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The military community is comprised of nearly 30 million consumers with a purchasing power of over $1 trillion annually. This includes active duty, reservists, the National Guard, retirees, military employees, and veterans, plus their spouses and other dependents. With so many deserving consumers in this group, it’s no surprise that many companies try to give exclusive offers to the military community, however, many don’t know how to create a success military discount program that provides value to these special customers. Working closely with hundreds of clients, we’ve pulled together the 5 proven ways you can create a successful military discount program:Be genuine - Unfortunately, there are many not-so-honest companies out there trying to take advantage of the military community, and most military members see right through it. Before you launch a military discount, take a look at your company culture. Recognize your employees who have served and get them involved with the campaign. They will be able to give your insight into the military community and a better understanding to create a military-friendly message that is genuine. Word of mouth - Although marketers have a love/hate relationship with word-of-mouth, there is no way of getting around this powerful tool within the military community. The military community is a tight knit group that trust each other’s opinion. In fact, 76% of the military community say they learn about military discounts from word of mouth - just another reason to create a genuine experience for your military customers from the get-go. It’s important to pay special attention to what is being said about your military discounts so you can make changes based on feedback.

Recently, the National Retail Federation found that consumer spending was likely to surge as much as 10% above the $83.6 billion spent last year on back to school purchases. With such large potential revenue at stake, retailers were faced with the challenge of ensuring that their mobile, web, tablet, and social media experience was on per since millennials mobile shopping habits have a large influence on their shopping behavior. Simultaneously, they also needed to provide a personalized experience for the customers shopping at brick and mortar stores.While back to school provides a big opportunity for retailers to reach millennials, they need to be focused on reaching this market all year long. Here are three ways your company can start connecting with the millennial market today:

For the past four years, SheerID and Agile Education Marketing have teamed up to conduct a survey to better understand the spending habits and loyalty drivers of America’s K-12 teachers. With such interesting results, we’re back at it again this year with great new insights from 674 respondents. Here’s what we found:While some states do offer funding for teacher’s classrooms and the materials needed, due to budget cuts, the amount received is nowhere near the amount needed to create a learning space with the most basic of necessities.This year’s survey found that during the 2016-2017 school year, teachers spent an average $468 of their own money on their classrooms.We also found that:
  • Teachers spend 10.8% of their personal paychecks on classroom expenses such as supplies and instructional materials
  • Individual teachers reported spending as much as $5,000 last year to get their classroom ready - this is up $1,000 from last year
  • 36% of teachers shop every few months, while 28% shop every single month
  • Office depot, Lakeshore, Staples, and Amazon were the most popular retailers to shop with specifically because of their teacher discount

Although it feels like summer just started, it’s already time to start thinking about all the back to school shopping - and we’re already getting excited to see the results of this year. With a more stable economy, many families are feeling more confident about their finances, have stronger employment, and have seen an increase in wages. Due to this, it is predicted that we will see some of the highest back to school spending since 2012.  Recently the NRF conducted their annual Back to School survey, and as always we’re fascinated by the results. Here’s an overview of what they found:K-12 Spending:
  • Total spending is projected to reach $83.6 billion - more than a 10% increase from last year’s $75.8 billion
  • Families with children plan to spend an average of $687.72, for a total of $29.5 billion which is an 8% increase from last year’s $27.3 billion
  • $10.2 billion will be spent on clothing
  • $8.8 billion will be spent on electronics
  • $5.6 billion will be spent on shoes
  • $4.9 billion will be spent on school supplies
  • 45% said they would buy a laptop computer, while 35% said they would buy a tablet

It’s no secret that the millennial generation, especially current college students, are on the lookout for a good deal. In fact, according to a recent report by CouponFollow, 80% of millennials say that finding the best deals will impact their online shopping decisions. Since millennials hold a massive purchasing power, this target market is one that should not be overlooked by retailers. Here is a closer look at the purchasing decisions of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 20-35 and what their shopping habits mean for retailers, both online and offline:
  • When shopping online, 69% of millennials search for coupon codes and the majority of millennials will spend at least 3 minutes searching for coupon codes
  • 56% of millennials follow brands on social media to gain early access to deals and savings
  • 60% of millennials search for coupon codes before shopping - younger consumers are feeling the challenges of adulthood and are actively looking for ways to preserve resources
  • 79% of millennials say that finding the best deals will impact their purchasing decision when shopping online
  • The future of retail requires a hybrid approach - in order to make a tangible impact, retailers must bridge the gap between online and offline experience
Even though retailers know millennials want access to discounts, they don’t know how to properly offer the discounts or engage with them. Here’s 3 of our favorite ways for retailers to target the millennial market:                                    

As an affiliate marketer, you’re incredibly familiar with the importance of customer acquisition, and how effective affiliate programs can be to get new customers in the door. In fact, a study from the National Retail Federation found that 38% of marketers call affiliate marketing one of the top customer acquisition methods. However, equally important to the overall growth of your business is also the other side of that coin: customer retention and conversion. While AM Navigator reported that in most affiliate programs, less than 10% of affiliates drive 90% of traffic and conversions, many affiliate marketers may find that generating loyalty through affiliate programs can be a major challenge. Since acquiring customers is done solely through your publisher, you can’t connect and personalize those customer’s experience, right? Wrong.Affiliate programs have a unique opportunity that’s often overlooked by the people who run them: The ability to increase customer loyalty, personalization, and conversions through exclusive offers for specific customer segments like students, teachers, and the military. And with simple yet secure verification solutions, like SheerID’s, you can get even more out of these offers than you thought possible.