LGBT Market Research: There is a difference.

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Over the past 20+ years, Community Marketing & Insights has produced more LGBT research for more clients than all other research companies… combined.

LGBT research is meant to help marketers understand the LGBT community, and make educated decisions about strategies and tactics to reach them. Not all research is the same, however. At Community Marketing & Insights, we leverage unique experience, methodologies and our own proprietary panel to generate the valid and actionable results that our clients depend on.

About CMI’s Proprietary Panel: Who are you talking to?

Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) has recruited for our proprietary consumer panel over the past 20+ years by partnering with over 300 LGBT media, organizations, events and social media throughout the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, China and beyond. The panel is thus highly representative of LGBT consumers who interact with the LGBT community and media.

CMI research is trusted by—and frequently quoted in—The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Forbes, Ad Week, NPR, CNN, CBS News, Associated Press, eMarketer, Mashable, etc.

Other research providers typically send out widely distributed panel invitations (via Yahoo, etc.), and then sort for those who trust the researcher enough to indicate in a survey that they are gay or lesbian. They may also use lists from one or two LGBT publishers, which is likely to skew results.

If you are a marketer looking for valid LGBT consumer insights about products, services, or advertising creative and marketing strategies, “general market” panel development approaches are not likely to yield LGBT community members who interact with the media where you are placing ads.

CMI’s QuantitatIve Surveys: Size Does Matter

CMI has conducted hundreds of LGBT-dedicated quantitative surveys since the early 1990s, covering a wide variety of topics, industries and interests. Through these studies, we both observe and influence the trends of this market.

Size does matter when it comes to surveys. Our panel has grown to over 70,000 qualified LGBT consumers—the largest of its kind, by far. Our Annual LGBT Community Survey® study has attracted up to 45,000 survey participants representing 150 countries, making it the largest such study in the world. We leverage our long history, experience and expertise to guide you, fine-tuning our portfolio of research panels, methodologies and approaches to best match your market intelligence goals.

If your communications channels are via the LGBT media, you’ll want to depend on research that represents these consumers’ interests, preferences, sensitivities and motivations.

Without access to this enormous resource of qualified LGBT consumer panelists, other companies have to compromise on the quality and demographic representation of their panel—or “reinvent the wheel” at your expense.

It’s not possible to fathom the diversity and complexities within LGBT (see below) through a small sample. And with small samples, you lose the opportunity to derive statistically-significant crosstabs based on gender, geographical location, age, income, experience, product choice, etc. Can you really make the assumption that a Millennial lesbian couple in Seattle has the same purchasing motivations and behaviors as a 67-year-old gay man in Atlanta? Generalities and sweeping statements about “the LGBT market” based on comparatively small samples can distort the validity of research findings, wasting your investment of time and resources.

LGBT Panel Diversity Is Imperative, Because There is No “LGBT Market”

Community Marketing & Insights emphasizes that there is no “gay market,” just as there is no singular “Asian market.” The LGBT communities represent a broad and dynamic variety of interests, sensitivities, preferences and priorities. Those, plus variations in geographical location, age, income, relationship status, gender, sexual identity and more, make it even more important to discover which opportunities within LGBT will help you achieve your goals. Fine tuning your approaches based on highly refined and well-targeted matches within LGBT will make your outreach initiatives more efficient and cost-effective, and will significantly improve your marketing ROI.

General market surveys that may include a small subset of  “the gay community” just scratch the surface of the diverse and varied of opportunities marketers can enjoy if properly explored and understood.

Get a Deeper UnderstandIng of the LGBT CommunIty: QualitatIve Research

For over two decades, CMI has produced the most consistent, longest-running series of LGBT community surveys in the world. But we don’t stop there. Quantitative (data) research is important, but it’s just one side of the coin. Our full range of research services uncover the rest of the story through qualitative research, most notably derived from focus groups.

We pre-qualify our focus group participants from among our survey panelists, identifying the best candidates based on characteristics such as age, gender, relationship status, geographical location, and even a propensity or history of using the client’s products or services. We maintain sufficient numbers of panelists to conduct groups in most major metro areas across the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia and China, as well as many other markets. Sometimes the same creative, tested in different regions, can yield different perspectives. Isn’t it wise to know that—and adjust your plans—before investing in marketing campaigns?

CMI is the only LGBT-dedicated research provider that produces and facilitates qualitative research, including focus group studies (both in-person and online), in-depth interviews, online communities and advisory boards, which can round out a comprehensive market intelligence plan.

By producing online surveys only, other research companies are telling only half of the story…at best. Without actual consumer interaction, they cannot fathom the deeper insights hiding behind the bar graphs and pie charts. Nor can they adequately advise you on the sensitivities and complexities that can only be uncovered by qualitative research—extremely important considerations that averages and assumptions extrapolated from survey statistics are likely to miss.

In-House Everything. We Don’t Outsource!

Community Marketing & Insights maintains our own research panels and utilizes advanced, sophisticated research software. We conduct all of our research in-house—because nobody knows this market segment as well as we do.

Unlike many other firms, CMI will never sell or represent another research company’s services. Nor will we outsource your projects and report on the results of a third party’s work. Without being intimately involved in every aspect of a project—discussing client goals, designing the study, building and implementing the survey, and engaging directly with consumers in focus groups—it is difficult to gain the insights that we regularly deliver. CMI’s hands-on LGBT research specialization spanning over two decades is unmatched.

Value for the Investment

You might think that with this kind of specialization and experience, you’d have to invest considerably more for Community Marketing & Insights services than for research from other companies. With our specific focus on LGBT market intelligence, however, and the cumulative 60+ years of LGBT-dedicated experience among the CMI team, we’re able to keep your costs low. We don’t spend your money locating qualified survey or focus group participants, and we won’t waste time trying to source comparative data or case studies. We’ve already done all that, for your benefit, over the past 20+ years.

At CMI, we’re not running a large operation juggling many accounts and projects with varied focus. Our client dedication and LGBT market specialization delivers you superior intelligence at a fraction of the cost.

We are Trusted. Why This is Important:

Community Marketing, Inc., founded in 1992, pioneered LGBT consumer research. Because our company is LGBT-owned and-operated, and well known in the community, we have earned the recognition and trust of our survey panelists. LGBT consumers recognize that we use research data to build corporate relationships that ultimately lead to social progress, better conditions for LGBT employees, and more sensitive communications.

Proudly LGBT-Owned and -Operated

One of the questions in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index application is whether the applicant company includes LGBT-owned suppliers when sourcing products and services. When you contract with Community Marketing & Insights, you not only gain the benefit of our long-standing leadership in this field, you are working with one of the world’s only LGBT-owned market research providers. Community Marketing, Inc. is an NGLCC Certified LGBT-Owned Business Enterprise.

And Proud of our CommunIty Citizenship

CMI is involved in the LGBT community: We volunteer time, donate resources and raise funds for numerous community-based organizations. We also participate in leading business and advocacy organizations, events and conferences within the community, such as Out & Equal, HRC, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, GLAAD, NCLR and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Our community connection is not only the right thing to do, it is essential for maintaining authentic community relationships to benefit our clients.

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