How Marketers Are Missing Out On $5 Trillion Dollars By Ignoring LGBTQ People

· Updated on May 28, 2018

Los Angeles, March 14, 2018 – New research from INTO and Brand Innovators finds that marketers and media agencies today are missing key opportunities to more authentically engage with LGBTQ consumers, a market that commands more than $5 trillion in global and $965 billion in domestic spending power, according to LGBT Capital.

Released today, the report, The LGBTQ Marketing Disconnect: Missed Opportunities and High Rewards, An INTO and Brand Innovators Report, finds that brands’ budgets and approaches to reach this market are not aligned with the market share, significance and scale of LGBTQ consumers worldwide.

Brand Innovators, a leading producer of conferences for the advertising and emerging technologies industry, and INTO, Grindr’s millennial-focused digital news outlet, partnered to survey thousands of individuals who identify as LGBTQ as well as hundreds of brand marketers from around the country to explore the gap between LGBTQ consumer power and brand outreach between Jan. and Feb. 2018.

LGBTQ Market at a Glance

LGBT Capital estimates the global LGBTQ population is about 480 million individuals with an aggregated spending power of more than $5 trillion USD and $965 billion in domestic spend in 2016.

LGBTQ Budgets Not Reflective of Market Power

While major brands have shown much progress in demonstrating inclusivity in their marketing and advertising efforts, the survey found that there is still room for improvement.

  • 53% of marketers said they only allocate between 0 and 4% on LGBTQ consumers annually;
  • 3% said they allocate 20% or more annually;
  • 15% allocate between 10 and 19% of their budgets;
  • And 29% between 5 and 9%.

That said, marketers admit they do see improvements in brand health scores when focusing on marketing to the LGBTQ community – 32 percent of marketers surveyed said they’ve seen improved health scores and 22 percent said they have seen improved KPI’s.

Media Plans Still Ignore LGBTQ Consumers

When asked about their current advertising and marketing plans for LGBTQ outreach, the survey found media agencies still largely ignore this community. According to the survey, only 18 percent of brand respondents are currently working on an LGBTQ-focused campaign, and 32 percent said they don’t include LGBTQ in their media planning and do not plan to do so. Nearly four in 10 (38%) of brands surveyed said they do not include LGBTQ-focused advertising in media planning because other demographics are a higher priority.

LGBTQ Consumers Receptive When Ads Are Seen in Media

When brands do talk, though, LGBTQ consumers listen. The survey found that not only do LGBTQ consumers pay attention, they often respond positively when brands advertise in LGBTQ media.

  • 35% of consumers surveyed said they are more likely to purchase from the brand when advertising includes LGBTQ themes and people;
  • 70% of respondents said a brands reputation as LGBTQ-friendly – or not – has directly influenced a purchase they have made;
  • Nearly half (47%) of those polled said a campaign that is inclusive of LGBTQ people or themes has directly influenced a purchase they have made;
  • And, 33 percent said that advertisements they’ve seen in LGBTQ media have influenced a decision about a purchase.

Marketers Should Consider Targeting LGBTQ Community Regularly

With 20 percent of millennials today identifying as LGBTQ, according to GLAAD, marketers should expand their marketing efforts to be inclusive throughout the year, not just on a seasonal basis.

According to the survey, nearly one-third (32%) of marketers polled said they run campaigns targeting LGBTQ consumers at least once a quarter; 17 percent noted they run campaigns targeting millennials weekly – compared to just 3 percent who do so for LGBTQ.

More marketers surveyed (21.4%) said they run campaigns aimed at LGBTQ seasonally or annually than they do with other demographic segments -– more than likely efforts that are tied to June’s Gay Pride Month.

Consumers surveyed, however, said they respect brands more when they maintain outreach: 30 percent of individuals surveyed said they were slightly or somewhat positive toward a brand when they regularly or continually include LGBTQ themes in advertising, while even more – 40 percent – said they felt very positive about that brand when they see continual outreach; just 16 percent said they felt positive toward a brand when they see LGBTQ campaigns during Pride Week only.

INTO Names Top Brands LGBTQ Consumers Believe are the Most LGBTQ-Friendly

INTO polled 1,500 of its readers to find out which brands they view as the most LGBTQ-friendly, and the top findings show that there are some well-known brands who have made great impressions with LGBTQ consumers.

Here’s a few of the top brands named, in alphabetical order:

  1. Absolut
  2. Apple
  3. Calvin Klein
  4. Google
  5. H
  6. Ikea
  7. Levi’s
  8. Nike
  9. Starbucks
  10. Target

Honorable mentions: Amazon, Disney, Gap, Grindr

About the Survey

All data unless otherwise noted is attributable to a survey fielded in the U.S. in January and February 2018 by Brand Innovators among 278 senior level marketing and media executives from across an array of industry verticals including retail, travel, auto and entertainment.

Grindr and INTO polled 2,600 Grindr users and 1,500 INTO readers in the U.S. in January and February 2018 to assess their views on being marketed to as LGBTQ consumers.

For full access to survey results feel free to click here.

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