This is Part 2 of an extensive two-part blog covering how sports and entertainment properties are approaching (and should approach) the LGBT(Q) demographic from a marketing and communications standpoint. Part 1, published in late 2014, breaks down LGBT(Q) designations and terminology and discusses the importance of addressing these segments in market research. Part 2, below, details exactly how to incorporate LGBT(Q) questions and content in survey instruments.

Part 2: How to Address the LGBT(Q) Demographic in Market Research

As social rights and public awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have increased, sports teams and properties, along with many other companies, have increasingly focused on the questions of how best to reach and market to this demographic. In this blog, I will offer best practices on this topic, and practical examples of LGBT(Q)-inclusive demographic questions.

First, a few reminders about terminology and diversity: the acronym LGBT(Q) stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (or sometimes ‘Questioning’, which refers to individuals who are not sure of their sexual orientation). For a refresher on each of these terms, please review Part 1 of this blog.

Making Surveys LGBT(Q)-Inclusive
The best way to make your research efforts more inclusive is to address the demographics section at the end of each of your surveys. When modifying these questions to better serve your LGBT(Q) respondents, there are a few different question sequence options you may consider (all of which should be included near the end of the demographics section of your survey).

The first option below comes from the GENIUSS Group’s recent report on creating inclusive surveys for public health (which also has general applicability for market studies). This 3-4 question battery covers gender, sexual identity, and sexual orientation.

Option 1:
Sex Assigned At Birth
Q1. What sex were you assigned at birth, on your original birth certificate?
1. Male
2. Female

Current gender identity
Q2. How do you describe yourself? (check one)
1. Male
2. Female
3. Transgender
4. Do not identify as female, male, or transgender

If yes to Transgender, ask:
Q3. Are you…?
1. Transgender or Transsexual, Male to Female
2. Transgender or Transsexual, Female to Male
3. Gender non-conforming

Q4. Do you think of yourself as: (select all that apply)
1. Straight
2. Gay or lesbian
3. Bisexual

Option 2:
Bob Witeck, President and Founder of Witeck Communications, identified a similar battery of questions utilized frequently by the Harris Poll, now owned by Nielsen. Again, these questions cover gender, sexual identity, and sexual orientation, and may be adopted within the general demographics section of any survey.

Q1. Do you know anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender? Please select all that apply.
1. Yes, a family member
2. Yes, a close personal friend
3. Yes, a co-worker
4. Yes, a friend or acquaintance (not a co-worker)
5. Yes, another person not mentioned
7. Not sure (END BATTERY)
8. Decline to answer (END BATTERY)

Q2. And are you…?

[RANDOMIZE CODES 2-4] 1. Heterosexual (Straight)
2. Gay
3. Lesbian
4. Bisexual
5. Decline to answer

Q3. Do you consider yourself to be a transgender individual?
1. Yes
2. No
3. Decline to answer

Whichever sequence of questions you use , you can then follow those questions with the following opt-in questions intended exclusively for LGBT(Q) respondents:

Q1. Are you interested in being notified of events such as Pride nights hosted by [team]?
1. Yes
2. No

Q2. Are you interested in participating in surveys of LGBT(Q) [sport/team] [fans/consumers]?
1. Yes
2. No

Q3. (If transgender plan holder and willing to be contacted) What is your preferred salutation and/or pronoun(s)?
Salutation: __________________
Preferred Pronoun(s): _________________

The purpose of the opt-in questions is to help teams sensitively identify 1) who amongst their existing LGBT(Q) fans should be targeted with specific marketing efforts and 2) who amongst their fan base should be targeted with future LGBT(Q)-related survey questions.

More Advanced Inclusive or LGBT(Q)-Only Surveys
For teams or properties considering more advanced levels of inclusive marketing research, such as conducting a panel study or an in-depth study of their LGBT(Q) fans, more in-depth questions and topics may be warranted. Turnkey’s custom marketing research team can help clients design a more extensive survey instrument; please contact us if you’d like to discuss this option.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Making routine surveys more inclusive is as simple as changing a few questions in the demographics section at the end of your survey.
  2. For more advanced surveys involving LGBT(Q) issues, contact Turnkey for guidance.