nielsen, 51% of all Charlotte area parents with children under the age of 18 are millennials.  

From the time their kids are born until they reach they are 17, these young parents will spend, on average, $233,000 per child. This does not include the cost of college.

Currently, there are 566,078 children under the age of 18 living in the Charlotte metro area. That makes the local parenting economy worth upwards of $131 billion. These dollars are being spent, among other things, on diapers, daycare, transportation, toys, education, electronics, clothing, and health care.

For North Carolina small business owners interested in competing for a substantial portion of this multi-billion dollar pool of parental cash, they must advertise to millennial moms and dads. By almost any measurement, advertising on Charlotte radio is the best way to reach this audience.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, facebook, millennials, spotify, pandora, parent, children

A Small Business Builds Its Brand With Advertising On Charlotte Radio

Feb 18, 2020 7:16:00 AM / by Larry Julius

"In the 24 years I have owned my business, I never advertised," says Andy Huneycutt, founder of Indian Trail based Huneycutt Mechanical Services. "But last year I realized my company was standing still. So, we started advertising on Charlotte radio."

"I did a lot of research," he says, "and I found out that the most successful local companies were investing 8-10% of their gross sales back into advertising. They would do this consistently every year. The more money they made, the more they would advertise."

"As I was growing closer to retirement, I had to ask myself if I could really afford to invest that kind of money into advertising," he says.  "Then, I looked at the commitment my son made to take over the business in a few years and realized I couldn't afford not to advertise."

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, spotify, pandora, online advertising, branding, Heating, brand building, homeowners, HVAC, Cooling

Why Charlotte Used Car Dealers Need To Advertise Now

Feb 14, 2020 7:07:00 AM / by Larry Julius

March is the biggest single month for used car sales in the Charlotte area. During these 31 days alone, local pre-owned vehicle dealers are expected to bring in $101 million in sales. This will represent 10% of their annual revenue.

By the end of May, these dealers owners will sell more than $282 million worth of pre-owned cars and trucks. This, undoubtedly, makes March-May 'used car season' in Charlotte.

Although most Charlotte used car dealers are small business owners, they do really big business. In all, over the next 12 months, more than 349,000 pre-owned vehicles will be driven off their lots.

To capture a larger share of the area's $1.1 billion used car market requires pre-owned vehicle dealers to advertise. By any measure, the best way for these business owners to advertise is on Charlotte radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, television advertising, newspaper advertising, facebook, millennials, online advertising, digital advertising, small business marketing, used vehicles, automotive, used cars, used trucks

Advertising In Charlotte: Reach Mother's Day Shoppers

Feb 10, 2020 7:01:00 AM / by Larry Julius

As Valentine's Day sales begin to dwindle, that's when Charlotte small business owners start thinking about Mom.

Mother's Day, which happens on the second Sunday of May, is second only to Christmas in terms of holiday spending. Last year, Charlotte area consumers spent more than $213-million celebrating the women in their lives. That number is expected to grow again in 2020.

To claim a significant share of this Mother's Day cash, local retailers and restaurants will need to advertise.  By almost every key metric, advertising on Charlotte radio is the best choice.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, newspaper advertising, facebook, spotify, pandora, online advertising, digital advertising, retail spending, retail, social media, restaurant, mother's day

Radio Advertising Drives New Clients To Charlotte Law Firm

Feb 7, 2020 7:02:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Like all small business owners, Charlotte area law firms need to bring in new customers to survive.  Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, the first contact many attorneys have with potential clients is on the telephone.

"Every day we advertise on Charlotte radio," says attorney Chris Hall of the city's Emory Law Firm, "we receive 10-12 calls from listeners seeking representation."

"We can track each of these calls back to our radio commercials," he says. "Around 25% of these callers will become paying clients. This is a very high rate of return for the money we are spending."

In the Charlotte area, there are almost 7000 practicing lawyers who compete to represent the 216,000 households who will seek legal representation this year. In all, these services will generate more than $540,000,000 in attorney fees.

To earn a fair share of this billing, area attorneys need to advertise.  As Mr. Hall has learned, by most metrics, radio advertising is a powerful way to reach potential clients.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, facebook, online advertising, digital advertising, social media, attorneys, lawyers, legal services

Smart Speakers: What Charlotte Consumers Are Listening To

Feb 3, 2020 9:09:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Over 500,000 consumers in the Charlotte are now own a smart speaker. Ownership of these devices, including Amazon Echo and Google Home, has grown five-fold since the beginning of 2017.

According to Adobe Analytics, significantly  more consumers are asking Siri and Alexa to play music than any other activity.

Many North Carolina small business owners depend on local radio to advertise their goods and service. So, how does the use of smart speakers as an audio device affect their radio advertising's ability to reach local consumers? The answer is: none at all.

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Topics radio advertising, small business, small business owner, spotify, pandora, streaming media, streaming audio, smart speakers, google home, amazon echo, alexis, siri

Best Way To Advertise Insurance Products In Charlotte

Jan 29, 2020 8:41:12 AM / by Larry Julius

If you were one of the 1,827,300 consumers who tuned-in to a Charlotte radio station last week, then chances are you heard at least one commercial from GEICO, Progressive, or Liberty Mutual. That's because insurance is big business in North Carolina.

Each year, Charlotte area consumers spend $3.8-billion to insure their homes and cars. That's almost $1500 for every area adult.

There is good news and bad news for the 4900 local insurance agents who are competing to earn a substantial share of the home and auto premiums consumers are paying.

According to Nielsen, 236,000 policyholders in the Charlotte area are planning to switch insurance providers during the next 12 months.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, insurance, insurance agent, car insurance, home insurance, home buyers, real estate, real estate agent, car buyers

Advertising In Charlotte: How To Choose The Best Radio Stations

Jan 27, 2020 12:31:45 PM / by Larry Julius

There are many ways for Charlotte small business owners to advertise. Options include newspapers, magazines, television, social media, and streaming media.

But to achieve the “3-Rs” of advertising success, Reach, Recall, and Return, no other medium delivers results as effectively and efficiently as advertising on Charlotte radio.

"At least 40% of our new customers come because of our advertising on Charlotte radio," says Deb Filkins, co-owner of Cougar Run Winery in Concord, NC. "Eighty percent of these first-time customers will become repeat customers."

Ms. Filkins and her husband Tom, who produces all the wine, opened Cougar Run in December 2012 with an inventory of 1500 bottles. The retail store is located in a historic Coca-Cola bottling plant on the city's Church Street.

"Since we started advertising on the radio, almost half of our business comes from outside the Concord area, much of it from Charlotte." says Ms. Filkins. "We now sell more than 9000 bottles of wine every year.  Our monthly sales have grown from $100 a month when we opened to almost $14,000 today."

So, how can a local small business owner choose the best Charlotte radio stations to advertise on?

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, reach, frequency, reach & frequency

Small Business Proves Advertising On Charlotte Radio A Sound Investment

Jan 24, 2020 3:32:00 PM / by Larry Julius

"I can prove that advertising on Charlotte radio works because I have seen firsthand what happens when we don't use it," says Bradley Byrd, General Manager of Queen Park Social in the city's South End.

Queen Park Social opened in March of 2017. The venue encompasses 22,000 square-feet of fun-and-games including eight bowling lanes, shuffleboard, ping-pong, vintage board games, a restaurant, and bar. 

"In our first year, we heavily advertised our Halloween event for an entire month on Charlotte radio stations. We sold the event out," says Mr. Byrd.  "The following year, we used only social media to promote the event. We ended up selling 800 fewer tickets."

"I mostly blame the lack of radio advertising for the shortfall of ticket sales," he says. "There are a lot of clubs in Charlotte where people can spend Halloween. Without radio, we really could not invite people to celebrate with us."

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Topics radio advertising, small business, small business owner, facebook, digital advertising, branding, bar, restaurant, nightclub, south end, promotion

Advertise In Charlotte: Reaching Furniture Shoppers

Jan 20, 2020 11:30:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Low unemployment, a boom in housing starts, and confident consumers are propelling robust sales for Charlotte area furniture stores.

In 2019, local consumers spent $1.2 billion on furniture and home furnishing. This number is expected to grow.

Based on estimates developed by Furniture Today’s Strategic Insights team and Easy Analytic Software Inc. (EASI), the total furniture and bedding market is projected to expand by more than 22% by 2024.

If a Charlotte area small business owner who sells furniture, furnishings, or home decor would like to grab a larger share of this expanding market, then advertising is necessary.  By almost every key metric, advertising on local radio is a sound marketing investment.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, retail, furniture

Wine Business Boosts Sales With Advertising on Charlotte Radio

Jan 16, 2020 6:57:00 AM / by Larry Julius

"At least 40% of our new customers come because of our advertising on Charlotte radio," says Deb Filkins, co-owner of Cougar Run Winery in Concord, NC. "Eighty percent of these first-time customers will become repeat customers."

Ms. Filkins and her husband Tom, who produces all the wine, opened Cougar Run in December 2012 with an inventory of 1500 bottles. The retail store is located in a historic Coca-Cola bottling plant on the city's Church Street

"During our first full month in business, we rang up $100 in sales. Tom and I were ecstatic," says Ms. Filkins.

The winery began to grow modestly drawing customers primarily from the Concord area.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, retail, wine, winery, store traffic

Endorsement Advertising Builds Brand For Charlotte Small Business

Jan 14, 2020 6:51:52 AM / by Larry Julius

There is probably not a week that goes by when the 1,827,300 listeners to Charlotte radio don't hear about Sona Dermatology & MedSpa. The company's advertising runs nearly every day.

"We will probably never stop using radio advertising in Charlotte," says Meigan Alexander, Director of Marketing for the company. "Radio has been a part of the company's identity since the beginning."

Sona was founded as a single location MedSpa in 1977 by Byron Ashbridge. "In the beginning," says Ms. Alexander, "most of what we did was laser hair removal."

Today, Sona has 20 offices across the country including one in Charlotte, Huntersville, and Ballantyne. In addition to hair removal, the company now offers CoolSculpting, Botox, skin rejuvenation, and MiraDry. 

Although Sona had been advertising successfully on radio for two decades, it became even more critical three years ago.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, endorsement advertising, medspa, dermatology, skincare, DJ endorsements, branding, OTT

Political Advertising In Charlotte: How To Reach Likely Voters

Jan 10, 2020 6:15:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Many times the difference between winning an election and losing is a handful of ballots. This is true in races for almost every elected office, referendum, and issue on the national, statewide, and local level.

To win a modern election requires advertising. Successful advertising requires reach. In the Charlotte area, the most potent way to reach voters is on local radio.

The Charlotte area includes the North Carolina counties of Anason, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Union, plus Chester, SC Lancaster, SC and York, SC.

Last week, for instance, 89% of all registered voters in these counties tuned-in to a Charlotte radio station.  This is significantly more than were reached by local TV, local newspaper, or the major social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, television advertising, newspaper advertising, facebook, online advertising, digital advertising, political advertising, issue advertising

Business Owners Ask: How Do Charlotte Consumers Spend Their Money?

Jan 7, 2020 2:42:55 PM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte consumers are expected to spend $49.6 billion at retail this year, according to Nielsen. This means that every household, on average, will be paying out $45,800.

To capture a larger share of these dollars, local small business owners need to know the answer to two questions.

The first question is, where is this enormous amount of cash being spent?  The list below details the answer.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, small business advertising, retail spending, retail

Employment Advertising: Reach 90% Of Qualified Candidates In Charlotte

Jan 2, 2020 8:14:18 AM / by Larry Julius

Charlotte small business owners need employees...desperately.

According to a report from the National Federation of Independent Business, 26% of small business owners say finding qualified workers is their number one problem. 

The report goes on to say that 88% of small business owners looking to hire new employees are finding there are no qualified candidates.

The historically low unemployment figures in the Charlotte area appears to be the root cause of local hiring woes. The metro area's jobless rate stands at 3.2%. There are just not enough qualified workers to go around.

Most small business owners have exhausted the traditional methods of recruitment. These include online job board posts, newspaper ads, referral bonuses, and help wanted signs. All to no avail.

To successfully attract the qualified applicants they yearn for, local small business owners need to command the attention of 'passive' job seekers. The number one source for these candidates is Charlotte radio.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, online advertising, digital advertising, employment advertising, recruitment advertising, job posting sites

Advertising Options For Charlotte Small Business Owners

Dec 27, 2019 5:05:10 PM / by Larry Julius

Advertising is critical to the success of every North Carolina small business owner.  One of the most powerful elements of any advertising campaign is how many people it reaches.

Nielsen, the world's largest consumer insights company, found that advertising reach has a more significant effect on sales than branding, recency, and context.

There are many ways a local business owner can advertise. This includes traditional media like Charlotte radio, local TV, and newspaper. It also includes online advertising options such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pandora.

They type of customer an individual business needs to reach depends on the goods and services the company sells. For instance, a daycare operator might want to reach households with young children. On the other hand, a real estate agent could be looking for consumers in the market to purchase a new home.

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Topics best way to advertise, consumer spending, radio advertising, social media advertising, small business, small business owner, television advertising, newspaper advertising, charlotte observer, online advertising, digital advertising, small business marketing, small business advertising

What Is The Best Time To Advertise On Charlotte Radio

Dec 27, 2019 10:05:01 AM / by Larry Julius

You've done the research. You now know that by every measure, radio advertising is the most effective way for your Charlotte small business to market its goods and services.

You have learned, for instance, 1,827,300 adult consumers regularly tune-in to their favorite Charlotte radio stations.  This is more than watch local TV, read a newspaper, sign-in to social media, or log-in to streaming audio services like Pandora and Spotify.

You've also learned that, on average, adults spend almost two hours per day listening to local radio.

If you dug deep enough, then you know radio advertising delivers, on average, a $10 lift in sales for every $1 invested. This is a remarkable return for any local small business owner.

What you may not have figured out, however, is what is the best time of day to advertise on Charlotte radio?

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, roi, reach, return on investment, time of day, daypart, frequency

How Does Advertising In Charlotte Newspaper Compare To Local Radio?

Dec 24, 2019 8:03:40 AM / by Larry Julius

Two things are remarkable about voting day in 1920.  It was the first time, ever, women could participate in the selection of the U.S. President. It was also the first time live election results were broadcast on the radio. Not to mention, it was also the first radio broadcast, ever.

The voters' choice that night was between Warren G. Harding  and James M. Cox.  Both men had derived their political power as successful newspaper publishers.  It is quite ironic, then, that one of these men would reach the highest office in the land on the same night that the nascent radio broadcasting business began its takedown of the newspaper industry.

Nowhere is this takedown more apparent than locally, where Charlotte radio has become, by far, the advertising medium with the largest reach among local consumers.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, newspaper advertising, charlotte observer, newspaper readers

Charlotte Small Business Owners Can Advertise For Free On Local Radio

Dec 24, 2019 7:01:12 AM / by Larry Julius

It is not a gimmick. Many North Carolina business owners qualify for free local advertising on Charlotte radio. They pay nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Bupkis. Free.

Henry Ford understood that the continual investment in advertising was necessary for a business to be successful. “Stopping advertising to save money," he said, "is like stopping your watch to save time.”

Sometimes, though, when daily expenses challenge their cash flow,  small business owners must prioritize spending.

When that happens, unfortunately, Mr. Ford’s advice is ignored and buying commercials on Charlotte radio will move down the list behind making payroll, maintaining delivery vehicles, and replenishing stock.

Many times advertising doesn’t make a list at all.

Some Charlotte business owners have discovered that their radio advertising doesn’t have to be sacrificed at all when belts need to be tightened. It turns out there’s a deep pool of “free money” that can be dipped into for the singular purpose of advertising. These funds are called cooperative funds, or co-op for short.

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Topics best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business, small business owner, advertise for free, co-op advertising, cooperative advertising

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