Rural Consumers = Purchasing Power

Large employers in growing fields like automotive technologies, healthcare and chip manufacturing have built new facilities and created thousands of well-paying, new jobs in rural markets across the country.  

Affordable housing, lower lease rates, labor accessibility, and improving school proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math have made these smaller markets more attractive to prime-age workers looking to escape high-cost urban locales to buy homes, start families and fulfill “work to live” dreams. 

Many companies are strategically targeting these less-crowded marketplaces to launch new brands and build their acquisition and loyalty programs, where unique value and distinguishability is easier to achieve. 

How Core Values Impact
Rural Consumers’ Buying Behavior


Brands that use identical channels and messaging tactics for both rural and urban consumers may be unintentionally distancing themselves from consideration.

To be effective in rural markets, it is important to understand distinct differences in consumer values and how this impacts their shopping and purchasing behaviors. Community and family are two of the core values that influence rural Americans’ buying behavior.  

The Opportunity to Grow Your Market Share in Rural America

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41% of Rural Consumers Said They Are More Likely to Buy Products and Services that Speak to Their Core Values

  • 79% of Rural Americans say family is a very important influence on their purchasing decisions.
  • 62% of rural women rely on family input before buying.
  • 49% of women and 41% of men in rural America say community is a very important influence on their purchasing decisons.

Differences in
Rural Shopping Patterns  

It is important to understand rural consumer shopping patterns to plan an advertising strategy that engages them effectively. Rural consumers are more likely to reduce driving and shopping trips to save on gasoline and to plan their shopping and purchases ahead of time. The planned bundling of shopping trips increases the need for longer value and deal shelf life, which affects the message and the choice of media. 

Did you know? 

  • In response to rising prices, especially fluctuating gas prices, rural consumers are more likely to shop sales and 21% more likely to use more coupons than urban consumers. 2 
  • Nearly 50% of Rural Consumers surveyed said they shop online for lower prices, and nearly 40% shop online to find better deals. 2

Rural Consumers Respond to Media Differently

Rural Consumers respond to advertising across a variety of channels, with print and digital combined generating the greatest response. A healthy media mix leverages as many of the most relevant media as the budget can support; no single media channel can do the job alone.  

Rural Consumers respond to print, but not just any print. The top three most influential types of print media are coupons, direct mail, and advertising inserts.2 

Rural Consumer Media Response by Channel

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Source: Prosper Insights & Analytics 

Channels supported by Mspark* 

Mspark Delivers Value to the Rural Consumers Most Likely to Become
Your Best Customers

If this audience is important to your business, we can help you reach them. Mspark specializes in driving brand growth and customer engagement strategies for national and local advertisers in these important markets. 

Reach Rural Consumers  

Sources: New Heartland Group/TSW Rural1, Prosper Insights & Analytics2