Google’s Data Proves ROI of LGBT Marketing

One of the most talked about LGBT ads this year so far is probably Wells Fargo’s “Learning Sign Language” commercial. When we chatted with Wells Fargo’s LGBT segment marketing team last month, not only were they passionate about the ad but they were also excited about measuring the results.   Like many smart marketers today, Wells Fargo collects data identifying key performance indicators to determine the reach and effectiveness of their campaigns.

We know many other brands also hunger for ROI data and … surprise surprise! When there is a need for data, there is Google!

Brendan Snyder, Google’s Diversity Markets Lead, studied two LGBT marketing campaigns and published some powerful findings in the LGBT Advertising: How Brands Are Taking a Stance on Issues.

  • 47% of today’s young millennials (under 24 years old) are more likely to support a brand after seeing an equality-themed ad (compared with 30% of all age groups combined)
  • Burger King’s “Proud Whopper” ad reached 20% of the U.S. population, and young millennials over-indexed by 4.8X
  • With their LGBT ad campaign, Honey Maid drove penetration growth among millennial households +1 point, while sales of their products in the months after the campaign grew 7% year-on-year

We connected with Brendan recently and drilled down on Google’s data-driven approach towards LGBT marketing.


Q&A with Brendan Snyder 


Google changes everything it touches! What does Google’s Diversity Markets team want to change?

Our team’s mission is to leverage the passion and talents of Googlers and connect them to high-impact diversity projects. We want to reflect the globally diverse audiences we serve so our search engine and tools can better support their needs. This is a very important initiative for Google; so yes, we do expect to bring big changes to the world of diversity/inclusion marketing!


What changes do you expect this LGBT Advertising Report to bring to the market then?

Our team has two specific goals: one, we have tasked ourselves to put together resources to give our sales team the data, narrative, and tools they need to have conversations with advertisers about LGBT marketing. Second, we connect directly with advertisers and consult with them on how they can tell their LGBT stories in a more compelling way using Google tools.

Here is our thought process: What is the one thing that would move the needle in LGBT marketing? What is missing? We know in our heart that LGBT marketing makes sense, it’s good for the business. But we are Google – we need data! Our advertisers and partners need data. We believe this Advertising Report will help close that data gap and get more companies to commit to LGBT marketing now. 


Your report concludes that “Pride advertising… is an opportunity for brands to speak their own truth and take a stand. And when they do, consumers, especially millennials, appreciate it and respond in kind.” What do you mean by brands “speaking their own truth?”

As we consult with brands to create a “success strategy,” the first questions we have our clients pause to ask themselves are: “Who are we?” “What is our brand purpose?” Brands who have a strong purpose thus a strong sense of voice can connect best with customers. Honey Maid, for example, is about being wholesome at their core. Their message comes from a strong place of identity. They don’t have a “regular” commercial and make an LGBT version of it. They really channel their brand voice into all their marketing programs. Our data also shows younger consumers are savvy. They can see through it if the brands are not genuine.


Is your Report getting traction in the market?

Yes! We are so happy that the report has resonated very well with marketers. The data and ideas in the report have sunk in with a lot of people working for bigger brands. They have taken our advice to heart.


Let’s keep the great advice coming! What are your top 3 advice for successful, data-driven LGBT marketing?

Here we go: (1) Millennials are smart and an engaged user base. As I mentioned earlier, they are savvy, impassioned, and loyal to brands. Speak to them honestly. Take them seriously. (2) Many brands probably don't spend enough time identifying their voice. Before you think about the LGBT community you are marketing to, think about who you are, your identity. What makes you stand out in a crowded field? Then tie your LGBT marketing efforts into your brand voice. (3) At the end of the day it’s about the customer. If you pay attention to what your customers are saying and what they want from you, you will make better decisions. You have to have an unapologetic focus on the customer and make your decisions based on customer data.

Epilogue: Google has registered the web address “” While web addresses are managed by a different team, Brendan is excited to see efforts like this that help people connect and understand the data and insights related to LGBT marketing. We support this sentiment 100%!



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Posted on Date:
Wednesday, July 22, 2015