How to Reach LGBT Consumers

Posted by KimCooper on January 15, 2013

Research proves that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consumers are highly brand loyal and frequent gay-friendly businesses. In fact, 94 percent will go out of their way to purchase products or services marketed directly to them.*

But how do businesses begin to market to the largest affluent market in the United States? It’s simple: know your customer and market directly to them.

The opportunity

  • The LGBT market includes more than 19 million people with more than $800 billion aggregate spending power in the United States (Witeck-Combs 2011 study).
  • Their average household income is $81,500, or about 80 percent higher than typical U.S. households (2009 CMI study)
  • LGBT consumers are highly brand loyal and will go out of their way to purchase products or services marketed directly to them (Greenfield Research & Kinsey Report)

Segment trends and insights

  • 71 percent of gay men and 62 percent of lesbians own a smartphone**
  • Attending LGBT events are key motivators within the LGBT community**
  • Approximately 3 percent of gay men and 19 percent of lesbians indicated having children under 18 living at home**

Companies must begin by entering the conversation and then build brand loyalty. To do so, you must authentically communicate your message in a way that is sincere and targeted. Below are a few successful examples that I have experienced with clients.

  • Join LGBT organizations, such as the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • Offer discounts or specials to LGBT consumers
  • Develop an LGBT email database of your customers and market directly to them with LGBT-branded advertisements
  • Sponsor local, national or international Pride events
  • Host a contest to send customers to a Pride event

What are some ways that you have targeted LGBT consumers? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us using the hashtag #mcgblog.

*Source: Greenfield Research & Kinsey Report
**Source: 16th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Report, Community Marketing, Inc. December 11, 2011