The LGBTQ+ community is a growing sub-population within the United States as well as throughout North Carolina. Previous market research has identified individuals within this group have “the most disposable income of any niche market” – affecting marketing and advertising campaigns within areas such as vehicle sales, electronics, healthcare products, and tourism. As the community continues to grow, along with their increase in spending power, businesses and marketers will desire the opinions of the LGBTQ+ community through market research.
Who Are the LGBTQ+ Community?
The LGBTQ+ community is a loosely defined group of individuals united by a common culture and social movement. According to Bloomberg, nearly 10 million people in the United States (roughly 4% of the adult population) identify as part of this emerging minority group. LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning with the plus including transsexual, two-spirit, intersexual, asexual, pansexual, agender, gender queer, bigender, gender variant, and pangender.
How To Effectively Conduct Research with the LGBTQ+ Community?
- Know what is offensive and defamatory language – When developing screeners and interview guides, conduct preliminary research to identify words or phrases that should be avoided. For example, according to the Associate Press, the term “sexual preference” is typically used to suggest that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is a choice. Sexual orientation is the accurate description of an individual’s emotional attraction. As a general rule, try to avoid labeling an activity, emotion or relationship but allow the viewers/listeners to discern based on the other parties involved – eliminating the use of specific pronouns.
- Learn the real struggles of your specific segment – Data suggests that the LGBTQ+ community suffers from high rates of substance abuse, discrimination, mental health issues and suicide. Awareness of and sensitivity to these issues will create better discourse.
- There are a wide range of perspectives within the community – The nearly 10 million LGBTQ+ community consists of a large spectrum of individuals that hold different values, beliefs and opinions. Be prepared to encounter vastly different attitudes and behaviors within the community. Because of the great diversity, participants may not fit into one specific segment like other sub-groups.
What is Eastcoast Research Doing to Accommodate the LGBTQ+ in Market Research?
It is our vision and mission to provide our clients with quality data insights that truly reflect the community. We strive in every facet to ensure our recruiting and screening process is presented as inclusive as possible regarding age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, income, education, and sexual orientation. We review all screening instruments (both internally-designed and client provided) to ensure the language is sensitive, supportive and accommodating for all individuals.
Market research is challenging enough when developing screeners, interview guides and planning phases of an entire marketing campaign. Allow Eastcoast Research to be your expert partner in defining and recruiting LGBTQ+ participants for your next research project.