This blog post was written by Erica Winters, Sr. Research Analyst & Social Media Strategist, and is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: A national retailer recently partnered with RMS to conduct consumer usage research. The client wanted to better understand consumer perceptions, receipt, use, and sales drivers of circular advertising. The market research objective was to provide decision-making insights needed to determine usage, as well as whether circular advertisement preferences vary by market.

Approach: To identify consumer usage and preferences regarding the store’s circular advertisement, the RMS Analytic team developed an online survey consisting of approximately 20 questions. The RMS Analytic team administered the online survey to the in-house research panel, RMS ViewPoint. Only panel members who matched the screening criteria and geography of interest were invited to participate. Fieldwork lasted approximately one week. Following the data collection and analysis period, a comprehensive report was delivered to the client, which included a visual dashboard of the findings, as well as next steps and recommendations.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • Within the PMA, a majority of respondents choose where to shop based on the proximity to their home.
  • Survey respondents indicated that the client was the most preferred retailer among their competitors.
  • When respondents think about the retailer, they think “convenient” and “clean.”
  • Respondents primarily learn about sales through printed circular advertisements, and they look at them weekly.
  • Survey respondents prefer holiday versions of the circular advertisements for Christmas/Hanukkah/Ramadan/Kwanza, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving.
  • Results pinpointed the sections of the advertisement which have the most impact on a respondent’s decision to shop with the retailer.
  • A large majority of respondents would still shop with the retailer if the circular advertisement were no longer offered in print. They would be comfortable reviewing the circular via email, in-store, or on the retailer’s website.
  • Areas of opportunity where the retailer can improve the circular advertisement were identified, informing the next evolution of the circular.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at