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Tampa Bay Consumers Still Spending Despite Economic Sentiment

Aug 8, 2022 11:13:24 AM / by Larry Julius

Local consumers may have a gloomy feeling about economic conditions, but their spending has not tapered. This is good news for the 123,853 small business owners in the Tampa Bay area.

According to the latest University of Michigan's Survey of Consumers, sentiment about current economic conditions remains near the all-time low. Concerns about volatile gas prices, rampant inflation, and a looming recession have driven the survey's index down 37% versus a year ago.

Despite these dim consumer sentiments, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis's July report shows that real personal consumption expenditures are pacing well above pre-Covid levels. According to Morgan Stanley research, consumers' ability to spend is being driven, in part, by a massive amount of excess savings accumulated over the course of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, based on per capita spending data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Tampa Bay consumers were forecast to spend nearly $50 billion at retail this year. The current level of spending suggests that shoppers are on track to hit that number.

Of course, for local business owners to successfully compete for a share of this record spending requires marketing. By most key marketing metrics, the best way to advertise is on Tampa Bay radio. This is especially true among business owners who must limit the number of marketing channels that can be used because of economic restraints.

Of all media, advertising on the radio provides the greatest return on investment.

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Topics ROI, best way to advertise, reach, radio advertising, recession, consumer spending, reach & frequency, advertising reach, consumer confidence, inflation, advertising roi

Advertise In Tampa Bay: Shoppers' Needs Are Changing...Again!

Sep 28, 2020 4:45:32 PM / by Larry Julius

There are over 2.5 million adult consumers in the Tampa Bay area. Collectively, in a typical year, these shoppers would generate $59.4 billion in retail sales. This money would be spent on cars, shoes, fast-food, entertainment, groceries, mattresses, adult beverages, haircuts, makeup, and an over-abundance of other of goods and services. Their money was being spent on both the essential and the frivolous. 

The way Tampa Bay consumers spend money changed radically in March as COVID-19 began to spread. Six months into the pandemic, shopping strategies are about to change again.

It started with panic buying. Consumers began ignoring prices and were paying what was ever necessary to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of their families.  According to Nielsen, this sudden spike in demand caused widespread price increases. To put it in perspective, retail prices shot-up in 64% of all product categories stocked in grocery stores.

Almost immediately, advertising messages from local retailers shifted from promises of low prices and convenience to product availability and shopper safety.

Based on new research from Nielsen, consumers' shopping strategies are beginning to shift again. This will require Tampa Bay small business owners and retailers to also change their advertising strategies, too.

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Topics Return On Investment, ROI, small business, small business owner, tampa small business owners, retail stores, small business advertising, recession, Retail Sales, Retailer, retail, corona, coronavirus, covid19, recovery, small business marketing, pandemic

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

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

Keep Your Tampa Bay Small Business Healthy During The Corona Crisis

Mar 16, 2020 12:27:02 PM / by Larry Julius & Bob McCurdy

The top concern of every Tampa Bay small business owner is the health and safety of their families and employees.  Local information and breaking news regarding the Coronavirus is available by clicking here.

Of course, a secondary concern is tending to the health of their business amid an overabundance of social and financial disruptions. 

There is one prescription that helped many Tampa area businesses survive the Great Depression of 1929, the economic crash of 2009, and every recession in between.  The Rx for keeping a business healthy during chaotic times is to continue advertising.

The best example of how advertising cand fend off tough times was shared by The New Yorker magazine financial columnist James Surowiecki.

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Topics Restaurants, small business, small business owner, best way to advertise, radio advertising, retail stores, recession, Retailer, retail, corona, coronavirus, covid19

Recession? Why Tampa Bay Business Owners Need To Keep Advertising

Sep 25, 2019 4:15:46 PM / by Larry Julius

In the history of the United States, there have been more recessions than presidents, 47 vs. 45.  Many economists believe number 48 could be imminent.  

The textbook definition of a recession is a period of declining economic performance across an entire economy, frequently measured as two consecutive quarters. In other words: it's a time when most Tampa Bay small business owners sell fewer of their goods and services.

There is one thing a recession is not.  It is not a time for local business owners to stop advertising.

One of the greatest marketers of all time, Henry Ford, once said, "The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time."

There are many examples of companies that have proven this aphorism to be true. Your bowl of cereal this morning could be one example.

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Topics small business owner, best way to advertise, tampa radio stations, advertise in tampa bay, advertising in Tampa, small business advertising, recession

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