I learned early on in my career that market segmentation is but one level of segmentation. I think of the process as one of differentiation. Demographic segmentation requires specificity in a cultural subset. In other words, you don’t place spanish-speaking people as solely spaniards any more than those speaking french as frenchmen.
The subset is of material importance. Spanish-speaking people come from many places other than Spain, ergo the same for french-speaking people living elsewhere than France. Think Puerto Rico, Mexico, Columbia, Dominican Republic for the former and Quebec, Monaco, Ivory Coast and Belgium for the latter.
There has been a tremendous amount of buzz regarding LGBT civil rights. Ireland is the first country that recognizes same-sex marriage after its citizens voted it so just this past May. Caitlyn Jenner is a household name and we’re likely to hear a lot more about the former Bruce Jenner’s transgender journey.
So, what does this have to do with marketing? For me, plenty.
First and foremost, we’re dealing with a community of people. Many countries treat LGBT people like criminals. In no uncertain terms, being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender puts you on death row in several countries. So, tell me where’s the real crime taking place?
I recently attended a screening at the 28th Annual Outfilm CT Film Festival held on the beautiful campus of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. From May 9th to June 6th, controversy, art, education, tolerance, intolerance, inclusion, love, forgiveness, the banal and the beautiful were expressed across a variety of films, short and of feature length. The films I watched provided a temporal take on LGBT concerns as well as the eternal qualities of love, acceptance and foregiveness.
There’s also the economic take that cannot be ignored. LGBT folks are contributors and consumers. Some hold high-level positions in business [Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, e.g.] Yes, the human costs are invaluable, however the economic costs can be calculated. If you need more information, this recent article from The Atlantic can shed more light on the value of the LGBT economy.
How important is the LGBT community? Here’s the short list of corporate sponsors of the Outfilm CT Film Festival: Pratty & Whitney; CIGNA; The Hartford; AARP; Aetna; Baccardi; Barefoot Wines, among others…like the firm I work with.
In addition to other key designations and credentials, Michael Matty, the President of St. Germain Investment Management, holds the following: Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor [ADPA]. While segmentation is important in marketing analysis, inclusion holds its own relevance as well.