With 81 percent of Americans living in urban areas, Saatchi & Saatchi New York spent last summer conducting a survey in 13 states and 30 small towns across the country—from New Hampshire to New Mexico. The goal was to discover more about middle America, from how residents like to shop to what their day-to-day lives are like, reports Adweek, which continued:

““In part we did this study because we saw a lot of mid-country values that were emerging in the market,” Wanda Pogue, Saatchi & Saatchi chief strategy officer, said. “When you have clients like Walmart, understanding rural America is critically important.”

“Over the summer the agency’s research team embarked on a cross-country road trip, speaking to over 1,000 Americans of all ages, incomes and ethnicities along the way. At the end of the journey, the agency pulled together 10 truths that it discovered through these interviews and what marketers and agencies can learn from them.

“One of the first themes the agency found through its research was a “renewed sense of self” among small towns. “We saw this widely through the election. People might assume government and other big institutions can and should provide people with the things they need to progress,” Eve Pollet, trends and innovation strategist, said. “The truth is rural America is more independent.”

“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. 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.”

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