South Florida Businesses Market to the LGBT Community
South Florida businesses are marketing to the fast growing LGBT community
Restaurants, hotels, travel, beverages and entertainment have been the traditional businesses sponsoring and marketing to the audience, but with the opportunities rising and acceptance increasing, banks, malls, auto dealers, pharmacies, and jewelers are adding the LGBT target to their marketing plan. The list of local businesses supporting the LGBT events reads like a Who’s Who of South Florida businesses. They include Wells Fargo, Adams Furniture, The Isle Casino, Broward Health, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry, Arrigo Automotive, and Macy’s. From the 65 mile Pinecrest to the Keys Smart (Bike) Ride, to the Stonewall Parade and Festival in Wilton Manors, businesses have many sponsorship opportunities.
Just how many gays are in South Florida? Let’s take a look at the numbers. According to city-data.com; Wilton Manors ranks #1 for cities with the largest percentage of likely gay households (counted as self-reported same-sex unmarried-partner households) (population 5,000+) in the country. Miami Shores #5, Key West #7, Oakland Park #13, Fort Lauderdale #23, and Miami Beach #33 http://www.city-data.com/top2/c11.html
A community told me about you
The South Florida Gay community is tight, living working and playing in the same circles all the while working for equality and giving back. The Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors hosts more than 60 regular-meeting groups each month and welcomes over 17,000 visitors each year. The Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has close to 700 member businesses and hosts over 60 networking events annually. Sharing an endorsement of a business that invites the community is often discussed at these events. “They understand us, they welcome us, they want our business, go shop there”
Marketing to this audience showcases the importance of invitation vs. permission. While anyone has permission to shop at a store, a store that invites the LGBT community at an event or runs an ad in a gay publication is announcing “we want your business.” More importantly, they are saying “we are comfortable with the gay customer and will make you feel welcome.” Gay consumers should be made comfortable shopping for a wedding ring in a jewelry store. In a car dealer, two female shoppers shouldn’t be asked if they are sisters. In a furniture store couples should be made feel comfortable shopping for a bedroom set. Advertising consultants who work with the gay community can assist in training small businesses in sales and customer support to help with dialogue and addressing LBGT needs. Invitation is stronger than permission.
Photo credit: blogs.wellsfargo.com