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Traffic In Tampa Bay Is Picking-Up. Is Your Small Business Ready?

Jun 3, 2020 12:39:37 PM / by Larry Julius

More than 93% of Tampa Bay households own at least one vehicle. 

Pre-pandemic, 86% of workers spent, on average, 60 minutes every weekday in these cars commuting to-and-from their jobs.  

On their way to work, many of these drivers would contribute to Tampa Bay's $59.3 billion retail economy by visiting the convenience stores, coffeehouses, auto repair centers, gas stations, daycares, grocery stores, or hundreds of other businesses they passed.

At lunchtime, these same cars would take their owners to restaurants, dentist appointments, nail appointments, barbershops, and on an infinite number of other errands.

On the weekends, these vehicles filled the parking lots of hardware stores, furniture stores, car dealers, appliance stores, bowling alleys, movie theatres, and nightclubs, 

Then on April, when the Governor of Florida shut down the state to slow the spread of COVID-19, traffic came to a standstill and so did the spending.

There are strong indications, though, that in the Tampa area, roads are filling up again.

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Topics Return On Investment, ROI, small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, retail stores, in-car advertising, consumer spending, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, vehicle traffic, in-car audio

What Happens When A Tampa Bay Small Business Stops Advertising?

May 27, 2020 1:49:48 PM / by Larry Julius

Tampa Bay small business owners may perceive the continuation of advertising as a luxury right now. This is especially so when compared to the necessity for covering the costs of utilities, inventory, payroll, and rent.

Before pulling the plug, though, business owners from Clearwater to Lakeland must consider the consequences of 'going dark', a marketing term which means to stop advertising.

"According to our analysis, short-term decisions to go dark create significant risk for long-term revenue," says Ameneh Atai, Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy at Nielsen. "This affects both incremental revenue and base sales."

"Our database of long-term effects models suggests that cutting ad spending for the rest of 2020 could lead up-to 11% revenue decrease in 2021," says Ms. Atai. "It could take three to five years of solid and consistent brand building to recover from an extended dark period of media."

"We have a ton of evidence in our historical analysis," adds Nielsen's Tsvetan Tsvetkov, Senior Vice President of Agency and Advertiser Solutions. "Companies that step away from advertising efforts for a period of time, whether it's a couple of quarters or a full year or longer lose the momentum they have built over time the minute they stop. To recover takes a long, long time."

To avoid the economic risks of going dark, local small business owners need to make sure every dollar spent on advertising produces solid returns.  By most marketing metrics, advertising on Tampa radio could prove to be the best option.

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Topics Return On Investment, ROI, small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, retail stores, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, reach & frequency

Why Tampa Bay Real Estate Agents Need To Advertise Now

May 22, 2020 3:15:49 PM / by Larry Julius

Type "TAMPA REAL ESTATE AGENTS" into Google. In slightly over a half-second, the search will deliver 13,900,000 results. Similar searches for Clearwater, Carrollwood, Temple Terrace,  produce a proportional number of returns.

Despite the economic hardships imposed by the Coronavirus crisis on Tampa Bay consumers, the demand for real estate is booming. 

The Wall Street Journal published a trend yesterday indicating that mortgage applications for purchase a home have achieved levels equal to last year.

According to redfin.com, home buying demand is 16.5% higher now than it was pre-COVID-19 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Redfin attributes this explosive growth in real estate shoppers to two factors, including record-low mortgage rates. The other primary driver is a migration trend from expensive metropolitan areas as buyers hunt for more space at lower prices.

To capture a larger share of the robust market, local real estate agents need to stand apart from the millions of Google results.  Advertising on Tampa radio will help accomplish this.  Here's why.

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Topics Real Estate, small business, small business owner, Television Advertising, Streaming Audio, best way to advertise, radio advertising, online advertising, social media advertising, newspaper advertising, pay-tv, home sellers, advertise on radio, home buyers

Who'll Be Buying As Tampa Bay Small Businesses Reopen?

May 19, 2020 7:16:00 AM / by Sample HubSpot User

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Governor of Florida shut down all but the most essential businesses in the state on April 3. This public safety measure inflicted a severe disruption to Tampa Bay's $54.1 billion retail economy.

As local small business owners begin to reopen, each must concentrate on supercharging their cash flows to compensate for weeks of consumer abstinence. Turning the lights back on and hanging out a welcome sign might not be enough, though, to bring even the most loyal customers back.

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

But, there is one thing every Tampa Bay small business owner can be assured of. Consumers will not return if they aren't aware that a business has reopened.

Advertising is a potent tactic for any Florida small business that needs to reintroduce itself to local consumers.

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

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Topics small business, small business owner, store traffic, best way to advertise, radio advertising, retail stores, recession, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, corona, coronavirus, covid19, crisis marketing, reopening

Should Your Tampa Bay 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 Tampa Bay. Every day small business owners from Clearwater to Brandon 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 $54.1 billion in annual consumer spending Tampa 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 Tampa Bay 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 small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, recession, corona, coronavirus, covid19, crisis marketing, WARC

Does Cable TV Advertising Make Sense For Tampa Small Business Owners?

May 12, 2020 9:44:42 AM / by Larry Julius

Pay-TV is struggling to survive COVID-19.

Before the onset of the pandemic, Nielsen reported that 69% of Tampa Bay households received their television programs from cable systems, telephone companies, or satellite operators.  That number, however, is plummeting.

Pay-TV providers in the Tampa area include Xfinity, Dish, Spectrum, Frontier, 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 Television, small business, small business owner, Cable TV, Television Advertising, millennials, best way to advertise, radio advertising, pay-tv, dish network, direcTv

How To Bring Employees Back To Your Tampa Bay Small Business

May 8, 2020 3:13:54 PM / by Larry Julius

In January, Tampa Bay small business owners were in a panic. The unemployment rate was at a record low 3.4%, and there were not enough workers to fill their open jobs. 

As of today, though, Florida is reporting that at least one-in-six 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 Tampa Bay 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 Tampa radio is a potent way to attract and hire the needed employees.

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

Tampa Bay Small Business Advice: Facebook Advertising During Pandemic

May 7, 2020 10:51:59 AM / by Larry Julius

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

According to Nielsen, before the current chaos, 61% of Tampa Bay adults used Facebook each month. This was significantly fewer than were reached by local radio or television 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, Tampa area 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 small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, digital advertising, online advertising, facebook advertising, facebook, social media advertising, trust, social media

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

May 1, 2020 9:45:38 AM / by Larry Julius

Business was booming in Tampa Bay. Then it was not.

Before the chaos brought on by Coronavirus, it had been predicted, based on estimates from the National Retail Federation, Tampa area consumers would spend 4.1% more in 2020 than they did in 2019. On April 3, however, when Florida'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, Tampa 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 Frequency, small business, small business owner, top of mind, recall, best way to advertise, radio advertising, corona, coronavirus, covid19

Who Do Tampa Bay Consumers Trust During A Crisis?

Apr 27, 2020 1:39:22 PM / by Larry Julius

For Tampa Bay 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 Florida 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 Clearwater to Lakeland (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 Tampa radio has earned that trust among local consumers.

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Topics small business, small business owner, recall, best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, recession, corona, coronavirus, covid19, crisis marketing, context, trust

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