ORLANDO—Although the U.S. Navy isn’t your typical consumer brand, it’s in the lead generation business nonetheless. And because its target audience consists mainly of the Centennial Generation, 70% of its media is spent in the digital realm.

That age cohort, consisting of those born between roughly 1995 and 2008, has been the subject of focus groups, the results of which have formed the Navy’s most recent content for its Forged by the Sea campaign, says Capt. Matt Boren, CMO, Navy Recruiting Command.

“Most of them have something unique that drew them to the Navy, and we define those as rewards of the Navy,” Capt. Boren explains in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing conference.

Some prospects are drawn to meaningful venture or creative innovation, while a third group is “traditionalist” in nature by virtue of having family members in the military. The last group respond to ads or displays of strength, according to Capt. Boren.

“All three of those pillars really want to find teamwork and opportunity, so we call that a stability seeking behavior across all three genres.”

Asked about specific KPI’s, he says the big picture starts with creating awareness about a branch of the armed forces with which not everyone is completely familiar.

“We have a system where we go from awareness to them engaging with our content, ultimately driving them to navy.com. We consider that our recruiting hub and there we have a call to action,” says Capt. Boren.

That might be an 800 number someone can call, filling out lead-gen form or an email. “They will do some form to get their name and information in our system, at which point we take that from a gross lead and we start a process we call blueprinting.”

After checking those prospects for age, citizenship and other aspects of eligibility, “then we get them on the phone” gauge interest and eliminate such disqualifiers as medical or criminal backgrounds. At the bottom of the funnel emerge qualified and interested leads. “That’s what we pass to our field recruiters.”

Since 1973, when the Navy became all-volunteer, it’s had nine different advertising taglines, but none of them invoked the word “sea” until now, Capt. Boren notes. The Navy’s agency in Memphis is Y&R, whom he describes as an “outstanding team. I’ve been ecstatic with what they’ve produced” in partnership with media agency Wavemaker to drive a deeper connection between media, content and technology.

He presented on the main stage of the ANA with Amanda Richman, CEO  of Wavemaker, U.S.

This series “Growing Brands and Driving Results,” was produced at the ANA Masters in Marketing ’18 conference in Orlando. The series is sponsored by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. Please find additional coverage here.