In this article, we take on a holistic understanding of LGBTQ marketing and understand the art of responsibly marketing to the LGBTQ community.
“Everyone is free to be who they are, everyone is free to love who they want, inclusion and compassion are beautiful. The seeds of free will and love, we plant.” – Soniya Agrawal
LGBTQ – One of the most beautiful, generous, kind-hearted, and liberal groups of people.
But also one of the most misunderstood.
This is why many brands’ marketing and advertising strategy directed towards them have backfired.
It’s a sensitive matter and you need to understand them and handle the marketing and advertising strategy very gently when it comes to this precious community.
To put it simply, marketing to the LGBTQ section of the society is an art.
So let’s understand the art of responsibly marketing to the LGBTQ community.
We will see all that here, but first, let me tell you a story close to my heart.
The Big Announcement
The night before June 26th,2015. Two of my friends were restless. It was a normal day for me. Just like any other.
It was a routine Thursday, I went to work and I came back from work.
And while I was preparing for the upcoming weekend, I got a call from one of these friends of mine.
They told me they didn’t have much hope with the ruling due the next day. Yes, you guessed it right, the legalization of same-sex marriages.
But as the universe would have it, the remarkable supreme court ruling brought upon a revolution.
And even the marketing and advertising world was a witness to it.
Suddenly, there was a new perspective to look at things, and there was a much newer, fresher, and unique set of customers to target.
So what is LGBTQ marketing anyway? And why is it so important? Let’s see all the answers here.
What is LGBTQ Marketing?
As self-explanatory as it is, LGBTQ marketing is where you market your products and services to the LGBTQ segment.
It doesn’t just involve making and designing LGBTQ target ads, but also involves taking other extra measures to make them feel inclusive, heard, and considered.
Moreover, creating an overall unique, thrilling, and uplifting experience for the LGBTQ community via your marketing and advertising strategy is the need of the hour if you want to stand out to your LGBTQ customers.
Why Is Marketing To LGBTQ Community Becoming So Important?
Over the last few years, Targeting the LGBTQ community for marketing and advertising has been one of the prime focuses of every brand.
With the legalization of same-sex marriage, a whole new segment of the market opened up for brands to explore.
The LGBTQ community is one of the most affluent communities in the US.
Let’s look at the statistics.
What Do The Stats Say?
According to studies by Whiteck Communications, the purchasing power of an adult LGBTQ population is about $917 Billion in the US alone. (Source)
Moreover, according to a study by Google in 2017, it was estimated that nearly two-thirds of the LGBTQ population preferred brands that took a stand for LGBTQ issues. (Read more)
This isn’t just restricted to the LGBTQ population, people of all sexual orientations are preferring LGBTQ friendly advertisements.
Another study showed that people are more likely to remember an ad or a brand that is LGBTQ friendly and sent out a positive inclusive LGBTQ message across.
Moreover, women of all sexual orientation are also likely to engage in advertisements that are more LGBTQ friendly.
These are some amazing statistics to ponder over aren’t they?
Which Brands Got Pride Marketing Right?
While there are many brands that create an LGBTQ driven marketing and advertising strategy, there were a few that really stood out to me. Let’s look at a few of these together.
Spotify: Loud and Proud
Spotify has always been inclusive and amazing when it comes to LGBTQ marketing and advertising.
In 2017, Spotify had created a series of short videos ranging from 1.5 to 2 minutes animations which were called “pride stories” and showcased some of the remarkable moments in pride history.
Moreover, more recently, Spotify added a rainbow-colored pride volume bar on their desktop app promoting messages like “loud and proud”.
Smirnoff: Labels Are For Bottles
Smirnoff has long been an advocate of LGBTQ rights and causes.
And in 2017, it again won my heart with a thoughtful campaign that it launched.
What was the campaign? Simple. It had many rainbow-colored bottles featuring all kinds of couples on it and stated: “Labels are for bottles”.
They also collaborated with an LGBTQ supporting NGO along with the LAD bible to encourage inclusiveness and wider acceptance in various night clubs.
And this campaign was called “we are open”.
How does it not win your heart right?
Calvin Klein: Wear Yours With Pride
Calvin Klein is again one of my most favorite brands when it comes to pride support.
They’ve long been LGBTQ friendly and they’ve never shied away from expressing it.
In 2018, they launched a series of apparel collections with a rainbow-colored CK logo on their apparel and accessories in collaboration with a charity.
Always winning hearts and how.
How To Considerately Market And Advertise To LGBTQ Community?
But this is a sensitive arena and one wrong move can cause you negative publicity and hurt sentiments of people.
So it is important to not only be creative, knowledgeable but also accommodating and empathetic while designing an LGBTQ driven marketing and advertising strategy.
Here are some of the points that may help you while designing your LGBTQ marketing and advertising strategy.
Content That Doesn’t Over Power Brand Story
Sure LGBTQ content excites the prospective customer base but doesn’t make it in a way that the brand message is lost.
At the end of the day, we want these audiences to become our permanent customers.
And if they don’t get the brand message overall that advertising, then it will be a failed attempt overall.
So a good balance of creativity, inclusion, LGBTQ content, and brand message is required to create a stir, touch people’s emotions, and send the needed message across.
An Exclusive Appeal to LGBTQ Community Will Help
According to a study, 69% of the LGBTQ people stated that they enjoy advertisements that are directed towards them and are inspirational. Source
Moreover, 79% of people in other research stated that they enjoy funny LGBT themed advertisements.
Furthermore, they stated that they’re more likely to share these ads around their social circles more.
So having an LGBTQ themed advertisement that exclusively appeals to their psyche will also appeal to the psyche of everyone in general as other stats show that 66% of people who viewed LGBTQ exclusive ads found those to be progressive than general ads. Read more
Getting me now?
Association With LGBTQ Organizations Will Increase Credibility
When you collaborate with an organization supporting LGBTQ and human rights, you come out as more genuine, as a brand that actually cares.
And that’s what makes room in our prospective customers’ minds.
A strong collaboration with known organizations that support LGBTQ rights will tilt the scales in your favor.
They will understand you actually stand for them. And they will in turn consider you.
Because it creates a sense of a strong emotional connection between the brand, the people, and the Organization.
They feel respected and loved and that’s what we all want right?
Online Engagement Is A Must
Many of the affluent LGBTQ people are active and engaged online as compared to others.
They make their buying decisions online so as a brand it’s very important to have a strong online presence.
A study has shown that when compared to the general audience, the LGBTQ community is 1.8 times more inclined towards online advertisements and 1.5 times more likely to give a review or talk about a product online.
So creating an interactive, engaging and a strong online presence which is also pro LGBTQ is going to do well for your brand.
Moreover, prompt responses to reviews and even the negative ones will make you come across as an accountable and trustworthy brand.
Take Pride In Marketing Pride
Pride owns it. And we bear witness to it.
They’re an important segment of our society, and as marketers, it’s our responsibility to create marketing and advertising strategies that are directed towards them.
But at the same time we must make sure we are acting responsibly, empathetic, and in a sensible way.
If you have any more tips to share with us about pride marketing, let us know or drop those in the comments.
Some FAQs To Wrap It Up
Who Are LGBTQ?
LGBTQ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer + communities.
Why Is LGBTQ Marketing Important?
LGBTQ population belongs to one of the most affluent sections of the society. They’re also the ones with one of the strongest buying power.
I Want To Target LGBTQ Segment But Don’t Know Where To Begin?
Researching and getting to know them is where you begin. If you don’t want to invest time in that, you can always hire a marketing agency like Bizadmark to create a marketing and advertising strategy for you.
What If I Target The Customer Base The Wrong Way?
You can always hire experts to do the job for you. Many marketing and advertising agencies are equipped to deal with standout LGBTQ marketing. Take their help.
What are the Things I Should Consider Before Marketing To LGBTQ?
Make sure you give them a soothing, fulfilling, and uplifting brand experience. At the same time keep your brand position and story intact. Balance it out.