New York, NY – Nov. 15, 2018 – The demographic makeup of the U.S. veteran population is mirroring the increase in diversity in the overall U.S. population, and that population shift is having profound effects on the way veterans make purchases and consume content, according to a new report from Nielsen. While veterans show a preference for traditional forms of media and entertainment, brands and advertisers seeking to reach these informed, active and civically engaged consumers must not overlook emerging digital platforms when designing media plans.
Nielsen released Beyond the Uniform: A Look at Today’s Veterans, it’s first-ever report on the media and purchasing habits of veteran consumers, in collaboration with the the HeroPrenuer National Veteran Business Summit, powered by the HeroZona Foundation in Phoenix, Ariz. Chad Dreas, Nielsen’s SVP, Media Effectiveness and Executive Sponsor of its Support and Employee Resources for Veterans (SERV) Employee Resource Group, presented key insights from the report at the Business Diversity Summit session, hosted by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“The veteran population in the U.S. is small but distinct,” said Dreas. “While there are life experiences inherent to military service that unite veterans and drive behaviors like civic engagement and outdoor activity, the diversity within this community has changed veterans’ shopping habits and made them increasingly reliant on digital media. These are important trends for companies to grasp, because veteran households spend more and make more shopping trips than the average U.S. household; this presents a tremendous opportunity to companies able to reach and engage with veterans.”
The report also analyzes the current state of advertising to veterans and active military members, in addition to examining the purchasing and viewing habits of veteran consumers. Military advertising spend was outpaced by spend in the university recruitment and employment recruitment categories in 2017. However, there is an opportunity for military advertisers to increase digital ad spend (only 10% of total military advertising spend). Doing so could increase the reach of these ads, as nearly one-fifth of veterans report spending between one and two hours per day on social networking platforms.
The report was created by Nielsen’s SERV Employee Resource Group, and released in collaboration with HeroPreneur and the HeroZona Foundation. Learn more about Nielsen’s Employee Resource Groups and Diversity & Inclusion strategy and join the conversation on Facebook (Nielsen Community) and Twitter (@NielsenKnows).