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Larry Julius


Recent Posts

Why Tampa Bay Banks & Credit Unions Need To Advertise Now

Jun 30, 2020 8:13:50 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, before the COVID-19 crisis, Tampa Bay households were putting more than $7.9 billion in the bank every year. 

Since February, however, Tampa area banks and credit unions noticed that customers' savings accounts were beginning to swell to record levels.

According to the Federal Reserve, for many years, the personal savings rate has hovered well below 10%.  The PSR is the percentage of personal disposable income that remains after taxes and all other spending.

In April of this year, the PSR hit an all-time high of 33%. The rate remained at stratospheric levels in May, as well. The previous record high was 17.3% in September of 1975 at the tail-end of a deep recession.

There are 4547  banks and credit unions in Florida who would love to earn a large share of this infusion of new savings. To compete, though, requires advertising.  By almost any metric, the best way to reach new depositors is by advertising on Tampa radio.

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Topics small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, small business advertising, bank, advertise on radio, certificate of deposit, credit unions, savings accounts

Real Estate Advertising in Tampa Bay: Starter Home Sales Are Thriving

Jun 26, 2020 6:55:30 AM / by Larry Julius

From Carrollwood to Brandon (and every point in between), Tampa Bay real estate agents see a robust, post-pandemic market shaping up. Home sales are being driven by record low-interest rates.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate in June is 3.17%, according to Freddie Mac. This is down from 3.99% June of last year. That difference could save a Tampa area home buyer close to $30,000 over the term of a loan.

Data from the Federal Reserve indicates that one of the fast-growing segments of the current real estate market is starter homes. Sales in May for these modest price houses have risen above pre-COVID-19 levels and have hit a three year high.

Feuling the starter home market is demand from millennials. This generation now comprises 37% of all home buyers, says the National Association of Realtors Research Group.

To claim a large share of the market for starter homes, local real estate agents will need to advertise to attract these buyers.  By almost any metric, advertising on Tampa radio is the best way to reach millennials planning to buy a house, condo, or co-op over the next year.

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Topics Real Estate, small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, mortgage, home sellers, advertise on radio, home buyers, real estate agent, mortgage rates

Tampa Bay Small Business: Appliance Stores Prepare For Rebound

Jun 16, 2020 4:48:44 PM / by Larry Julius

During lockdown, Tampa Bay consumers have been postponing the purchase of major appliances.  Despite the pause in buying, however, local shoppers are still expected to spend $174 million this year on ovens, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

Here's how appliance sales in the Tampa area will breakdown by category:

  • Cooking: $47,400,000
  • Refrigerator/Freezer: $43,900,000
  • Laundry: $36,100,000
  • Other: $47,000,000

Based on traditional buying patterns, at least 60% of all major appliance sales will occur between now and December.

To capture a larger share of all this spending will require local appliance dealers 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.”

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”. 

By almost any measure, advertising on Tampa radio is the best choice for local appliance store owners.

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Topics Return On Investment, ROI, small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, retail stores, consumer spending, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, advertise on radio, appliance stores

Advertising In Tampa Bay: Time For Local Jewelry Stores To Shine

Jun 13, 2020 9:13:01 AM / by Larry Julius

Despite the pandemic, Tampa Bay consumers are expected to spend $164 million on fine jewelry this year. Based on projections from IBISWorld, here's what will be purchased:

  • $69 million worth of diamonds
  • $24 million worth of watches
  • $16 million worth of gold
  • $19 million worth of pearls and gemstones
  • $34 million in other goods and services

Tampa business owners will now have an easier time capturing a bigger share of jewelry expenditures as a monster competitive force disappears.

This week, Signet, the largest jewelry retailer in the country, announced that by December, it would be closing over 380 stores.  Signet's brands familiar to Central Florida consumers include Kay, Jared, Zales, and Piercing Pagoda.

To successfully compete for the void created by fewer Signet stores, local retailers will need to advertise, especially between now and the end of the year. This is when 63% of all fine-jewelry sales traditionally occur.

By any metric, the best way to reach local jewelry buyers is by advertising on Tampa radio.

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Topics Return On Investment, ROI, small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, retail stores, wedding, bridal marketing, consumer spending, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, advertise on radio, jewelry store

Tampa Bay Radio Listeners Will Power The Post-Pandemic Recovery

Jun 10, 2020 2:16:49 PM / by Larry Julius

At the dawn of 2020, Tampa Bay small business owners were expecting the area's retail economy to expand by 4.1%. This optimism was stoked by the National Retail Federation's chief economist who said, "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."

By February, however, the country entered into a COVID-19 induced recession. Then, to slow the spread of the pandemic, on April 3, the Governor of Florida locked the state down. This brought the Tampa area's $54.1 billion retail economy to a standstill.

As stores, restaurants, and offices in Tampa Bay begin to re-open, consumers' appetite for spending is returning. According to Nielsen, loyal radio listeners are very likely to be first in line at the cash registers.

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Topics small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, retail stores, consumer spending, car dealers, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, corona, coronavirus, covid19, reopening, advertise on radio, automotive, recovery

Best Way To Re-Introduce A Tampa Bay Small Business To Consumers

Jun 5, 2020 3:07:10 PM / by Larry Julius

Tampa Bay small business owners are learning that 're-opening' may not be an appropriate word for the challenges they face as the Coronavirus crisis winds down.  A better term might be 're-introducing'.

Since the Governor of Florida shuttered the state on April 3, to slow the spread of COVID-19, Tampa area consumers have discovered new ways to buy the goods and services they need.  It's now the burden of local business owners to lure these customers back. The first step is re-introduction.

In 1922, WDAE, signed on as the first radio station in Tampa Bay. Since then, local business owners have used radio advertising to introduce themselves successfully to new customers. Radio has also helped these businesses survive recessions, depressions, world wars, hurricanes, and blizzards. By any metric, advertising on Tampa radio remains the most effective tactic a small business owner can use post-pandemic, as well.

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Topics Return On Investment, ROI, small business, small business owner, prime time, daypart, best way to advertise, radio advertising, effective radio commercials, commercial length, small business advertising, reopening

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

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

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