Study Identifies 4 Target Segments for Flyer Distribution


By Lisa Orpen

Canadians love their flyers. This isn't new news. In fact, 9 in 10 Canadians check some form of flyer or coupon before they hit the stores. But I think it's easy to assume that everyone who checks those flyers are driven by the same simple desire: to save money. Some new research that our team at Metroland has just completed in collaboration with BrandSpark International shows that it's a bit more complicated than that.  

Sure, saving money is important. But many Canadians consider flyers a source of inspiration as much as they are a source of information. In fact according to our research, 21% of all flyer and coupon users are “Inspired” shoppers who often look through flyers for new products, ideas and information and often read flyers for sheer enjoyment.

Inspired [21%]: “Inspired” shoppers are one of the four unique consumer segments identified in our research.  As with most Canadians, saving money is important is important to this type of shopper, but they are willing to pay more for better quality products that are more suited to their needs. Other segments include:

Engaged [34%]: Engaged shoppers are “shopaholics” – utilizing all sources of information to save money and find the newest products. These are savvy shoppers that are comfortable using both printed flyers as well as the latest technology and apps to get an “edge” while shopping, and have no problem visiting multiple stores and spending extra time to get the best value wherever they can find it.

Deal-Seeking [19%]: Driven by their need to save money, Deal Seekers target stores and products that will help them stay within a predetermined budget – whether the need comes from lower discretionary income, or a desire to be a “smart shopper.” Flyers and coupons are the means by which they find deals and create a shopping list to prevent impulse buying.

Utilitarian [26%]: Utilitarians are shoppers with little time and attention, and who view shopping largely as a task. While deals and saving money are valued, they are secondary priorities to making shopping trips as fast and simple as possible. They use flyers as a tool to build their shopping list as they search for nearby stores that carry the products they need. 

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Our study also revealed that “Engaged” shoppers were more frequent shoppers than any other psychographic segment in the categories studied, except for Home Improvement in which Inspired shoppers came out on top.

This suggests that while flyers and coupons are often targeted to meet the needs of the “Deal- Seeking” shopper, there is a real opportunity for brands and retailers to integrate more inspirational content into their flyer to serve and appeal to the attractive “Engaged” and “Inspired segments. 

On the other hand, brands should also continue to consider how these needs, and the value they can provide, still hinge on the format in which it is offered. Our research revealed that when seeking inspiration, printed flyers are typically at the top of the media hit-list. But when shoppers are looking to compare prices, flyer apps and aggregated sites (such as viewed on mobile devices are often the format of choice.

The key takeaway from these few examples is that it’s not enough to target your customers by medium; instead, brands and CPG retailers should customize the content of their flyers both for the customer they’re targeting, and the format through which they’re receiving it. Leveraging a variety of flyer and coupon formats with content targeted to these different shoppers based on their unique needs - whether they are deal-hunting or seeking inspiration - will set you up for success!     

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To access the full report, A Consumer’s Path to Savings: The Role of Flyers in Today’s Digital World, go to:


Lisa Orpen is Vice President, National & Multi-Market Sales for Metroland Media Group. 

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