Last year, local consumers spent close to $130 million for new mattresses. A recent survey conducted by Piper Jaffray indicates that many retailers believe that the category will become even stronger during the last four months of this year.
The reason for the owners' sleep loss is that many customers are skipping local stores and buying their mattresses on the internet. According to Statista, 37% of mattress buyers are now purchasing from one-of-175 direct-to-consumer sites like Casper or from online retailers like Amazon.
To keep customers shopping local requires advertising.
“Think you have a great product?” asks the US Small Business 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."
Based on any metric, the best way a local mattress business to advertise is on Tampa Bay radio.
Last week, for instance, 90.7% of households planning to buy a mattress during the next 12 months tuned-in to a Tampa radio station. This is significantly more than watched local TV; read local newspapers; logged-on to social media sites like Facebook; or streamed audio from Pandora and Spotify.
According to a study by Edison Research, 41% of consumers have visited a store after hearing a commercial on local radio. Good news for local mattress retailers looking to drive customers into their showrooms.
Many Tampa Bay area businesses credit radio with driving traffic.
Audra Wolf has seen, first-hand, Tampa radio stations' ability to command consumers' attention. She is the Manager of Field Marketing for the 252 Metro by T-Mobile stores in the Tampa Bay area. Her job is to bring customers into every single one of those retail locations.
"It's all about driving in-store foot traffic," says Ms. Wolf. "Every dime we spend is about getting people through the door and have them make a purchase. We have been very happy with the return-on-investment (ROI) we receive from our promotions on Tampa radio stations.
"We have a number of ways we track sales," she adds, "so we know our radio plan is working for us."
Ms. Wolf has been with the company since it launched in the Tampa Bay Area 14 years ago as Metro-PCS. "The telecom business is so much more competitive than it was when I started in 2005," she says. "But with the help of our radio partners, we have seen astronomical growth. What we do on Tampa radio has really helped drive that."
A local heating and air conditioning company also depends on radio advertising to drive consumers to their single store in an 'off-the-beaten-path' area of Tampa.
"Radio advertising is a huge part of our success," says Trent Taucher. His family has owned Budget Heating and Air Conditioning since 1992. "The constant repetition of our unique message on Tampa radio stations drives new customers through a door every day."
"When my dad started the business, we were a traditional selling and installing heating and air conditioning in homes and businesses. That's how it was for the first eight years," says Mr. Taucher. "Then, in about 2000, our business model changed. We eliminated installations and began selling equipment directly to both residential customers and contractors from our warehouse."
"The success of our new business model depended largely on word-of-mouth. We quickly generated plenty of it with radio advertising."
After about three months of radio advertising, our store traffic shot-up," says Mr. Taucher. "That's when the ads really started paying for themselves. So much so, that in 2018 we increased the number of radio stations we advertise on."
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