Here at My Code, we have decoded the multi-layered and nuanced LGBTQ+ marketing arena because, first and foremost, we are part of it. We employ and partner with LGBTQ+ creators, professionals, and clients to create authentic and relevant materials that not only drive up numbers, but drive forward the march to full equality.
We are glad you are here to help. All allies are appreciated. To show our thanks, we would like to share our top tips for doing LGBTQ+ marketing right the first time.
Why Marketing Diversity Matters
Marketing efforts designed to reach and include the LGBTQ+ community are becoming more and more important to companies of all sizes. After all, according to the latest population-based survey from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, 9 million Americans now identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
But because the LGBTQ+ community is not monolithic and contains many pluralities and diversity, effective marketing strategies must be savvy and sensitive, plus informed and inquisitive. They must honor the struggle that the community faces while also celebrating its place on the American landscape with wide-open arms. Can this be done? Of course, and in fact, it’s the only way to do it.
Tips for Marketing to LGBTQ+ Audience
Marketing to LGBTQ+ audiences requires a solid understanding of the demographic. Not only is the LGBTQ+ population growing, but the acceptance and celebration of it is building among mainstream audiences as well. Much like how multiculturalism is becoming mainstream in the United States, as we recently detailed in an intelligence report, LGBTQ+ culture is becoming a part of American society even among those who identify as straight.
Sensitive, strategic, and successful LGBTQ+ marketing campaigns will always keep this in mind. They will use their marketing efforts to further equality and full acceptance in American life by embracing this inclusivity.
- Run National Campaigns: Even though LGBTQ+ populations in the United States tend to be concentrated in major coastal cities, we encourage you to run campaigns that include the entire country. This not only reaches members of the demographic that may feel isolated and underrepresented but helps change perceptions among mainstream audiences. It may even contribute to turning around discrimination and ignorance. Don’t just preach to the choir. Make your campaign a form of social justice outreach.
- Be Culturally Inclusive: The last decade has seen a backlash within the LGBTQ+ community against the overrepresentation of affluent gay white males in advertising compared to other community members. According to a recent article in Marketing Week, ads featuring lesbian couples are still far less common than those featuring male couples, and minorities are still grossly under-represented in LGBTQ+ advertising. A strong LGBTQ+ marketing campaign will attempt to rectify this imbalance based on long-standing issues of superiority and taboos that we can be part of relegating to the dustbin of history when we consciously address them. Bisexuals, transgender people, and different races and cultures should be included in your marketing imagery and plans.
- Use LGBTQ+ Specific Messaging: While, on the one hand, your LGBTQ+ marketing should be about raising the visibility of the community to the larger media audience, you also want to make sure you are addressing the community itself specifically as well. One of the best ways to do this is to use and promote voices, movements, and events from inside the community. This might include hiring open celebrities and influencers, sponsoring Pride festivals and parades, and supporting activists. In addition, an effective LGBTQ+ marketing campaign will include messages about the continuing struggle for equality and inclusion that the community faces. We recommend highlighting groups like The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and The Family Equality Council.
- Advertise in LGBTQ+ Media: When companies advertise in LGBTQ+ owned media, it shows the community that they are investing in them. We recommend marketing campaigns that combine national and mainstream media strategies with targeted campaigns in LGBTQ+ specific media outlets and forums as well so that you cover both bases.
- Avoid Stereotypes and Oversimplifications: Because there are still many misconceptions about members of the LGBTQ+ community that is often taken as truisms through generalizations, it’s best to avoid stereotypes and oversimplifications in marketing campaigns targeting or featuring LGBTQ+ people. This is a tricky area for organizations that do not have roots and connections in the community. One of the strongest arguments for partnering with us is to help you plan and implement a marketing strategy that does not hit any sour notes.
Using Good Practices in Data Collection and Market Research
Another important aspect of launching an LGBTQ+ marketing campaign that hits all the suitable targets the first time out of the box is making sure you have done the background research the right way. According to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity Center at the University of Maryland, making sure that any data collected while doing market research is safe and secure so that your sources are protected is of utmost importance.
Another important consideration is how to frame and phrase questions in ways that do not unfairly discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. It is important to understand the terminology and use it appropriately.
How My Code Can Help You With an Effective LGBTQ+ Marketing Campaign
With a leadership team that is 75 percent multicultural and LGBTQ+, My Code is built from the ground up by the very demographic you wish to reach and connect with when you launch an inclusive marketing campaign. We specialize in decoding the barriers and nuances of communities that are traditionally often under-represented or overlooked in mainstream media. We offer time-tested techniques and communication strategies that immediately make your efforts relevant and recognizable to these communities.
We partner with creators and voices from the LGBTQ+ community to further add authenticity and inclusion to your campaign so that you connect with your audience from the inside out. Most importantly, we make sure that your marketing efforts translate into good allyship with communities still engaged in the struggle for full representation, equality, and inclusion in society. Contact us today to get started on an LGBTQ+ marketing campaign done right from the start, delivering top-end results!