3 Tips for Marketing to Our Veterans

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For those who have served our country, there is a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. They make it their mission and goal to make sure that we can keep living the life we are accustomed to because they value the principles of freedom and the American way. Because of this, they are offered discounts and benefits throughout the country. At local corner stores, they might get 10 percent off every purchase. Some local diners might even let veterans eat for free.

The truth is, whatever we can offer them is never enough. However, we can make sure to market to veterans so that they know how much they are appreciated. In a way, it’s our responsibility to provide at least a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices that they have made to protect our freedoms and our way of life.

The thing is, when you are marketing to veterans, you want to make sure that your campaign comes off as sincere. You want to make sure that the appreciation that you feel for their service comes through in a way that doesn’t seem gimmicky. How do you do this while still running a successful marketing campaign for your business? Read on below to find out.

Understanding PCS

Being in the military means that there’s a very good chance that you are going to be moving around a lot. There are implications with this type of lifestyle.

Buying a house and getting your family situated is different for those who serve in the military than for those who don’t. There is one specific acronym that comes to mind when thinking about the difference in lifestyle that these people face: PCS.

Those in the military know PCS as a “permanent change of station.” This is typical for military families and is rarely permanent. The life of being in the military is one of change, and one of unexpected change. Sometimes you see the move coming, and sometimes you don’t. Moving is already one of the most stressful things you can go through, and it’s even more stressful when it happens often and you have a family. Because of that, real estate agents hold special importance in these people’s lives.

For someone who is working in real estate, that PCS acronym stands for “Post Closing Services.” That entails quite a few things. Included in post-closing services are document checks, credit evaluations, tax and insurance reviews, and the overall evaluation of the deal. This is something that any new homeowner can greatly benefit from, but something that a veteran can benefit from even more so. Seeing as they are likely to move more than the average person, and with the process already being tiring and cumbersome, a PCS real estate agent is a huge benefit and sigh of relief to the people who are serving in our armed forces.

1. Make Your Offers Exclusive

This might seem like common wisdom, but you would be surprised by how many people get this wrong. If you are offering a Veterans Day sale, wouldn’t it make sense for the offer to just be for veterans? The answer is yes.

Somehow, so many businesses miss the point of this and will run a Veterans Day sale that will give all their customers some percentage off of their merchandise throughout the day. How do you think that makes the veterans feel?

Instead, if you are going to run a special that is specifically meant to show appreciation to our people in uniform, make the special specific to them. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are. Folks in the military come back and live all sorts of lives. Some of them find comfort in gardening. So, if you are a nursery, offer a 20% sale on Veterans Day, but just for the veterans.

By offering a discount on a day meant to celebrate our people in uniform that is for everyone, you are alienating exactly the people you are trying to praise.

Side note:If you really want to honor the people who have served, why not have an existing deal that doesn’t depend on the day? There are companies that do this. For example, some restaurants will give veterans or active members of the military 20% anytime they come in. This is beneficial for both you and them because they are incentivized to shop at your business, and you have a loyal customer for life.

2. Consider All Who Have Served

Some places offer deals for active members of the military, but we need to remember the sacrifice that everyone who has served has made. If you are only offering discounts for active members of duty, you might want to rethink your strategy.

Anyone who has served this country has given something up so that we can have the freedoms we take for granted every day. That sacrifice extends to people who are out of the military as well.

There are different levels of what certain people have gone through, but as anyone would tell you in the military, once you’re in, you’re in for life. Imagine how a Vietnam vet would feel missing out on a deal simply because they weren’t active anymore.

3. Tone It Down

If you are going to run an ad campaign targeted specifically at veterans or active members of the military, make sure that the focus is on them, and not on your brand. Being disingenuous is fairly easy to sniff out, and it could even be offensive to those who have done so much for us. If you are thinking about running an ad campaign specifically for members of our armed services, or those who served before them, and have your logo plastered everywhere, it’s not going to go over well.

Your offer should be one of gratitude. As much as people can see a money grab from a mile away, they can also see sincerity. Have your campaign focus on what you appreciate about the military and less on what your deal can do for them.

The trick to all of this is thoughtfulness and sincerity. Yes, running a special can be great for you and your business, and can net you some loyal customers. But, unless it is done out of the goodness of your heart, it is likely not going to work. Our proud service members deserve better.

About the author


Tonya Towles

Tonya Towles is Expansion Network Owner at PCS Pro. PCS Pro is comprised of military spouses and veterans who are passionate about helping fellow military families and service members find their next home.