Tampa Bay consumers will spend $54.1 billion on goods and services over the next year. To claim a significant portion of those expenditures, small business owners need to be at the top of customers' minds when it comes time to buy.
Since 1922, when WDAE became the first radio station in Tampa, thousands of business owners knew, intuitively, that advertising on the medium was a potent way to be remembered when a purchase was imminent.
Now there is proof that radio advertising creates the brand awareness necessary to drive sales.
In November of 2017, a streaming media service needed to increase consumer engagement. So, like many Tampa Bay small business owners, the company invested in radio advertising.
According to an analysis by MARU/Matchbox*, prior to the commencement of a year-long radio advertising campaign, 17% of consumers were aware of the streaming media service.
At the conclusion of the campaign, awareness of the company leaped to 28%. That translates to 65% growth.
The result Tampa Bay small business owners should be most interested in, is how this increase in top of mind awareness translated into customer engagement.
Over the course of the year of the radio advertising campaign, weekly usage of the streaming media service grew by 81%.
Many local business owners have experienced similar results from their investment on Tampa radio stations.
Michael Hollander and his family own Weather Tite Windows in Tampa. When he took over the company in 2006, it was deeply in debt and nearly out of business.
Since then, Mr. Hollander has built Weather Tite into the 24th largest home improvement company in America. Quite an amazing feat for a company that only sells replacement windows and doors.
"Advertising on Tampa Bay radio has been a huge part of the company's success," says Mr. Hollander. "Ninety-two percent of our leads say radio is the way they heard about us. The leads we generate from our radio ads cost us $4.00 each. That's almost half of what I pay for leads from other sources."
"Advertising on Tampa Bay radio works because every day, consumers drive to work at the same time listening to the radio. They listen again at the same time every afternoon picking up their kids from school. This makes it possible to hit the same people repeatedly with our message."
On Tampa Bay radio, I discovered, I could affordably purchase enough frequency to really have our brand sink into our target customers' heads," Mr. Hollander says.
What does Mr. Hollander receive from his investment in frequency? According to his in-depth lead tracking process, for every $1 he invests in radio advertising, he gets a $21 return on investment.
Tampa Bay real estate agents Andrew and Angela Duncan have had similar success staying top of mind.
If you were one of the 2,193,604 consumers who tuned-in to a Tampa radio station this week, then you probably know Mr. and Ms. Duncan. The "Duncan Duo", as they refer to themselves, have been advertising successfully on local radio since 2009.
"When we first started advertising on Tampa radio, our growth trajectory really took off," says Mr. Duncan. "We had been selling 100 homes a year. But when we invested in radio advertising, our sales began growing by 50% every year."
"Most Tampa Bay real estate agents were concentrating their advertising on bus-benches, newspapers, and home magazines," said Mr. Duncan. "Nobody seemed to be advertising on Tampa radio, so based on what we learned from the other successful agents, we decided that's where we would invest."
"We started with a $3000 per month schedule on one radio station. After about six months, our advertising began to deliver a positive return on investment. So, we started increasing the number of commercials we were running and adding more radio stations."
"We now advertise on six radio stations with a budget at a multiple many, many, many times higher than our original budget," says Mr. Duncan. "As a result, this year we will sell 1000 homes resulting in $250,000,000 in volume. We know that every $1.00 we invest in advertising on Tampa Bay radio will return $5.00 in sales. This is a tremendous ROI when we are competing with 10,000 other local real estate agents."
"Compared to all the other forms of advertising we have tried, radio advertising delivers our best ROI."
*Study commissioned by Westwood One