I wanted to know a bit more about the size and success (or lack thereof) of their marketing efforts. I described this as a “campaign”. The year when the first activity was developed ranged from 30 years ago until this year.
The budget used for the first campaign was predominantly very small, sometimes in kind or bartered: 66% of mainstream and 65% of LGBT companies spent less than $ 5,000, compared to 13% spending between $ 5,000 and $ 100,000. Yet, 2% of mainstream and 4% of LGBT spent more than $ 100,000.
“Was the first campaign considered a success?” Well, this depends on your criteria, but 75% and 79% of respondents said “YES”, while 66% and 71% did subsequent campaigns and 78% and 75% confirm they will do a campaign in the future.
So what does this jubilant mood depend on? As a marketer, it is important to be concrete, to measure results – both in terms of response as well as in return on investment. However, this rule does not seem to apply to 71% of mainstream marketers and 59% of LGBT. When asked what the results were they state “does not apply” (18% and 20%), “not measured” (35% and 26%) or “not measurable” (18% and 13%). This means that the large majority (71% and 59%) of the advertising or sponsoring efforts were done ‘blindly’, or with just a gut feeling.
9% and 10% report that more visitors, members or donors were registered, while 14% and 16% indicated that the turnover improved up to $ 25,000. Some 7% of the mainstreamers lists an increased turnover up to $ 10 million – compared to 15% of the LGBT group. Two participants in each group happily report a higher turnover of more than $ 10 million!
"How did you target the LGBT market? (multiple answers possible)"
I offered the choice of 30 different media, with the ‘winners’ being: LGBT print media (used by 64% of mainstream companies and 55% of LGBT), Word of mouth / Member get member (51%, 21%), our own website (50%, 28%), participation in Pride or similar (41%, 32%), e-mailings via own lists (39%, 18%), membership of LGBT Chamber of Commerce (36%, 25%), Facebook (36%, 16%), bannering on LGBT websites (30%, 19%), sponsoring public events (29%, 24%), flyers (28%, 13%) and sponsoring private events (24%, 20%).
NB: this survey was done in the period 2010-2012, when social media played a MUCH smaller role in everyday life and communications, and print media still existed on a larger scale than today.
In almost all of these case the mainstreamers use every one of these media much more than the LGBT (with the exception of sponsoring events). This would indicate that they use a broader spectrum of media, in order to spread their message as widely as possible, while LGBT are using a more targeted, focused approach.
The use of social media is limited: only Facebook scores high, while Twitter gets 18% and 11%, MySpace and YouTube both 8% and 4%, and “other social media” 20% and 9%. This may look like a missed opportunity, but can be explained by the fact that I asked these questions in 2010, about campaigns that were done years before – in times where social media did not yet play a role of importance.
Note: a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center showed that 80% of LGBT uses a social media site like Facebook or Twitter, compared to only 58% of the general population.