CMI`s 5th Annual LGBT Community Survey
Posted: 08/29/2011 - 13:08
Over 30,000 respondents from 100 countries.
First-ever mobile option yielded 12,000 survey respondents.
Key comparisons to `General Population` sample.
Provides marketing and communications insights, while tracking motivations and trends.
The Community Marketing, Inc. (CMI) 5th Annual LGBT Community Survey™ report was released today, featuring data from 100+ countries on over 30,000 LGBT consumers, including for the first time, 12,000 respondents to a mobile-optimized survey distributed by Grindr. Rivendell Media assisted in attracting the participation of over 150 LGBT partner websites, print publications, organizations and events. The survey was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and ABSOLUT® Vodka.
The report includes an appendix comparison to several “General Population” data points, derived from a parallel study of a demographically representative U.S. sample, as well as insightful commentary by community leaders on transgender, lesbian, Latino and African American respondents.
A pdf copy of CMI’s 5th Annual LGBT Community Survey report is available at no charge by using this link. (18mb)
Following are a few of the key findings from this year’s survey among United States gay men and lesbians.
- Social is the future. Gay consumers – especially younger gay men – are leading the charge toward the intersection of social networking and brand interaction with mobile apps like Grindr. In the past week, 36% of gay men ‘checked in’ with FourSquare or another geo-location app at a venue. And, especially among younger gay men, emerging mobile ad platforms such as ‘QR codes/tags’ (21%) and mobile app banner ads (19%) are gaining traction for click-throughs.
- Resilient buying power. Despite the continuing economic downturn, LGBT consumers represent a powerful buying community that marketers cannot afford to ignore. A significant number across all age groups made major purchases last year, and even more are planning to buy big ticket items in the next 12 months. For example, LGBTs are more likely to have purchased smart phones, major vacations, furniture, tablet computers and home theaters than their general population counterparts.
- LGBT media matters. LGBT media is clearly approaching ‘mainstream’ levels among gay consumers. LGBT-focused websites are nearly as popular (61%) as mainstream sites (69%) among younger gay men. Regional gay print publications also impact a sizable audience. 33% of younger gay men and 48% of older gay men have read a local LGBT publication in the past week.
Respondent highlights include:
LGBT Outreach & Communications
- When asked what approaches have the “biggest impact” on purchasing decisions, 43% of lesbians indicated “equality in the workplace,” 43% indicated “support of LBGT charities” and 42% indicated “support of LGBT political causes” as the top influencers.
- “Mainstream ads that demonstrate LGBT-inclusiveness” are gaining traction (37% for lesbians and 39% for gay men).
- A trend we are observing in focus groups: Companies integrating LGBT imagery into mainstream ads, such as Orbitz, Kaiser Permanente and J Crew, are being noticed, and increasingly impressing LGBT consumers.
- Nearly 70% of gay men own a smartphone – just slightly higher than lesbians.
- About 50% of gay smartphone owners own iPhones.
- Lesbians use their smart phones for texting (87%) and Internet search (83%) followed by news, navigation and updating their social networks.
Technology & Social Interaction
- Gay men and lesbians are heavy users of technology for socializing with their networks. In the past week, 36% of gay men ‘checked in’ with FourSquare or another geo-location app at a venue.
- Younger gay men send nearly twice as many texts (26 per day) as age 30+ and about a third spend at least an hour per day on Facebook.
- Facebook isn’t just for young people. 85% of older gay men, and 88% of older lesbians are connecting with friends via Facebook. (These numbers are even higher among younger gay men and lesbians.)
- A “major vacation” is a the top ticket purchase being planned by many gay men (39%) and lesbians (37%) in the coming year
- Other popular major purchases being planned by gay men include cars (18%) and tablet computers (16%)
- Interestingly, LGBT-focused websites are nearly as popular (61%) as mainstream sites (69%) among younger gay men.
- Don’t neglect the “traditional” print LGBT media, a resource that LGBTs still very much depend on. 33% of younger gay men and 48% of older gay men have read a local LGBT publication in the past week.
- Focus group insight: LGBT consumers have special appreciation for – and loyalty to – advertisers that support community media with ads. They know that without ad support, the publications they depend on for LGBT news and perspectives would not survive.
Interaction with Advertising
- Facebook advertising is rivaling traditional website banner ads among all LGBT consumer groups. 31% of both younger gay men and older gay men clicked on a Facebook ad in the past week, compared to 35% who clicked on a website banner ad.
- And, especially among younger gay men, emerging ad platforms such as ‘QR codes/tags’ (21%) and mobile app banner ads (19%) are gaining traction for click-throughs.
Diversity within LGBT
Differences by ethnic segments: A few highlights
- Gay Asian men tend to be the most ‘tech-forward’ audience – they are much more likely to be smartphone users (84% vs. 68% average) and over 1 in 4 have already purchased a tablet computer
- They are also the most likely to use their smartphones for activities such as navigation (74%) and playing games (66%)
- While the purchase habits of all LGBT consumers are clearly affected by a company’s LGBT best practices, Latinos/Latinas tend to be particularly influenced by equality in hiring, while Asians focus more on political and charitable causes
- When it comes to media consumption, readership of regional/local LGBT print publications tends to be slightly higher among African American gay men and lesbians, while Asian gay men and women are somewhat more likely to read LGBT blogs
- Appendix commentary by LGBT community leaders provides deeper insight to the transgender, lesbian, African American and Latino LGBT market segments
A few LGBT vs. Mainstream Comparisons
- Gay and lesbian consumers are about 50% more likely to own a smart phone than the general population. (68% gay men vs. 49% straight men; 60% lesbians vs. 40% straight women)
- Gay and lesbian consumers are also about 50% more likely than the general population to have made purchases with their smart phones, and equally more likely to receive “deal” notices from Groupon, Living Social, etc. on their smart phones.
- Lesbians are twice as likely to have “checked in” at a venue in the past week than their straight female counterparts (25% vs. 11%).
- Twice as many younger gay men clicked on a website banner ad than younger straight men (31% vs. 16%) in the past week.
- LGBTs are more likely to have purchased smart phones, major vacations, furniture, tablet computers and home theaters than their general population counterparts.
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