By Fred Woods
Charlie Ray is coming home – and he is not coming back alone. The 1988 OHS graduate whose father owned and operated Ray’s Convenience Store on Second Avenue is bringing his family. Ray bought a home in Opelika’s historic district and he’s opening an Opelika branch office of his highly successful advertising agency, Broad Street Company.
Founded by Ray in 2007, Broad Street has offices in Charleston, South Carolina and Austin, Texas, in addition to the new Opelika location.
Upon returning home, Ray discovered a need for advertising services to support thriving local businesses in Opelika and Auburn. “Opelika and Auburn are both booming and business is competitive. We feel like Broad Street’s expertise in media can help these local businesses compete effectively with help from our agency,” Ray said.
The Opelika-Auburn area is the second fastest growing market in Alabama and the eleventh fastest growing Metropolitan Statistical Area in the U.S. As local businesses strive to be competitive, they need support from an established and proven advertising agency to reach their audiences.
With this growth comes new residents, and with the addition or the transient university population at Auburn University, the need to reach customers through effective advertising is growing. More than 85 percent of customers are online and 80 percent of people in the U.S. have smartphones. This “connected consumer” relies on online advertising and paid search in making their buying decisions.
It is important for local companies to compete with larger brands and national chains in reaching these people online in a native environment. Broad Street’s focus on digital helps small to mid-size businesses grow through giving them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in the local market.
Through geo-targeted advertising, paid search, social and mobile advertising, local companies can compete with national advertising campaigns for the Opelika-Auburn consumer dollar.
“I love Opelika and this is a dream realized to be able to return to my hometown and work with local people I have known my whole life to help grow this economy and support local businesses,” Ray said.
Broad Street Company offers digital advertising solutions such as social, paid search, mobile, video and display advertising. The company also provides marketing and business strategy for startups and established businesses. Broad Street works with national clients like Whole Foods and CORT Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, along with regional clients like Oklahoma Gas, SETON Healthcare and SharpeVision. “I look forward to being a part of the thriving business community in Opelika and Auburn,” Ray said.