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4 Marketing Ideas for Veterans Day

4 Marketing Ideas for Veterans Day

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
Published: November 1, 2016

There's a lot going on with military veterans in the next few weeks. Veterans Day is on Friday, November 11. Before that, the Small Business Administration is celebrating National Veterans Small Business Week October 31-November 4 with events nationwide to help veterans start and run businesses. Why not honor our nation's veterans with your own veteran-themed marketing efforts? Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Sale. Offer military veterans a free meal, special gift or discount on products and services. If you normally offer military discounts, bump it up a notch for Veterans Day, such as 25 percent instead of 10 percent. You can also hold a Veterans Day sale for the general public and offer additional discounts on top of your sale prices for military veterans.
  2. Sponsor. Is there a Veteran's Day event in your community, such as a parade or an event where city officials will be honoring veterans? Get involved as a sponsor. You can provide money, help out with the event or just have a presence.  For instance, a restaurant could give out free samples in a booth at a veterans’ parade.
  3. Serve. Volunteer to help out veterans and their families. Find national organizations that assist military veterans (see some below) and ask how you can get involved. There may also be local opportunities available—for instance, you might be able to help elderly veterans paint their homes or do yard work, or work with disabled veterans. In addition to getting your employees to volunteer, you can also recruit customers to get in on the act.
  4. Give. Don’t just contribute to a cause that helps veterans and their families—raise even more money by getting your customers involved. For example, you could:    
  • Donate a percentage of all your sales on Veterans Day to a veterans’ charity.
  • Offer to match customers’ donations up to a certain amount.
  • Spotlight a specific product and donate a certain amount when anyone buys it.

Looking for charities to get involved with? Here are a few to consider.

  • AMVETS National Service Foundation, founded in 1948, offers a range of services with a focus on helping veterans get through the red tape of the Veterans Administration to access the services they are entitled to.
  • Homes for Our Troops builds mortgage-free homes specially adapted for the needs of post-9/11 veterans who are severely injured, such as multiple amputees and vets with traumatic brain injuries.
  • Fisher House Foundation provides a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay for free while a loved one receives treatment at a VA hospital.
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for ill, injured or wounded veterans.
  • Wounded Warriors Project helps post-9/11 military veterans who incurred a physical or mental injury or illness in service transition into civilian life.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) provides one-on-one support and advocates for veterans of these wars.

Choose an organization that’s close to your heart, active in your community or meaningful to your customers or staff. There are many more out there; find charities that help veterans at CharityNavigator.org.

While Veterans Day technically focuses on former military members, reaching out to both current and former members of the military will widen your potential customer base. And remember, marketing related to veterans isn’t just for Veterans Day or Memorial Day. Especially if you live in a community with a high percentage of current and former military, marketing to this demographic is a smart move year-round.

About the Author:

Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky

Guest Blogger

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit SmallBizDaily.com to sign up for her free TrendCast reports. She's been covering small business and entrepreneurial issues for more than 30 years, is the author of several books about entrepreneurship and was the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine for over two decades