Your Campaign Checklist for Marketing to the Military this Veterans Day

Posted on Oct 5, 2020 · 4 min read

The guns fell silent at 11am on November 11, 1918. After four long years, the Great War was over. Veterans Day celebrates the end of this conflict and is also a time to honor those who served—and still serve—in the US Armed Forces. Recognizing the military on this special day with an offer just for them is a worthy endeavor and also good for your business. 

Here’s why: 85% of the military strongly identify with being part of the military community. So when you market to members of the military in a way that honors their service, they notice and appreciate it. Two-thirds of the military say they feel valued and supported when a brand gives them a personalized offer.

In a recent blog post, we offered insight to guide your campaign: Start with a personalized offer thanking the military for their service. Then, nurture a lifelong relationship by providing broader support, such as helping veterans with their careers or education. And Refuel Agency shared how to develop engaging messaging with advice on avoiding stereotypes, using appropriate images in your campaign, and advertising on-base. 

Now you’re ready to build your campaign. To help you get started, here are some tips from our checklist for marketing to the military.

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Engage the Entire Military Community

The military is a valuable and sizable audience—37 million strong with $1.2 trillion in spending power. It’s also a diverse community that includes active duty, retirees, reservists, and National Guard, veterans, dependents, and spouses. 

Many service members are young: 46% of active-duty soldiers are 24 years of age or younger. There are also a growing number of women and minorities. The latest available report from the Secretary of Defense indicates that in 2017, females made up 18% of AC-commissioned officers—a number that’s been rising for eight consecutive years. And according to the Pew Research Center, 43% of active duty military were racial and ethnic minorities.

Each of these groups has money to spend—the average household incomes of post-9/11 veterans is $88,038 a year. Many of the family shoppers are military spouses, who alone spend $51 billion. 

Marketing to the entire demographic range and lifestyle of the military community offers tremendous marketing opportunities to brands that serve every audience.

Create a Thoughtful Offer

As you develop your messaging, make sure you express genuine appreciation for the military, focusing on their service and dedication. These types of offers have great appeal to members of the military:

  • Discounts: Use a more generous version of your evergreen offer available to all customers. Mattress brand Purple thanks its military customers with a 10% evergreen discount, an offer that increased conversions by 6x and generated a 25:1 ROAS. Arts-and-crafts giant Michaels shows gratitude with a 15% military discount that’s stackable on top of other offers. 
  • VIP experiences: Fifty-seven percent of military members would prefer a loyalty program that offered VIP experiences. So, give your buyers the first look at a new line of products, or invite rewards members to an exclusive meet-and-greet with influencers in your industry. Even a priority checkout line in-store will earn major loyalty points.
  • Free gifts: A free gift with purchase could be something related to your industry or product, like a demo or an educational experience. In addition, you could offer exclusive access to a sister company’s service. Comcast launched an irresistible student offer that includes access to HBO and Amazon Music.
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Get the Most from All Your Channels

Choose the channels that complement your brand, such as email, your website, and social media. A few tips to guide you:

  • Website: Create a dedicated landing page for your offer that is optimized for SEO. If you are running multiple offers (to different consumer tribes like teachers and first responders), be sure to create separate pages for each offer.
  • Email: Market to your entire database, showcasing your military offer. This creates goodwill and helps uncover military spouses, veterans, and service members who are already in your database.
  • Press and media: Have your PR team write a press release of your offer — including offer details, why your company is honoring this segment, and any relevant holidays like Veterans Day — and pitch it to news outlets prior to launch.

Facilitate Word of Mouth

The military community is deeply connected. Nine in 10 members of the military said they’ve used a military discount, and 96% would share your offer with others in their community. Encourage customers to spread the word through their social media channels and email. A referral program can inspire customers to spread the word further. 

The military is a lucrative market and a good fit for many brands. Tap into the spending power of this high-value consumer tribe with a personalized Veterans Day offer. Our campaign template is chock full of tips big and small to help you reach more of the military this November. Check it out!

Learn More: Download our Military Campaign Template

Bill Schneider by Bill Schneider