Portland Radio Drives Maine Small Business

Maine Small Busines Portland Radio CommutingMost weekday mornings begin the same. I start my car. I fasten my seat belt. I tune-into a Portland radio station. During my 55-minute drive to work, with the radio blasting, I catch-up on the news, I sing along, and I laugh out loud.  I repeat the ritual later that afternoon but in the opposite direction.  This, I have learned, is not an uncommon experience.

According to research from Nielsen, 459,153 adults in the Portland area commute to work each day.  Almost half of them, like me, spend more than 40 minutes per day doing so.  This provides an unequaled opportunity for Maine small business owners to market to a valuable segment of the state’s consumers.

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Almost everybody commutes alone. According to a recent study by Edison research, 89% of those who commute by car are by themselves. With no one else to talk to, what do these lonely consumers do?  Overwhelmingly, they choose to listen to a Portland radio station. Not Pandora. Not Satellite. Not their MP3 player, but a traditional AM/FM radio station.

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These commuters are among the most highly coveted by Maine small business owners. According to Nielsen, compared to the general population, people who commute to work more than 20 minutes per day are

  • 23% more likely to earn $75,000 or more per year
  • 65% more likely to have a full-time job
  • 20% more likely to have graduated from college
  • 16% more likely to own a home valued at $300,000 or more

In addition, over the next 12 months, compared to the general population, these Portland are consumers are

  • 33% more likely to buy a new home
  • 13% more likely to buy a major appliance
  • 16% more likely to buy a new mattress
  • 32% more likely to go back to school
  • 20% more likely to look for a new job
  • 43% more likely to get married
  • 34% more likely to refinance their home

Many Maine small business owners already know the value of using radio to reach these consumers who listen to Portland radio stations while commuting. This includes Scott Libby, owner of Royal River Heat Pumps in Falmouth.

According to Mr. Libby his sales of heat pumps have doubled over the past year. He attributes a large part of this achievement to the advertising he does on Portland radio. “When it comes to reach,” says Mr. Libby, “Radio is second to none.”

Cathy Manchester, a real estate agent based in Gray, Maine, has had similar results utilizing Portland radio as part of her company’s marketing mix. “When we began advertising on the radio several years ago,” says Ms. Manchester, “our business doubled! We went from selling 100 homes a year to approximately 200 homes each year! Radio advertising continues to provide a steady stream of well qualified customers for us!”

Jon Goodman, who is the front man of Time Pilots, a Maine based wedding band also experienced accelerated growth when he started advertising on Portland radio. “It would be fair to say,” says Mr. Goodman, “that our wedding business has tripled.”

Stacy Dodge, an owner of the Bill Dodge Auto Group with Maine locations in Westbrook, Saco, and Brunswick, also lets reality not perception guide her company’s media and marketing decisions. “We have been using Portland radio as a primary marketing source for about 10 years now.” said Ms. Dodge. “We have seen very measurable results and are able to target our audiences more effectively.”

“We are also more effectively able to market specific brands to a specific audience which is sometimes harder, and more expensive, to do with other mediums, said Ms. Dodge. “Radio is a very cost effective way to get your message out to the people you want to hear it.”

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