Tag Archives: military discounts

The Common Misconceptions of Military Marketing

This morning at one of my Chamber of Commerce committee meetings, I was tasked with the chance to get up an speak for 5 minutes. While I am used to doing this and talking about my company, this was different (and a little nerve-wracking). I had to speak about how the knowledge I have gained through my business could relate to and help all the other 49 businesses represented at the meeting – without trying to sell my own products.

Of course, I psych myself out whenever humanly possible because the student inside of me still feels like I have to get an “A” (probably something a therapist would have a field day with). I instantly had visions of talking about what I thought would help other businesses and people thinking it was useless information or not applicable, or that maybe I would secretly be selling my own company while thinking I was not.

When all was said and done, I actually got some really positive feedback from my peers. So, I thought I’d psych myself out again and take to the World Wide Web. Here it goes…

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions out there about marketing to the military community. First of all, some people think that they are judged as terrible people if they do not offer a military discount. While the military spouse in me loves racking up the savings, I promise – we are not mad at you if you do not offer one. Honestly, if you just have a little sign on the counter that says something about appreciating the military men and women, that goes a long way. If you are trying to market to the military, “thank you” are two of the most effective words you can utter or print. You may not think much of it, but we really do sincerely appreciate it. And, your business will stick out in our heads.

Second of all, if you do offer a military discount, think of it as a marketing opportunity as much as you think of it as a way to say “thank you”. I’m sure I’m getting some glares thinking this is selfish, but it’s not. It’s just smart marketing. By this, I mean if you are going to actively publish and mention your military discount, whatever you offer should stand out. Think about it: the point of marketing is to make your business stand out from the competition. Now think again: what do you think of when you hear “military discount”? 10%, right?

Now let me note – there is absolutely nothing wrong with 10%. We really, truly appreciate it. However, from a marketing standpoint, do something DIFFERENT! This is absolutely not to say that your discount has to be bigger, because it doesn’t. But if you get a little creative, you can think of a way to word it so that it stands out, even if it equates to the same dollar savings. For example, a restaurant might try a free app, dessert or drink with minimum purchase. Doing the math out, this very well would come out to 10%, but by wording it differently, you just made your business stick out (in a good way).

Third of all, there are subtle ways to gear your marketing toward the military without plastering combat boots, camo, tanks and flags everywhere. Think subtle but attention grabbing, and you’ll get our attention in a very positive way without overdoing it.

Finally, there are a lot of military groups out there that you can work with to bolster the effectiveness of your paid military campaign at no additional cost. Marketing can’t be completely free, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Feel free to comment here – I am happy to help you build your military marketing campaign (I figure this student loan debt should help more than just myself to be worth it :)).

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Coupons Should Save You Money (Not Coax You to Buy Something Because It’s Cheap)

You caught me: I’m the worst kind of complainer. I hate asking people if their business offers a military discount. I know, cue the world’s smallest violin. But seriously – you fellow military spouses know what I’m talking about. We all want the discount, but asking everywhere you shop can eventually make you feel like you’re being cheap or annoying the perfectly nice business owner. And what if they don’t have one? Awkward.

Assuming at least some of you are just like me, you’ve tried to remedy this by taking to your keyboard. And you’ve probably spent a good amount of time searching for the business you needed and then trying to find out which one had a military offer of some sort. In the end, you’ve typically saved a few bucks, but at what cost? Your eyes were all glossed over, your head was foggy, and you just realized you missed out on a solid two hours you could have used pretending you were going to go to the gym. But now there’s a solution: GIsave.com – a coupon-based website dedicated exclusively to showcasing military deals offered by our adoring local businesses.

Now I know, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of these coupon sites out there that are all virtually the same and offer some crazy low prices on things. While I’m all for crazy low prices, most of the coupons are not for places I shop at on a daily basis, or for things I actually need. More often than not, I find myself trying to rationalize why I suddenly need an 8-mode digital pulse massager, just because it showed up in my inbox. And though the ones for restaurants give me a great excuse for a night out, I could really do without the annoyed stares when I inform them of my coupon. Not that I can blame them, because there are way too many people out there that take the discounted price as an excuse to tip lower (please, please, please – don’t do this!), but it’s unfortunate to get caught in the crossfire.

And like I said, when I need to go out into the community I actually live in and get some pet supplies, have my car’s oil changed, get my hair cut or go to the dentist, most of these coupon sites are useless to me. GI Save helps me save money at the places I am already going to, and helps me find businesses I know are reputable when I need something but don’t know of a place to go. And let’s face it, if you are military or part of a military family, you know what it’s like to move. You know what an absolute pain it is to find all the places you need again and how awful it is to waste money at a store or on a service that just wasn’t what it should have been. GI Save gives you an avenue. It helps you find places run by good people, and it saves you money while it does that. And you can very well think I am just embellishing because I work for these people – but guess what? That’s a good thing. It’s because I work for these people that I know exactly who is going out and finding the businesses that are featured. They all have a conscious and want to do the right thing. What’s more, I have watched each one of them not work with a business if they thought they weren’t going to stand by their customers. That says something.

Thankfully, with GI Save, all the businesses are local. That’s why the home page has you pick your base before it shows you deals. Every single one of these companies is happy to have military business. And not one of them thinks that the discount they are offering is too over the top. Why does this matter? Because your experience when you go somewhere with one of these mobile coupons is pleasant. You leave feeling great that you saved some money, but better that you found an awesome place where the owner really appreciates your business. They help you, you help them, and you both help some really good military charities by supporting GI Save.

Coupons are the number one thing military spouses ask for – so here they are. Now all you have to do is get the word out so we can have even more deals and businesses to throw our debit cards at. Thank you, internet.

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