Ok, so we know that issues of sexuality and gender are high on the, er, agenda. Since the Stonewall riots in New York nearly 50 years ago, many countries around the world have come to realise that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) should be offered the same rights and privileges as their straight and cis-gendered counterparts. So the question remains that if LGBT people are seeking full equality, why should marketing to LGBT people be different from anyone and everyone else? The answer really lies in the ability of brands to form emotional connections with each and every one of their consumers, in order to have the highest conversion rates from leads into sales.


In recent years, several different organisations have conducted research to map the socio and geo-demographics of the LGBT community as well as their propensity to spend in across varied markets. In some categories, LGBT people collectively over-index. For example, recent research has indicated that when compared to the general population, LGBT people spend 35% more online, are 25% more likely to see a movie on opening weekend and are 26% more likely to subscribe to an entertainment streaming service. A 2017 GLAAD study showed that 20% of Millennials – consumers who are building considerable earning potential in their 20s, 30s and 40s – identify as LGBT. In addition, LGBT consumers are over twice as likely to buy from companies they trust and with a collective spending power of £100bn in the UK alone, marketeers need to find ways to authentically engage with this growing segment.


With this in mind, it goes without saying that brands which can truly engage with LGBT people ‘authentically’ rather than ‘tokenistically’ have the greatest chance of success. Just like the age old saying ‘A pet is for life, not just for Christmas’, LGBT people identify in their gender identity or sexuality every day of their lives; so whilst running an LGBT advertising campaign during the June-July Pride season and adding a Pride flag to your creative assets can offer visibility at a time of heightened awareness, this may be considered by some consumers to be insincere if LGBT segments are ignored throughout the rest of the year.


Unpicking this further, for some products and services it is appropriate to think of LGBT people as one homogenous market, but for others, marketeers can best achieve their objectives by splitting these into separate segments. For example, with 38% of the LGBT population having a gym membership compared to the national average of 24%, adverts for gyms showing people appearing to present as different genders in their marketing communications can have a wide appeal. If this is contrasted with local health authorities, the specific services and messaging needed to target gay and bisexual men in particular would need to be much more explicit to achieve better engagement and higher acquisition rates.
Othervox has an unparalleled understanding of LGBT markets, the nuances within this group and the requirements of different advertisers targeting them. Through our unrivalled, intelligent advertising tools and attentive approach to campaign management, we love to share our knowledge with you and deliver strong campaigns with outstanding results.