Flaw in marketing studies

The majority of recent marketing studies of LGBTQ+ people didn’t include the views of LGBTQ+ people.

A new paper reviewing marketing studies of LGBTQ+ people between 1993 and 2021 found that 54% of quantitative research samples weren’t LGBTQ+, 16% were general population samples and only 30% were actually LGBTQ+.

The analysis by, Clifford Lewis, Michael Mehmet and Nina Reynolds from CSU and UoW, found that while research into LGBTQ+ market has increased over the past 20 years, as awareness of the value of the market has grown, the majority of that research hasn’t actually involved the community being studied.

The paper articulates an issue which is being heard increasingly frequently; how to improve the accuracy of research into specific segments of the population – and how to include research subjects in the process.

The authors say that marketing scholarship has increasingly focused on the LGBTQ+ community as discrimination has declined, but argue that the research itself was not inclusive or representative.

The papers analysed by the research team covered a broad range of marketing topics, from LGBTQ+ consumers as a marketing segment to the use of LGBTQ+ people in advertising. Papers did not misrepresent the involvement of heterosexual / LGBTQ+ people, but they tended to reinforce a view that marketing practice should appeal to the majority (heterosexual) as opposed to enhance the positioning of minority groups.

“By passively positioning LGBTQ+ people as objects of research, researchers potentially create a sense that LGBTQ+ people’s views are not worth listening to or acknowledging,” the authors wrote.

“In doing so, scholarship can potentially reduce the agency LGBTQ+ people have in how they are represented in marketing practice.”



Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Subscribe to us to always stay in touch with us and get latest news, insights, jobs and events!