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Who'll Be Buying When Philadelphia Small Businesses Reopen?

May 19, 2020 7:16:00 AM / by Larry Julius

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Governor of Pennsylvania shut down all but the most essential businesses in the state on March 17. This public safety measure inflicted a severe disruption to the Philadelphia area's $91.8 billion retail economy.

As local small business owners prepare for reopening, each must concentrate on supercharging their cash flows to compensate for many 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 Delaware Valley 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 Pennsylvania or New Jersey 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 Best Way To Advertise, retail, store traffic, small business owner, radio advertising, small business, Retail Sales, retailer, covid 19, coronavirus, corona, retail stores, crisis marketing, reopen

Should Your Philadelphia 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 the Delaware Valley. Every day small business owners from Bryn Mawr to Bellmawr 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 $91.8 billion in annual consumer spending Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia area 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 Best Way To Advertise, recession, small business owner, small business, covid 19, coronavirus, corona, crisis marketing, WARC

Who Do Philadelphia Consumers Trust During A Crisis?

Apr 28, 2020 6:37:30 AM / by Larry Julius

For Delaware Valley 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 Philadelphia area 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 Cherry Hill to King of Prussia  (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 Philadelphia radio has earned that trust among local consumers.

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Topics Best Way To Advertise, recession, small business owner, radio advertising, small business, reach, covid 19, coronavirus, corona, crisis marketing, recall, trust, context

Philadelphia Small Business Advice: Marketing During The Corona Crisis

Apr 10, 2020 4:18:05 PM / by Larry Julius

In 'normal' times, Delaware Valley consumers would be expected to rack up $98 billion in annual retail sales. Of course, since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, nothing has been normal.

But as Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, explained to members of Philadelphia's small business community via teleconference, consumers are still spending. This, it turns out, is normal.

Mr. Borrell shared research from Ibis that demonstrates during every type of crisis, including depressions, recessions, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and, now, pandemics, consumers still spend.

The business literature contains an abundance of examples of how continuing to market and advertise during an economic crisis can help a company survive and emerge from the episode even stronger than before.

Delaware Valley small business owners who do continue to advertise and market, however, should consider modifying their pre-crisis strategy.

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Topics Best Way To Advertise, retail, small business owner, radio advertising, small business, Retail Sales, covid 19, coronavirus, corona, crisis management, borrell associates, crisis marketing

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