case studies

Army drivers and barriers

Industry: Military
Market: US, national scale
Demographics: African American

The quest: The AMRG team at the US Army, in conjunction with their Ad Agency, McCann, sought to elevate the effectiveness of their marketing recruitment efforts.


The need: To gain greater clarity and validation (on a national scale) of the African American drivers and barriers for joining the Army among prospects (potential recruits) and their influencers, established in previous qualitative research triads. 


The solution: ThinkNow designed a study to validate and quantify the learnings from the qualitative phase and to test messaging, motivators and barriers.


  • This study consisted of a nationwide online survey among 300 African American Prospects ages 16 to 24, and 300 Influencers which were made up of parents and older siblings of potential recruits.


  • Principal Components Analysis (a type of factor analysis) was employed to distinguish how Prospects and Influencers responded differently to motivators, barriers and messages. 


  • The study also researched perceptions of the different military branches, their likelihood to join, and preferred methods or channels for engaging with these branches.


  • ThinkNow identified the messages that were most likely to resonate with African American Prospects and their Influencers.


  • The insights garnered were leveraged to drive more balanced P2P (production to population) performance within the African American consumer market, as well as impact recruitment marketing efforts through informing recruitment strategies, tactics and outreach.