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Tapping into regional spending power


  • Regional readers are frequent shoppers.
  • One in three regional newspaper readers earns $80,000 or more per annum

Don’t miss regional shoppers

Advertising campaigns that target five-metro media potentially miss revenue growth from regional consumers.

Australia is an urbanised nation so targeting the cities is time-efficient and relatively straightforward in terms of booking print, TV and radio.

However, such a strategy ignores 44 per cent of the population who live outside the city limits.

Businesses looking to target specific regional consumer segments will find the numbers stack up.

A wealthy group

Employment and income levels are strongly aligned to the national average with four in ten regional Australians in full time employment.

Regional Queensland, Western Australian and all of the Northern Territory boast strong average household incomes compared with the national average.

Comparable household income figures, coupled with a cheaper cost of living, make regional households a lucrative proposition for advertisers.

Target high income earners with regional newspapers

Reaching affluent consumers can prove challenging for media planners and strategists. Figures indicate wealthy regional shoppers read their local paper.

Readers earn more than non-readers.

One in three regional newspaper readers earns $80,000 or more per annum, and one in five earns over $120,000.


A regional ad campaign can get help advertisers get into the minds of the wealthiest shoppers.

Home is where the heart is

Regional Australians make similar lifestyle choices and enjoy comparative levels of income. Additionally, they are 25 per cent more likely to own their own home outright1, which is a significant erosion of disposable incomes in cities.

Given that home ownership is more likely than in the city, regional Australians tend to spend more at DIY and furniture stores and with electrical retailers, homewares and garden suppliers.

Regional Australians are2;

  • 12% more likely to renovate
  • 11% more likely to garden
  • 11% more likely to visit a hardware store

All in the family

Families are the key consumer segment for many big companies, particularly in the FMCG and retail sectors. A higher proportion of regional Australians have children aged under 12 than city families (29% vs 26%) 3. Any advertiser that relies on young families as a major part of its customer base cannot afford to ignore regional Australia.

According to emma data, one in three so-called “Big Consumer Spenders”* lives in regional Australia. The accompanying table shows the number of regional consumers who are in the top 20 per cent of spenders in each category on a national basis4.

Seriously local shoppers

Some nine in ten readers try to support local businesses, big and small, where possible.

For example, 82 per cent of readers recently bought groceries from their local supermarket while 77 per cent have recently used a local healthcare service such as a pharmacy and or physio.

Regional readers are also likely to buy big ticket items locally. One in two (55%) bought their car from a local dealership and 54 per cent used their local real estate agent the last time they moved house.


The desire to shop locally isn’t unique to regional shoppers, but it’s far more important to them than is it to those in the city.

Advertisers with businesses or stores in regional areas will find readers are active consumers, spending their cash on a range of products and services close to home.

One size doesn’t fit all

The challenge facing any brand is creating the message and media mix that reaches and resonates with regional and rural markets. Many media agency buyers invest in Five-Metro Media with the expectation that they have also squared away potential regional customers. Nothing could be further from the truth, according to emma data. A high proportion of regional consumers are either non- or light-consumers of mainstream media5. Some don’t even live their lives on the Internet!

National campaigns that focus only on metro media will not necessarily hit their regional target, and thus fail to support the retailers and franchisees who run business in towns and regional centres.

That’s why an increasing number of media agencies are investing in local area marketing to increase their clients’ campaign penetration figures.

1,2,3,4,5. Source, emma Database, November 2015

Read Part 1 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here
Read Part 2 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here.
Read Part 3 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here.
Read Part 4 of Think Local: Regional News Media report here

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