Gay/Lesbian Consumer Study Offers Insights
By Tom Ryan
A new survey of gay men and lesbians confirmed some long-held beliefs regarding the demographic (i.e., they’re much wealthier than most Americans and extremely loyal to gay issues). But the survey also found much diversity among its members.
Based on interviews with more than 12,000 gay men and 10,000 lesbians across the country, San Francisco’s Community Marketing Inc. claims the survey provides the most comprehensive view yet into psychographic and demographic data on the gay community.
For instance, with regard to family life, the survey found 46 percent of gay men and 65 percent of lesbians are partnered or live with a significant other. While 20 percent of lesbians have children under the age of 18 living at home, only five percent of gay men do.
For gay men, the median household income is $83,000 per year (gay singles, $62,000; gay couples living together, $130,000). For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000 per year (lesbian singles $52,000; lesbian couples living together $96,000).
Regarding media choices, gay and lesbian publications were read most often by both genders, although national “mainstream” publications also fared well. Favorites were The New York Times, Men’s Health and GQ among gay men, and People, AARP The Magazine and O The Oprah among lesbians. The top three most watched television networks for both genders were NBC, ABC, and CBS. For gay men, the next three were Fox, Bravo and Logo; for lesbians, Showtime, Fox, and Logo.
The survey also touched on career choices, home ownership and pet ownership, among other issues.
While some of these findings appear to somewhat reflect the average American household, the survey found that both groups strongly support gay issues with their purchasing dollars:
- Eighty-five percent of gay men and 85 percent of lesbians agreed advertising
in gay media favourably influences their purchasing decisions;
percent of gay men and 92 percent of lesbians reported that the way a company
treats its gay and lesbian employees impacts their decision to do business
with that company, with the majority (52 percent and 59 percent respectively)
saying this was strongly positive;
- Eighty-eight percent of gay men and 91
percent of lesbians report that their purchasing decisions are favourably
influenced by corporate sponsorship of gay events and participation in gay
Tom Roth, president of Community Marketing, said many campaigns targeting
gays and lesbians have used a “shotgun approach to reaching various segments” because
in-depth cross sections of gay and lesbian consumer data have not been available.
Community Marketing senior research director Jerry McHugh believes marketers
targeting the gay community most likely have only been reaching gay men, or
half the market.
“Marketers and advertisers haven’t had the tools to understand
that there is no single LGBT community in terms of consumer statistics,” said
Mr. McHugh. “It is a diverse melting pot of people who cannot be reached with
one type of campaign or communications channel for any targeted communications
efforts from advertising to sponsorships.”
Discussion Questions: Is there a need for more psychographic and demographic consumer data on the gay community to better market to various segments of this consumer market? Will having insights from this data appreciably change the success brands and banners have in marketing to this consumer group? Is it necessary, for example, to shift dollars to gay media outlets or use images that reflect same-gender sexual orientation to fully realize the sales potential of this market?
- Largest Survey of Gays and Lesbians Provides Breakthrough Detail into U.S Consumer Segment – Community Marketing Inc./Newswire Today