Getting to Know the Rural America Mindset and Why it’s Important

Rural american man standing in cornfield.

Rural America is more than just a place. It’s bigger than the Midwest and larger than the vast geography between our Nation’s coasts. Rural America is a mindset and a way of life, and it can be anywhere. The mindset of rural America can be puzzling to those unfamiliar with this audience. Having an understanding of what makes the rural American audience tick can help you effectively reach and communicate with this important segment.

What Drives the Rural American Audience?

Two important motivators that shape the mindset of rural America are people and values. Many of the decisions the rural American audience makes boil down to one or both of these two forces.

Rural America People

Rural Americans place a great deal of value on people. In general, they value and respect all people. The phrase “he’d give you the shirt off his back” exemplifies this mindset and notion towards the welfare of others. Rural America is a compassionate audience that cares about people, and will go way above and beyond to help others. They take note when brands do the same and they will loyally support those businesses.

Rural America is especially driven by their people. This includes their families, friends, colleagues, business acquaintances and people they look up to. In other words, people they know, like and trust. This is one reason why Influencer Marketing has become a very successful strategy targeting rural America. There’s no better way to overcome a suspicion of a brand or its intentions than through an endorsement from a trusted third-party.

Rural America Values

In many cases, the rural American audience can be defined by a common set of core values, or principles. These values can be faith-based, belief-based, historical-based, heritage-based, all of the above or none of the above. What’s important is that values are motivators to this audience. The rural American audience likes to do business with companies that share their core values, and will not hesitate to jump ship or sail away from businesses that do not.

The Value of Rural American Audience Market Research

Rural America makes decisions based on what’s important to them. People and values influence what they buy and the companies they do business with. However, rural America is a large, diverse audience and there are many other factors that can go into purchasing decisions. A common pitfall of marketers targeting rural America is that they lump all of this audience into one bucket. Additional audience insight gained through a Strategic Marketing Research Process can be valuable in segmenting your audience so you can target each segment with highly-relevant messaging.

Why Understanding the Rural American Mindset is Important

To be able to effectively reach and communicate with the rural American audience, it’s important to understand what makes them tick, what motivates them and the kinds of things that influence the purchasing decisions they make. People and values are two common, prominent factors that have an impact on what rural America buys and who they buy it from. Other purchasing considerations can be uncovered through a strategic marketing research process. Identifying these motivators and applying the insights you’ve gained as you’re developing your marketing campaigns, messaging and creative will help set you up for success marketing to the rural American audience.