Nielsen released its first-ever report on the purchasing and viewing habits of U.S. veteran consumers—Beyond the Uniform: A Look at Today’s Veteran Consumers—in collaboration with the HeroZona Foundation at the HeroPreneur National Veteran Business Summit (NVBS) in Phoenix, Ariz. Chad Dreas, SVP, Media Effectiveness and executive sponsor of our Support and Employee Resources for Veterans (SERV) employee resource group, presented an overview of the report at the Business Diversity Summit, co-hosted by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Beyond the Uniform breaks new ground as the first report in our Diverse Intelligence Series on veteran consumers and shows Nielsen’s ability to tell diverse consumer stories of all kinds. The report peels back the layers of U.S. veteran consumers’ lives and behaviors to provide actionable insights for marketers seeking to reach this informed, active and civically engaged consumer group. For instance, veterans show a preference for traditional media platforms, and are more likely to listen to the radio, read newspapers and watch television than the U.S. total population. Military recruitment advertising has followed a similar pattern: 84% of the ad spend in this category in 2017 came on these platforms. However, we also find that nearly one-fifth of veterans report spending at least one hour per day on social networking sites. Veterans are becoming more digitally savvy along with the total population, and brands and advertisers seeking to reach these consumers must not overlook emerging digital platforms when designing their outreach strategies.
“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 them,” said Dreas. “Our report explores the life experiences inherent to military service that unite veterans and drive behaviors like civic engagement and outdoor activity.These are important trends for companies to grasp, as they design their marketing plans and products to better reach these consumers.”
The NVBS is primarily designed to create business opportunities for veteran-owned businesses. Jim Corbett, SVP and Chief Procurement Officer for Nielsen, also attended the conference and met with many veteran entrepreneurs and business owners at the business fair, which kicked off the summit. Interactions like these with diverse business owners are valuable for our corporate supplier diversity program, which infuses diversity and inclusion into our supply chain, which is a key goal of our overall diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy.
The report, and our overall presence at the Heropreneur NVBS was orchestrated by our dedicated associates and leaders in SERV. These associates—and their families—have made tremendous sacrifices in service to a purpose greater than themselves. This first-ever report on the veteran community is a tribute to their leadership and service to our company and to society as a whole.
“Aside from being a vehicle for Nielsen to inform clients and engage diverse consumers, Beyond the Uniform is an example of corporate inclusion at work for the business,” said Andrew McCaskill, SVP Multicultural Marketing at Nielsen. “Our veterans business resource group saw a commercial opportunity for us to help clients see that veteran consumers have unique needs and behaviors and that insightful engagement is a pathway to growth. It’s a perfect example of inclusion as the author of innovation.”
Pictured above: Chad Dreas presenting key insights from Beyond the Uniform: A Look at Today’s Veteran Consumers at the HeroPreneur NVBS Business Diversity Summit.