Why Aren’t Your LGBTQ Marketing Efforts Producing Results?
For the past decade, if not longer, corporations around the world have been boosting their efforts to try to woo lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) consumers. In 2020, the buying power of this niche group will reach over $1 Trillion. Yes, that’s trillion…with a T. What company wouldn’t want a piece of that market, especially during these challenging times.
The biggest obstacle for corporations who are at the infancy stage of LGBTQ marketing is determining the best and most effective way to enter the market. Like any niche efforts, there is a list of things not to do in both marketing and public relations efforts. But instead of focusing on the negative, let’s talk about the steps you should take to launch an effective LGBTQ campaign.
Start from Within: It is impossible to try to win over LGBTQ consumers if your internal business structure isn’t inclusive. Look inside your own company and determine where the weakest links are. Do you have an LGBTQ employee resource group? Does your company offer partner benefits? Does your firm offer non-discrimination clauses in their policies? These are things to consider before launching any campaign. It’s also important that you start from the top. If the C-Suite doesn’t fully support the marketing initiatives, then your campaign will be doomed from the start.
Support LGBTQ Organizations: Supporting local organizations such as your local LGBT Chamber of Commerce, HIV/AIDS organizations, LGBTQ youth initiatives or other local charities always helps win over consumers. It shows that you are making an effort to put your money where your mouth is. Many companies make the mistake and put all of their marketing dollars behind a flashy Pride sponsorship. If your company wants to support Pride, this is great. But remember, gay people aren’t gay one day a year. You need to implement year-round efforts in order to gain trust among the community.
Speak to the Market: While many companies think advertising in LGBTQ media would be the most effective way to reach the market, studies have shown that placing gay advertising in mainstream media can be successful as well. Sometimes this may even work better. When a company like Nike or Delta Airlines place a same-sex couple in a mainstream ad campaign, this speaks volumes to the organization’s commitment to the community. This includes television, radio, web and print advertising. When it comes to the Internet, website banner ads are most effective, followed by Facebook ads. However, targeted advertising in LGBTQ specific media outlets has proven to be effective depending on the product or service you are offering.
Don’t expect immediate results. For decades, the LGBTQ community was seen as an outcast by not only corporations, but society as a whole, so you need to commit to a long-term plan. Just like in mainstream advertising, you can’t expect a high ROI from 1 advertisement. It’s all about consistency, authenticity and longevity. LGBTQ people can spot a hit and run marketing campaign from a mile away.