The U.S. Army has long used traditional media to reach potential recruits—young men and women ages 17 to 24. That target demographic, however, is no longer glued to the television set or radio.
“The TV’s on, they are IMing, they’re texting, they’re downloading with the iPod in one ear while listening to TV with the other, the laptop’s in their lap,” says Bruce Jasurda, chief marketing officer of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, which handles marketing and recruitment.
Because its target market is so adept at media and multitasking, the Army was finding it difficult to grab the attention of prospects through traditional advertising—that is, through TV, print, and radio. Bruce believed that if he could persuade young men and women to join in conversations about the Army, in a way that encouraged them to reach out and ask questions, they would become engaged and therefore be more likely to visit an Army recruiter.
The Army had a website, GoArmy.com, that offered updated content. “But that isn’t a dialogue,” says Bruce. “When you’re in a dialogue, you’re more engaged. You’re asking specific and individual questions. We wanted to create a dialogue totally dedicated to conversations about the Army.”
So in 2008, Bruce and his team decided to create a website called Army Strong Stories (www.armystrongstories.com), with the purpose of inviting such dialogue.
Army Strong Stories allows anyone—whether affiliated ...