20 Years of LGBTQ+ Marketing and Community Engagement with Target 10

The marketing world got a little bit bolder — and a lot queerer — when Target 10 first opened its doors in 2002, and twenty years later, the agency is a leading independent and certified queer-owned LGBTQ+ marketing firm for major advertisers.

Experienced in both targeted and inclusive marketing as well as consumer segment consultation, Target 10 partners with some of the best-known brands in the world, from Johnson & Johnson to PepsiCo to HBO, demonstrating to LGBTQ+ consumers that they "get it and get me."

Founder and President Matt Tumminello and VP Matt Wagner shared learnings from Target 10's two decades of experience and best practices on how to engage with this vibrant, growing audience in 2022 and beyond.

Key Takeaways

Data on the LGBTQ+ population varies but research indicates a total size between 18.4 million according to Gallup in 2020 and 42 million to Kantar in 2017. However, what all studies consistently find is that the LGBTQ+ population is increasing every year.

Between 2012 and 2020, the percentage of the adult U.S. population who identifies as LGBTQ+ rose from 3.5 percent to 5.6 percent, largely due to younger people coming out at higher rates. A study conducted by Kantar found that younger generations are much more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ as follows: 8 percent boomers, 13 percent gen X, 20 percent millennials, and 31 percent gen Z.

Interestingly, over half of the LGBTQ+ community identifies as bisexual, and the number of people who identify as bisexual is on the rise, largely being driven by women.

Queerness is a way for people with non-normative gender identities or expressions and/or sexual orientations to identify. This term is more fluid and flexible, largely an umbrella term meant to be more freeing, and can encompass many other identities and aren't as potentially limiting as terms such as gay or lesbian.

Kantar estimates LGBTQ+ buying power to be $1 trillion, which is nearing that of the African-American consumer segment. However, many in the community feels unseen; for instance, 66 percent feel frustrated by brands that don't include them in advertisements. Moreover, 78 percent support companies that support and market to the LGBTQ+ community and 85 percent of LGBTQs believe that corporate support of the community is more important now than ever.

Action Steps

It's key to understand the queer community and actually connect authentically, not just because brands should. For example, during Pride month, most brands celebrate the entirety of the LGBTQ+ community. And, of course, it's important to include and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community all year.

Don't fetishize the community. Queer advertising isn't just about being queer; queer people are humans living lives just like anyone else, and as such should be featured in advertising and marketing that isn't only targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Not all marketing featuring LGBTQ+ people needs to be explicitly about being LGBTQ+.


"20 Years of LGBTQ+ Marketing and Community Engagement with Target 10." Matt Tumminello, Founder and President at Target 10; Matt Wagner, VP Client Services at Target 10. ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Committee Meeting, 1/19/22.

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