Let’s be honest: There are LGBTQ+ people everywhere. On every continent, in every country, every city, every town, every village. They may be a diverse minority, but they do form an integral part of the fabric of society. We all know LGBTQ+ people, whether we are aware of it or not. And because they are so interwoven in society, they receive mass communication aimed at the majority and, on the whole, they consume these mainstream messages as does everybody else.
These messages may not necessarily speak to them directly, but LGBTQ+ adjust and conform where necessary to fit within the broader society. When they see an advertisement for a product featuring a heterosexual couple, they might imagine themselves into that advert, projecting perhaps a same-sex relationship onto the heteronormative images they see and end up buying the product, even though the message was not directly intended for them. Research by agency Lunch Box Media reveals 57% of gay and lesbian consumers in SA feel they are being ignored by marketers.
Research by The Other Foundation estimates the buying power of LGBTQ+ people in SA to be in excess of R200 billion. Should LGBTQ+ people in SA be able to successfully lobby together, they could use that power to put pressure on brands to take notice of its massive buying power. While this has been successful in Europe and North America, similar success has not yet been achieved in SA. Here it is all under the radar as niche communication.
GaySA Radio and other LGBTQ+ media are tiny by comparison to mainstream media, yet in the absence of mainstream messaging aimed at LGBTQ+ people, are the only outlets through which this audience can be specifically reached. While some media are localised, others have a global reach and influence. Authentic campaigns specifically designed for a platform such as this is currently the best way to actively target LGBTQ+ consumers. New niche media can accurately report on reach and engagement, ensuring that the LGBTQ+ person receives the message and then uses the power of the pink currency to support those that are seen to care about the LGBTQ+ community.
And what a diverse community it is. Forget about dual income no kids, these days queer families come in all shapes and sizes. It stands to reason that successful campaigns would portray LGBTQ+ people in honest ways, avoiding old stereotypes. Innovative campaigns that directly speak to LGBTQ+ people are needed and it will take a new kind of online media savvy to figure out how to best communicate messages to LGBTQ+ people.
Online new media such as GaySA Radio bring new communication opportunities that speak directly to individuals across the globe. With innovative per click advertising models, you are guaranteed that your message reaches the desired LGBTQ+ person and the return on investment can be measured accurately.
There is no better time than the present to seize the opportunity to communicate your message to LGBTQ+ people.