How to market to LGBTs? Don’t just create ads to sell. Commit to be inclusive. Break the stereotypes. Share positive stories that inspire and create impact. Become a catalyst to improve lives. Support their cause. Most of all, practice what you preach.
Last November 20, I was privileged to speak in front of 3,000 college students from across the Philippines about my advocacy on inclusive marketing.
I started my talk about how I grew up as a tomboy not wanting to wear skirts to church and how I am exposed to media with a stereotypical portrayal of LGBTs. For those who belong to my generation, you'd probably remember Jack 'n Jill -- where Megastar Ms Sharon Cuneta played a tomboy and Vice Mayor Bistek played her gay sibling.
I showed an excerpt of their song from the movie which goes like this: "We are Jack and Jill.. saan nagkamali ang aming magulang, ohhhh.." (where did our parents go wrong?). When I was growing up, I used to think that I was a mistake. And again, similar to what I see in the movies, I am certain that someday I'd meet the man of my dreams and be a 'real' woman with a typical family.
Mass media and marketing play a huge role in influencing the general public's perception about LGBTs. It's about time to be more inclusive and to communicate our stories more truthfully.
A study from the J. Walter Thompson Intelligence in U.S. revealed that 82% of the generation Z (age 12-19) say they don't care about other people's sexual orientation. 81% do not think gender defines a person as much as it used to. The whole world will soon be gender fluid.
LGBTs have increasing buying power. Buying power is defined as the total personal income that is available, after taxes, for spending on virtually everything including goods and services. It is also called “discretionary income” or “disposable income.” There are also studies which reveal that LGBT consumers shop more frequently and spend more when they shop.
As marketers, we have the responsibility to get to know our consumers and the LGBTs, or the people with diverse SOGIEs (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) are no exception. It's about time for brands to take an equally inclusive approach in their communication so they are not isolating any particular groups.
Below are sample slides from my talk: