The nine million people who identify as LGBT in the United States have a staggering buying power of $957 billion in 2018. That’s the highest of any minority group. If this is your target audience, it is essential that your marketing material is all-inclusive.*
*Back Polakowski. “America’s LGBT 2015 Buying Power Estimated at $917 Billion.” NLGJA, 20 July 2016, www.nlgja.org/outnewswire/2016/07/20/americas-lgbt-2015-buying-power-estimated-at-917-billion/.
The vast majority of older LGBT people will live in communities that serve the general population. Many worry that their non-LGBT peers will not be welcoming, or that they will face hostility from staff. Over three quarters of older LGBT people believe they or their LGBT peers can’t be open with the staff of an assisted living community about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
A successful LGBT marketing campaign will help establish inclusion as a fundamental value of your company. The best example of inclusive LGBT marketing is anything that depicts LGBT life. The Alzheimer’s Association of North Central Texas provides a brochure with a picture of a gay couple on the front. The important distinction here is inclusion, not just tolerance. Also, be sure that all marketing materials include a statement of non-discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity.
A good example of a successful outreach campaign can be found at Monarch Pavilion Rehabilitation Suites, where they hosted an LGBT Round Table (in partnership with ICON Hospice). Here, specific LGBT language, LGBT vocabulary, and professional practices specific to the needs of LGBT seniors was clearly defined and discussed.
Company leadership should set the tone when it comes to fostering policies and attitudes that lead to authentic LGBT-centered inclusion. When upper management shows commitment, it’s easier to unite the entire company around a given message.
Companies with successful LGBT outreach are increasingly demonstrating their support outside of their retirement communities. Investing in an LGBT event or cause is an easy way to show commitment to the community. This may involve sponsoring a float in a Gay Pride parade or putting resources behind LGBT nonprofits such as the Coalition for Aging LGBT.
Stickers can be found on the Internet. Consider proudly displaying symbols such as this at your front desks and on your website. Be sure that your all-inclusive marketing collateral is in plain sight at all times. LGBT-Friendly stickers should be proudly displayed to show your support.
An estimated 2.7 million Americans 50 or older identify as LGBT, and that number is projected to exceed 5 million by 2060. Marketing to the LGBT community is a smart strategic decision for retirement communities that care about both relevance and revenue.*
*Back Polakowski. “America’s LGBT 2015 Buying Power Estimated at $917 Billion.” NLGJA, 20 July 2016, www.nlgja. org/outnewswire/2016/07/20/americas-lgbt-2015-buying-power-estimated-at-917-billion/.
A retirement community can employ more subtle messages of openness — a brochure that includes a photo of two men or two women, an intake form that uses the word “spouse” instead of “husband” or “wife,” or the placement of advertisements in gay publications.