Why Should Hardware Stores Advertise to the Rural Consumer?

In rural areas of the United States, homeowners are busy. Decks are being replaced, sheds and garages are being built, and flowers and trees are being planted. After years of economic struggle, homeowners are finally able to break out the tools and get to work on the home projects that have sat on the back-burner. But what does this mean for hardware stores, building materials stores, and lawn & garden centers? How can these retailers benefit from reaching out to rural consumers…and what’s the best way to reach them?

First let’s look at the main thing that differentiates a rural consumer from their urban counterparts -home ownership. Rural consumers are 11% more likely to own their own home versus their urban counterparts. This means that for hardware stores, building materials retailers, and lawn & garden centers, rural consumers are a good group to investigate.
Peeling back another layer, we find that rural consumers are 12.3% more likely than their urban counterparts to not have a home mortgage. They own their home, have no house note, and have more income to be reinvested into their homes – which explains why they are 22% more likely than their urban counterparts to do home improvement projects in their leisure time and also 22% more likely to do gardening activities in their spare time. In fact, rural consumers are 9.3% more likely to say they plan to spend more on home improvement in the next 90 days than they did around the same time last year.

The rural remodeling consumer tends to be a bit younger than the average rural consumer – median age of 43.9 versus 50.2 . They are higher income, more likely to be employed, more likely to be married with kids, and more likely to be homeowners. This means that places like hardware stores, who typically have older customers and may be working towards attracting a younger clientele, should consider reaching out to rural consumers. It also means that building materials retailers, such as lumber and hardwood flooring stores should not ignore the rural DIY consumer.

Reaching rural DIY’ers

The perception for a lot of marketers is that, to reach a younger audience, digital media is the way to go. In fact, according to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), 19% of marketers they surveyed planned to decrease usage of direct mail in the coming 12 months, which is consistent with previous annual studies they conducted. However, it’s important to note that these predictions are never fully realized by the DMA’s study participants.
In the same report, direct mail response rates increased year-over-year by 43%, and prospect response rates doubled to a 190% increase. Response rates have been higher in the last 2 years than they’ve been since 2003. And this isn’t just response from older age groups – response rates from adults 18-21 doubled in 2016.
When using direct mail, data is the real miracle-worker – the beauty of data is that, when you know how to leverage it, marketing efforts can drive real results.

Attract More Hardware Customers With Direct Mail

As local hardware stores, building materials retailers, and lawn and garden centers explore strategies for reaching young DIY and remodeling consumers, they ought to consider ways in which quality data and analytics can not only help optimize digital communications but also direct mail campaigns. There is a reason why direct mail response rates have been so high over the last two years, and there is certainly opportunity to have a stellar, precision-targeted direct mail campaign alongside a stellar, precision-targeted digital campaign. Want proof? Download the hardware store success story below for detailed direct mail campaign results.

Curious what that would look like for your business? Give us a call or fill out the form, and let’s connect. We would love to hear more about what you’re working on and partner with you on your next campaign.

Prosper Insights and Analytics, 2017
NHCS Adult Study 06-month, Spring 2017
DMA Fact Book, 2017