Active Duty Military Are Active Consumers

Another market capsulated. Alloy Media + Marketing has completed a national study of military consumers (The Alloy Military Explorer),  addressing media and spending behaviors of U.S based active duty military consumers. This consumer market of active duty military households numbers 3.3 million active duty personnel, their spouses and children. Overall, they represent $71 billion in consumer spending power, with a significant slice allotted for discretionary spending. 

 80% of active duty personnel are under 35, over one million young and active consumers and a significant segment of the highly desirable 18-34 consumer group.  And they're growing in size, with an average of 185,000 new entrants annually. 37% active duty personnel are of non-white ethnicity or race. 15% of active duty personnel are now female.

The 1.4 million members that make up active duty personnel are 100% employed and not at risk of being laid off, downsized or reengineered. They will receive a guaranteed 3.4% raise in January 2010, more than many private sector employees.

This large population is dedicated and satisfied with military life, highly connected, and savvy when it comes to their shopping habits and media usage. Military life shows personnel and households highly engaged with mass media and active consumers of entertainment, equal to the general market.

 Almost all active duty households are active users of the internet and MP3 devices. 84% own a laptop and an MP3 player:

  • 93% watch network television
  • 85% listen to the radio
  • 74% engage with their military base newspaper regularly
  • 75% are reading local civilian newspapers.  

 Auto parts or maintenance rank highest in military household purchases in the last 12 months at 76%, while home furnishing purchases follow at 62%, and toy purchases at 59%.  Home improvement supplies and major appliances round out the list.

  • 56% of military consumers say they don't mind paying more for high quality
  • 47% report shopping in several stores to determine the best prices
  • 82% state frequent use of coupons, with food, retail, restaurant and household products topping the list of categories.

Military personnel and their spouses appear to be web-savvy shoppers and show high usage of the internet to research products, says the report. 68% of these consumers are using the internet a lot when deciding where to shop or what to buy, with that same number choosing to purchase products online: 

  • 90% are browsing the web for sale offers once a month or more 
  • 86% will check pricing before buying locally
  • 83% comparison shop online
  • 91% use search engines to find product information
  • 84% visit store websites
  • 73% are visiting online-only stores
  • 56% say they visit discount sites and auction sites

 Active duty personnel and their families have committed their lives to serving the nation, and they also demonstrate a solid commitment to serving their military communities. According to the study, 64% of military households have volunteered for a military cause or for another outside organization, while 77% reported donating money to a cause.       

 Greg Anthony, Senior VP for Alloy Media + Marketing, concludes that "... this military study sheds light on the market significance of this... dynamic group... they are engaged with their communities and dedicated to family life... They (are) savvy... consumers who are willing to spend... the findings offer a revealing look into the daily habits of this diverse and growing population... "

 N.B. For active duty and the total military population, sampling error is +/-4 percent. Sampling error for the spouse sample is +/-9 percent.

For more about Alloy Marketing and follow up information, please visit here. To view the PDF file of the study, please go here.



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