With COVID-19 vaccinations underway and businesses reopening, consumer confidence is beginning to resurge. Indeed, the rising rate of consumer confidence is outpacing expert predictions. Consumer spending increased by 2.4 percent in January and an additional 0.2 percent in February, with further consumer spending increases expected in March and April as a result of the stimulus checks many Americans received. With increased income at their disposal, they may be ready to make purchasing decisions they were hesitant to just a few months ago.
As consumer confidence begins to rise, consumer spending, especially in the retail and luxury goods sectors, generally increases. Consumers are more willing to splurge on items like vacations and make large, costly purchases, such as weddings or homes. An improving national health picture and additional ARP stimulus payments later in the year are expected to spur an increasingly robust economic recovery during the second half of the year.
Improving consumer confidence presents a considerable opportunity for marketers to acquire new customers, increase sales, and capture additional market share. However, marketers must execute a smart promotional strategy that effectively differentiates themselves from competitors, nurtures customer loyalty, highlights quality and value, and attracts new consumers. Targeted public media marketing campaigns can be a key component of that strategy.
You're not the only marketer who's noticed the opportunities inherent in rising consumer confidence. Firms large and small are investing in all forms of marketing and/or refining their existing efforts to make them more effective. No matter your industry, product or niche, you're likely to see more ads from your competitors now or in the coming days.
One of the best ways to distinguish yourself is leveraging channels other firms are less likely to use. With the rise of e-commerce, many brands have poured increasing ad dollars into digital advertising, but public media radio sponsorships can yield tremendous benefits—including access to an affluent, highly educated audience, greater brand loyalty and improved brand reputation.
The costs of acquiring new customers are almost always substantially higher than the costs of retaining existing ones. Additionally, your existing customers are often a great source of new business, from referrals and word-of-mouth. It's important to recognize and nurture your longstanding relationships with your customers, especially those who've stuck with you throughout the pandemic. Using public media to showcase your brands and give a shout-out to your loyal customers can yield rich dividends.
It's also essential to take advantage of marketing channels that engender customer loyalty. Public media radio stations have listeners who are incredibly loyal to sponsoring brands. For example, nearly 70 percent of NPR listeners say they prefer to purchase from brands that are NPR sponsors. Educated, affluent, and civically engaged listeners trust what they hear on public radio and boast a listener engagement rate 20 percent higher for sponsorship messages than radio ads on commercial channels.
When consumer confidence is high, consumers are more likely to spend more on products of high quality and value, even if those products are a more expensive option. Consumers will evaluate alternatives less on price and more on features, performance or brand. Many will look for products that last longer and have minimal maintenance or replacement costs when they feel confident they can afford them.
Public media provides an excellent platform to highlight quality and value. Its listeners, on average, are more affluent than the public-at-large and tend to equate the quality of the products from media sponsors with the quality of the programming they hear. These sponsorships, therefore, are one of the best tools you have to sell high-quality or high-value products.
Periods of increased consumer confidence don't just provide opportunities to earn sales from existing customers, but also to attract new customers. One way many small and mid-sized businesses weathered the pandemic was through sales to affluent customers who remained loyal over time. Now that consumer confidence is on the rise, it's a smart strategy to grow your base of loyal, affluent customers upon whom you can rely during any future economic downturns.
Again, public media provides an excellent opportunity to do just that, given its affluent listener base. By scaling up your investment in public media radio sponsorships and targeting them towards new likely customers, you can connect with consumers who are looking to buy. A premium marketing campaign may be just what your business needs to grow sales and profit, and capture more market share than ever before.
Investing in public media radio can yield massive dividends. If you've never invested in public media sponsorship before (or have only done so in a limited capacity), work with an experienced media partner who can guide you through the ins and outs of public media sponsorship. With consumer confidence recovering, now is the time to focus your marketing dollars on public media marketing campaigns that can help you increase sales, revenue, and profit.