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Recent research has shown that retail marketers are increasing their spending on younger generations – and a new study indicates that it isn’t just retail marketers prioritizing youth over older adults. A survey [download page] of almost 300 brand marketers by INTO and Brand Innovators found about half having increased their spending on Millennials, compared to fewer than one-quarter hiking their expenditures on Boomers and Seniors.

Marketers continue to prioritize youth despite Baby Boomers having a median income that’s more than twice as high as Millennials, a median net worth that’s more than 15 times higher, and an average monthly spend per household that’s more than 50% higher. Moreover, Millennials have shifted to more of a saving than spending mindset in recent years, and can’t be counted on to make impulse purchases. The thinking, though, is that it’s best to tie up youths’ loyalties now, and that is how brands appear to be allocating their budgets.

But what about other demographic groups? As it stands, survey respondents were more likely to have increased their spending on Hispanics (29.5% having done so in the past year) than on LGBTQ consumers (24.2%) and African Americans (23.1%).

The youth orientation of brand marketers also manifests itself in their targeting frequency: while almost 1 in 5 (17%) brand marketers target Millennials weekly, only 1 in 10 target Seniors and Boomers with that regularity, and just 3% target LGBTQ consumers weekly.

LGBTQ Community Believed to Have Strong Spending Power, but Brand Budgets Are Small

Marketers surveyed for the report seem to recognize the spending power of the LGBTQ community, with 71% believing an estimate stating that the market spends $5 trillion each year.

But it seems that marketers are shy to chase that sizable market, regardless of its exact size.

In fact, about 4 in 10 say that they do not include the LGBTQ community in their media planning, and only about 1 in 8 include LGBTQ in their media planning year-round rather than just for specific events. Moreover, a slim majority of brand marketers said that no single person or group in their organization has specific responsibility for LGBTQ marketing outreach.

Marketers may need to up their game to get where they want to be: half would like their brands to be perceived in a “very” or “extremely” positive light in regards to their LGBTQ-friendliness, but a slight majority devote just 0-4% of their budgets to the LGBTQ community. (Little wonder that LGBTQ consumers feel under-represented in advertising.)

Focusing on marketing to the LGBTQ community can pay off for brands, per the report: one-third have seen improvements in brand health scores when doing so, and more than one-fifth have seen improved KPIs.

For now, the brand with the best perception in the LGBTQ community? That’s Amazon, according to research last year from YouGov BrandIndex.

The full study can be downloaded here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 278 senior-level marketing and media executives in the US from an array of industry verticals, conducted in January and February 2018.

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