If you don't have time to read this entire article, then I will tell you right now. The best way to advertise in Charlotte is on local radio.
A vital function of advertising is to build mental availability, which nudges a consumer toward the purchase of a product or service. It also serves to provide public notice that a product or service exists and is available for purchase.
Consumers in the Charlotte area are expected to spend at least $50 billion at retail this year. To claim a greater share of this giant pool of cash requires local business owners of every size to advertise their goods and services. As Professor Jef Richards at Michigan State University points out, “Advertising is totally unnecessary…unless you want to make money."
The bottom line: It is difficult for a consumer in the Charlotte area to purchase a product or service from a local company if they never heard of it.
There are many ways for small business owners to advertise. Options include local newspapers, local magazines, local television, and online. 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 stations.
The first “R” is Reach. According to a study by Nielsen, after the actual content of the commercial message itself, reach is the most potent advertising element that can drive sales. Reach is more important than brand, recency, or even context. Charlotte radio provides local business owners with the biggest reach among consumers.
Last week, 1,827,300 adult consumers tuned to their favorite Charlotte radio stations. This is significantly more than watched local TV stations; read a local newspaper; logged-on to a streaming audio site like Pandora and Spotify.
Local radio reaches everyone. Unlike other local media, which tends to skew towards older audiences, Charlotte radio reaches consumers of all ages. This includes members of Generation X, Y, and Z; Millennials, and Boomers. Everybody.
Percentage of Local Consumers By Age Who Listen To
Charlotte Radio Stations
Media expert Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, advises, “Everything we’ve read about listening and aging audiences would have us believe that only our grandmother is listening to radio. Turns out the industry’s biggest supporters, the radio advertisers who foot the bills, aren’t buying that at all. Radio works, and the listeners are telling us in the latest survey data that radio has one helluva return-on-investment."
The second “R” affecting advertising success is Recall. To be effective, advertising must be remembered by the consumer when it comes time to choose which Charlotte business owners to patronize.
Local Ad Recall, a research company that measures the effectiveness of advertising, found that brand recall was five times higher for companies that advertised on radio versus the companies that did not. Consequently, local small business owners who advertise on radio have a much better chance of being recalled and, therefore, frequented by prospective customers than companies that do not advertise on radio.
Consumer insight company, Nielsen found similar results. Across several different business categories, on average, radio advertising improved recall by 82%. The businesses measured were a health and beauty company; an information technologies company; an auto aftermarket retailer; a motorcycle company; and a mobile app company.
The third “R” of advertising success is return-on-investment (ROI). ROI is a measurement of revenue growth that a Charlotte area business owner can expect for each $1 invested in advertising. According to Advertising Age Magazine, when executed correctly, radio advertising can deliver a greater ROI for a local business than investing in TV, digital, or social media ads.
Over the past few years, Nielsen has conducted more than 20 studies to determine how much ROI a business owner could expect when advertising on radio. In every case, radio’s ROI was, in the words of Advertising Age, “Eye-popping.”
The most recent ROI study released by Nielsen is no exception. According to Westwood One, the company that commissioned this latest study, a radio campaign for a men’s personal-care brand produced $11.96 in sales-lift for every $1.00 invested in radio advertising.
Overall, according to Nielsen, among all of the studies conducted, radio ads produce a very impressive 10x return-on-investment.
Media expert Doug Schoen wrote in Forbes Magazine of radio’s ability to deliver the “3-Rs” of advertising.
“The implications of results like these are profound for the communications and advertising industries,” Mr. Schoen said, “and as a marketing professional with over 35 years of experience, I found this data nothing short of fascinating. It’s quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It’s doing the job with expert efficiency.”
Deloitte, the world's largest business consulting firm, echos Mr. Schoen's observation. The company recommend that "radio should be a big part of the mix for those buying advertising."
Almost Everybody Listens To The Radio
Deloitte recommends radio advertising because of this. "Radio’s weekly reach—the percentage of people who listen to radio at least once—has been remarkably stable in the United States. Not only has reach hovered around 94 percent for the last few years, but that number is essentially unchanged from the 94.9 percent figure in spring 2001 (when Apple introduced the iPod)."
"Further, an August 2018 Deloitte Global survey found that, of those who report listening to live radio [in the United States], over 70 percent say they listen either every day or on most days. A majority of radio listeners are tuning in as part of their daily lives."