Regional Australia is feeling happier generally and more positive about life than city dwellers, despite the cost of living crisis, and are ready to spend on big-ticket items such as travel, presenting prime opportunities for brands to reach regional Australians.
The new Mood Monitor research report, commissioned by Boomtown, tracks the similarities and differences between metro and regional Australians when it comes to sentiment and spending.
Saving for a holiday has surged from 20 per cent to 31 per cent in one year, while retirement is also a key focus for savings, up from just 4 per cent to 31 per cent over the same period.
According to the latest data, Boomtown remains resilient and upbeat, despite rising cost-of-living pressures. The majority reported feeling more positive than negative with 52 per cent saying that they felt financially stable, content, and happy. Regional Australians are still in the mood to spend.
Housing affordability and the availability of affordable fuel and energy were top-of-mind for Boomtown, along with inflation, the report found. Boomtowners are also still spending and saving, with 68 per cent planning to invest in travel in the coming months. Additionally, one in three people in the regions said they were looking to reassess their banking or finances, and two in five said they were keen to change their insurance provider. A quarter (23 per cent) plan to sign up to telecommunications and streaming services in the next six months.
The report also revealed that almost half (45 per cent) of Boomtown are actively saving for something, with 23 per cent saying they were ready to pull the purchase trigger in the next six months.
The data comes as figures from the Regional Movers Index (RMI) showed the thirst for a tree or sea change showed no signs of waning in recent months, as city dwellers continue to flock to regional Australia. The desire to relocate regionally has pushed the RMI to its third-highest level since 2018, placing it slightly above the average reported during the height of the pandemic, and 17.4 per cent above pre-COVID levels.
Boomtown chairman, Brian Gallagher, said the data showed that Boomtown was primed for advertising investment from businesses keen to capitalise on the new insights.
“Brands that can act on the sentiment of regional consumers will be better prepared to meet consumer challenges and embrace the opportunities that exist right now,” he said.
“The data shows that regional Australians are cautiously optimistic. Like metro Australians, they’re frustrated and worried about housing affordability and cost of living, but they’re also happy with what they have.
“Additionally, they’re still keen to spend and they’re looking to invest in things that make them smile, like travel, exercise, good food and streaming services. These are consumers who are open to offers that present great value and are willing to shop around for the best deals.
“For brands, the opportunities are there to reach 9.6 million potential customers, but the key is to embrace and respond to the data. Find a way to provide happiness to regional Australians during the tough times, but also look at responding to their concerns. Electric car brands and solar/electricity providers have a chance to address worries about fuel and electricity affordability, while insurance, banks and financial institutions have a ready-made market of people looking to refinance and reprioritise their savings.
“There’s never been a better time for brands to invest in Boomtown and make regional Australia a priority in their 2024 marketing budgets.”
The Boomtown Mood Monitor has provided a picture of those living in regional Australia from 2019 onwards. This year, the Mood Monitor surveyed 1,455 people across the five capital cities and 687 people aged between 18 and 64 across regional Australia.
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