Shrinking Newspaper FSI Coverage + Limited Broadband Require a Different CPG Marketing Approach to Rural Consumers

As newspaper FSI coverage continues to shrink and broadband access is often lacking for consumers in rural communities and small towns, fewer media options are available for CPG marketing to reach these consumers. If you overlook these lucrative markets, you risk missing out on an audience that represents $2.8 trillion in spending nationwide.

In rural markets, 28% of consumers still lack broadband internet access, and newspaper free-standing insert (FSI) coverage continues to shrink across the country. The result of this lost newspaper coverage for many CPG brands is they often can reach as little as 25% of their stores in rural markets with newspaper FSI. Mspark offers coverage where the FSI is no longer an option.

Did you know?

58% of former newspaper subscribers have responded to ads in the mailbox in the past 12 months.

Targeting these former newspaper subscribers with direct mail can help you reach your ideal customers with messaging tailored to their needs and shopping habits.

Inflation Affects Consumer Brand Preference

New research from Reach 3 Insights reveals the significant impact inflation is having on consumer purchases, and it spells a challenge for national brands to retain market share. About 78% of Americans purchase store brand products now, with 61% buying more pantry items and 58% buying more private-label household products.

And 65% of the people say that — minus the packaging and branding—they consider the products to be the same.

Rural Consumers Feel the Impact of Inflation 9% More Than Their Urban Counterparts

  • Grocery, gas, dining out, and home improvement categories are affected the most
  • 45% of rural consumers are driving less
  • 40% are making fewer shopping trips

In response, rural consumers are more likely to shop sales and 21% more likely to use coupons than urban shoppers.

Mspark serves rural communities and small towns across the U.S., a CPG marketing opportunity for brands to connect with consumers who shop at key retail partners.

Because rural consumers have more limited access to broadband, a digital only strategy risks missing consumers in these key, lucrative markets. Place your message with coupons and special and offers in consumers’ hands in their mailbox to maintain your market share.

Below is a snapshot of retailers included in Mspark’s coverage area:

Consumers in Mspark’s Coverage Area Shop at Walmart

Mspark’s reach among Walmart shoppers is unmatched. Almost 67% of shoppers in our coverage area have purchased from Walmart in the last 3 months—and they are 26% more likely than the average consumer to shop there. More importantly, Walmart shoppers respond to ads and coupons in the mailbox 13% more often than they respond to newspaper ads.

Learn more about how Mspark connects CPG brands with rural and smalltown consumers in our case studies. Reach out today to plan your strategy.

Sources: Reach 3 Insights; Prosper Insights & Analytics 2022; The Daily Yonder 2022; AdMall 2022