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Veteran Marketing: Veteran Buying Power Is Huge

When holidays are approaching, a marketer’s life gets exponentially bigger. If your marketing team hasn’t already started creating marketing campaigns, don’t fret, there is still plenty of time! It’s important whether you work in B2B or B2C marketing to maximize the time around the holidays when purchasing power and charitable giving are both at their peak. From a business perspective, it’s also the most wonderful time of the year….yes, time to set 2016 budgets.

During this bustling time of commerce, we also celebrate Veterans Day in the United States. Veterans Day is a time to remember the commitment and sacrifice of those heroes that signed up to defend our great nation. This holiday deserves more attention, from citizens and marketers alike. 


“When you live, sleep, and eat with a group of men over a year’s period of time, you develop a bond that is not only professional but personal as well.  These are the same team members you entrust your life to when going on a mission outside the wire.  But the bond my Air Force brothers shared was rather unique and I never experienced this type of closeness.”  – Air Force Sergeant


Honoring Veterans Day without making a giant promotional deal is a way to humanize your brand. In today’s marketplace, humanizing your brand is a requirement, not an option if you want success. A key benefit to humanizing your brand is that it drives action from driving awareness to generating leads. Humanizing your brand also shows your audience that you’re a company that cares. That you have lost the stuffy corporate culture and are willing to show a different side of yourself, one that they want to buy into. It also gives you a chance to talk about something different than the bells and whistles of your product.


In today’s marketplace, humanizing your brand is a requirement, not an option if you want success. Click To Tweet


In HRTechnology especially, it gives us a chance to talk about how recruiters, hiring managers, tech vendors, job boards and HR professionals can start taking down the shameful 15% unemployment rate that vets enjoy in our country. <<<this is sarcasm, that number is very bad. Some great ideasThat said, a modern marketer would be a fool to ignore the purchasing power of this group of Americans.


There are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, according the Census Bureau. These men and women are part of your customer base. “The retail market in the base exchanges alone has 12.3 million patrons and does $19.8 billion in sales annually. In fact, the exchange was recently highlighted as a great post-military career option for veterans and boasts a veteran employment rate of 10%.


Did you know there are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014? #VeteransDay Click To Tweet


You don’t have to market to Veterans differently, but keep in mind that 85% of those who have served or are serving say their service has influenced the decisions that they make in their life.

On Veterans Day, instead of trying to get more cash in the till from Veterans, offer them discounts, freebies or simply remember to thank them for their service. Do you have clients who are military veterans? Focus on finding a way to let them know you appreciate them. Resist the urge to share this with your civilian clients, instead focus on a general Veterans Day messaging framework that shows how YOU can help Veterans. If you’re a recruiting firm, offer resume rewrites. If you’re a coffee shop, give a free cup of joe to that G.I. Joe in uniform. If you’re a marketing firm, write a great blog post 🙂

All the same rules apply for your promotion (to civilians, keep the vet stuff to yourself to avoid #humblebrag status), share it on your website, provide a social media push, keep your messaging consistent on all advertising materials and if it applies to you, print materials to display in your store.

One tip of advice: Don’t just market to Veterans on Veterans Day or Memorial Day. You should have consistent messaging targeting them often. Use a CRM to follow up with them. Underneath it all, they’re people too!

It doesn’t matter what branch of the Military, veterans all share the same camaraderie. They have the most powerful bonds and drive that shapes decisions in their daily lives. Depending on the need, military veterans represent a powerful audience to drive business success. Missing out on marketing to this group of individuals would definitely be a mistake.