By: Paul Jacobs, Jacobs Media

Paul JacobsOur recent blog post focuses on an amazing story that unfolded this past Sunday during the Super Bowl.  Intuit, the huge company who created QuickBooks and TurboTax, recently held a contest (“Small Business Big Game”) that gave away a $5 million ad in the game.  As you’ll read in the blog post, the winner is a small coffeemaker with eleven employees from Round Lake, New York called Death Wish Coffee Company that bested 15,000 other entrants.

While this is a cool promotion generating a lot of buzz for both Death Wish and Intuit, there is something bigger going on here.  For years, American Express, a company that services all of the major retail corporations, has championed “Small Business Saturday,” which generated $14 billion in revenue in 2014.

These big companies see an even bigger opportunity in small businesses.

In radio, we’ve seen a decline in advertising spending from global corporations.  Brands like Starbucks, Target, Costco, and Lowes don’t spend much (or anything) on radio.  And traditional big spenders like Budweiser and Coke have also cut way back.

So the idea here is to take note of what AmEx and Intuit are doing and create your own small business (or local business) initiative in your markets, whether you’re in Cedar Rapids, Chattanooga, or Chicago.

If AmEx and Intuit can capitalize on small businesses and their futures, the radio industry should as well.  Who is more in tune with their local community and its business leaders than radio?
So we’ve developed the concept of “Small Business September” – an entire month dedicated to promoting small businesses in your community. You don’t have to do it in September – it just sounded good.  The concept champions local small businesses, business associations and merchant groups, and engages them via radio through a series of promotions, events, online directories, and resources, and even an awards program (“Local Retailer Of The Year”).

There are many ways to pull this off, and I would be happy to do some brainstorming with you for your specific situation or opportunity.  Every market is different. Here in Detroit, we’ve got 83 suburbs, and many of them have their own downtown districts. It’s a target-rich environment.  Other cities are configured differently.

So let’s talk about ways your station or cluster can develop a strong local business initiative to strengthen your grip on this important business category.

Email me at [email protected], and we’ll schedule a call.

I look forward to speaking with you.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.
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