DigitasLBi Outs LGBT Mobile Engagement


The power to influence client and agency senior-leader decision makers is in the data. As LGBT individuals and allies, we are clearly aware that our community highly relies on our smartphones and tablets, but we needed to show the proof. Although we make up a population of nearly 12 million in the U.S., little research has been published about LGBT mobile-device consumers. Until recently. Corresponding with June Pride Month, DigitasLBi partnered with Community Marketing Insights (CMI) to release the industry’s first large-scale original piece of research on mobile-device habits of the LGBT community. The study finds that LGBT individuals and the growing number of same-sex families with children have embraced the “mobile first” way by adopting smartphones and tablets to manage family households, plan and book travel, and leverage mobile shopping technology. The research shows marketers that the LGBT community is defining what it means to live in the mobile era by showing a higher understanding of and level of activity with their smartphones and tablets compared to the general population. Here’s the profile of today’s LGBT mobile user: • LGBT individuals live in a post-PC world: 56% chose to use a mobile device over a desktop or laptop compared to a year ago. • Early mobile adaptors: 51% of LGBT mobile-device users have used a smartphone or tablet for three years or more. The percentage is nearly double the general population, which is 28%. • Mobile-proficient seniors: 21% of LGBT mobile-device users age 65 or older have used a smartphone or tablet for five years or more. • Coming out mobile: 35% of LGBT individuals ages 18–24 have used a mobile device in coming out. Across all age groups, of those polled who said their mobile device played a role in their coming-out process, 70% used Facebook. • Apple loyalty: 55% of LGBT mobile users own and use iPhones versus Androids (40%); 30% own and use iPads versus Android Tablets (13%). This constitutes a reversal of general population findings. And how are LGBT individuals using their mobile devices? Retail: The study finds that gay men and lesbians are twice as likely to use mobile shopping technology than their straight counterparts. Of the respondents, 39% of gay men and 32% of lesbians use mobile scanners while shopping, and 32% of gay men and 29% of lesbians buy items on mobile devices. Family: The study finds that 49% of respondents with families used mobile devices to coordinate calendars and 47% used the devices to coordinate locations. Lesbian and gay parents are also more likely to outfit their kids with mobile devices; 85% of children under the age of 18 with LGBT parents own or have access to a mobile device, and 61% of the respondents said they purchase mobile games for their children. Travel: The LGBT mobile traveler is, on average, more than twice as active as others in similar general population studies. The study finds that more than 20% of the respondents recently planned travel and made hotel reservations from their mobile devices. Of those users, 63% searched for restaurants, 59% updated Facebook, 51% checked a flight status, and 46% explored local activities. The results of the study have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign, garnered wide-spread press attention and ignited interest from clients to plan LGBT marketing for 2014 budgets. With data and education, we can remove hesitations and fears within our own office walls, and begin to organically start conversations with our brands to prove that marketers who do not target LGBT consumers are missing out on one of the most active mobile user groups.


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