Learning how to market your business to a targeted segment of consumers is one part of a company's selling process. The business that sells their solution to everyone typically is not as successful as those companies that set a specific set of people to target. This is because consumers want to know that the solution you are selling is specifically what they need.
There are over 20 million military veterans in the U.S., according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. Veterans share a common bond forged under one of the most challenging circumstances unlike any other in American society. The experience they gained in the military often drives decisions they now make in their daily lives. As a result, companies can directly target those these specific needs. However, research needs to be done first.
Should You Market Your Business to Veterans?
To answer that question, you can start by determining if your solution solves a pain that veterans have. Here are some of their biggest needs:
1. Health Solutions
As a result of their extreme experiences, many veterans have an urgent requirement for specific physical and psychological (PTSD) services and associated products.
2. Financial Solutions
Some veterans may also need help with mortgages, financial loans or other assistance to get back on track when they return.
3. Career Guidance
Some vets may need help on what job to pursue next either because they've been away from their professional career for a long time or their military service has changed their perspective.
4. Legal Assistance
Many veterans face challenges integrating back into civilian society and sometimes specific legal issues arise.
5. Business Consulting
After their service, some veterans may decide to start their own company. But if they don't have entrepreneurial experience, they may need help on how to begin.
Marketing Your Business to Veterans (and Their Families)
If your company has a targeted solution, then you may want to talk directly to veterans in a way they can understand and relate.
Be direct. Using empathetic communication can help when targeting veterans. It helps show you understand the special issues veterans may face and the sacrifices they made.
Communication can vary based on the type of military service (reserve or combat) and their branch of the military.
Feature successful customers who are also veterans. By showing that veterans have been successful with your product, they may be more likely to trust the company when you market your business to solve their issues. Companies can also hire veterans and feature them in company advertisements to help attract customers like them.
Use patriotic advertisements. You can market your business by using images that support the United States, such as the American flag or red, white and blue colors. At the same time, remember that veterans can get turned off by communications that obviously solicit them with inauthentic messages that don't match the company brand.
Offer military affinity programs. This could be an ongoing small discount for verified veterans or preferential treatment. For example, American Airlines allows active military personnel to board planes early with first-class customers. Businesses can also offer special promotions only on Veteran's or Memorial Day.
Make donations. Companies can market their business to vets and their families by running promotions that donate money to veteran charities when their consumer takes an action.
If you want to market your business to the very large veteran audience, first determine if your solution solves a urgent need for them. Then, think about assembling a specific strategy to target them on an ongoing basis that becomes part of your company's brand.
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