Monday, February 13, 2017

N.Y. advertising agency visits small towns to uncover values held dearest by rural America

Last summer New York-based Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Agency interviewed more than 1,000 people in 30 rural towns in 13 states to find out what values rural Americans hold most closely, Katie Richards reports for Adweek. They found that rural Americans believe they are more independent than those in other areas, that they prefer handmade goods to machine-made goods and believe strongly in having a great sense of pride in where they live, which includes supporting local businesses and industries. The agency did not visit any towns in the South, which is the nation's most rural region.

"Sixty-four percent of those surveyed agreed they need to put themselves first, while 96 percent believe having the right tools to be self-sufficient is key in today’s marketplace," Richards writes. "Based on those findings the agency suggests that marketers who 'enable independence and give them the keys' will be the ones to build trust with these consumers."
The agency also found that while 86 percent of rural respondents prefer handmade goods, "many people believe that with the rise of machines, no one needs anything handmade," Ricards writes. Also, "96 percent feel that small-town innovation deserves more recognition, while 87 percent said they would rather support a small, local brand than a tech giant or conglomerate" and 95 percent said "having a sense of pride in where they currently live, not just their country of origin, is important," Richards writes.

Eve Pollet, trends and innovation strategist for Saatchi & Saatchi, told Richards, “The marketer takeaway here can be to celebrate these small town origins through an event or product and celebrate this pride of place, maybe even showcase a quirky local tradition that can give brands a unique advantage and give consumers something tangible to be prideful of and to display their pride. There are many ways again that brands can do that."

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