How To Market Successfully to the LGBT Community

  1. Jill Andrews
  2. April 22, 2016 10:58 am

Having a great product or service is really only the first piece of the puzzle. Without effective marketing, you could be offering the most original, amazing thing on the planet, but it won’t do you much good if your audience doesn’t know about it. Understanding your audience and developing a quality marketing strategy is beyond crucial to ensuring your success. As with any demographic, there are certain techniques that are far more effective at marketing your business to the LGBT community.

#1 Do Your Research

When targeting a specific market, you’re going to want to take some time and learn more about the preferences, shopping motivations, and any sensitivities of the audience. Surveys can be a great way to get the desired information. Focus groups, customer satisfaction polls, and other information-gathering tools can prove very helpful at helping you to collect data that will assist you in more effectively catering to your target market.

LGBT MarketingThe proper research can also give you an idea about the size of your market and your potential to succeed with this audience. It can give you a better idea of how your product or service will perform so that you can gauge your success accordingly. One of the challenges you may face when marketing to an LGBT audience is that most of these individuals prefer to remain anonymous, meaning that it will likely be harder for you to determine a campaign’s efficiency. This market also tends to be unlikely to use tracking codes and coupons which means you may think that your LGBT marketing strategy is not as effective as it actually is.

In most cases, the most effective LGBT research consists of surveying the group and then doing follow-ups in order to most effectively pinpoint whether your strategies are meeting your goals.

#2 Gauge Your Position in the Market

After you do your research, the next step is to determine where precisely you fit within the market and how to create a valuable and effective value proposition that will attract customers. While simply existing may have been enough in the past to get your name out there, this isn’t true today. With all of the competition out there, you need to find effective ways to surpass others. For starters, take a look through publications that are specifically designed with LGBT individuals in mind. You want to see what your competition is doing, and then find ways to one-up them.

#3 Prepare Your Strategy

Preparation is another essential component to developing a successful marketing strategy. With all audiences, and the LGBT demographic in particular, analyzing your internal practices and procedures is integral. Consumers in this group tend to be very aware of these items and any hiccups or issues with these policies can mean that you will lose out on potential business.

You want to make sure that you have equal employment opportunity practices in your company and that you are clearly open to the LGBT community. If necessary, consider giving all of your employees, both sales reps and executives alike, sensitivity training. You may also want to consider becoming affiliated with LGBT charities and donating resources where possible. You’ll definitely want to take care to boost your HRC rating as no member of the LGBT community will take you seriously otherwise.

You will also want to make sure that any offers or promotions you use are obviously suited to both heterosexual as well as homosexual individuals and couples. While it may seem odd to purposely advertise that this is the case, not doing so could easily cost you sales. You don’t want to leave the fact that you’re “LGBT friendly” unsaid. When in doubt, many will assume that you are not. Don’t let anyone have any doubts in their mind, and you’re sure to reap the rewards of your marketing much sooner!

#4 Plan Your Marketing

While this is all-too-often the first step for many marketers, this item should actually be much further down your agenda. Before you can plan an effective LGBT marketing strategy, you need to do all of the legwork and research first. Otherwise, you will find yourself wasting thousands of dollars and lots of time on marketing that just doesn’t work.

You want each decision you make to be backed by as much research as possible. You will need to draft several different approaches that are each designed with the results from your data and surveys in mind. Determine the imagery, messages, media, and information that are most likely to draw the attention of your audience, and use this data to draft your initial strategies. Without doing your homework, your marketing will just be an expensive, and time-consuming gamble.

In short, be consistent and don’t fall prey to quick-fix approaches. Do all the research you can, plan carefully, and you’re sure to be much happier with the results.