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How to Market to People Not Like You: "Know It or Blow It" Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers by KELLY McDONALD

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Chapter 18. Military versus Civilian

I can hardly think of two more different worlds than the military and civilian worlds. Everything is different: the manner in which people dress, the codes of conduct, the pressures and demands of day-to-day life, the pressure on family life—everything! Even the police and court systems are different. And the language: commissary instead of supermarket, and so on. In marketing to people not like you, the military market should not be overlooked if you have products or services that may fill a need or help ease some of the stress and pressures that military personnel and their loved ones face.

If you want to tap into the military market, there are some things you should know and consider to ensure that your efforts will be successful.

First, while all militaries around the world are different, they share some common traits, including a profile of active duty service members that looks something like this:

  • Young, primarily between the ages of 18 and 34

  • 85 percent male

  • Technologically advanced, 95 percent are Internet enabled

  • Physically fit

In the United States, about half of the active service members are married, and about half of the married couples have children. Military personnel make extremely attractive target customers for many businesses because they are 100 percent employed. Furthermore, enlisted men and women earn 40 percent more than the average high school graduate. This is due, in large part, to the fact that they receive base pay as well ...

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