Client Services > Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Research
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Harris Interactive helps marketers conduct research needed to develop mindful, effective marketing strategies targeting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender* (GLBT) population. In many respects, these consumers are very similar to non-GLBT consumers – but there are instances where their points of view vary. That said, the GLBT community is not a homogeneous market. Identifying and understanding the degree and impact of these differences is critical to any marketing effort targeting these communities. It’s also important to be aware how the development of a GLBT targeted campaign may affect your other markets.

*Our specialty panel is focused on sexual orientation and includes adults who self-identity as gay, lesbian or bisexual as well as heterosexual. However, we also invite respondents to volunteer whether they identity as transgender as well.

While we will continue to grow and refine our GLBT specialty panel and also to include transgender people, our samples customarily do not contain statistically projectable numbers of transgender respondents that enable us to draw conclusions. We hope, over time, to learn more about this hard-to-reach population.

What Makes Understanding Gay and Lesbian Americans so Important?

It’s a simple matter of economics and emerging consumer visibility. The discretionary income of gays and lesbians is growing every year, along with their presence in the workplace and marketplace. Recent estimates gauge the gay consumer market with more than $690 billion in buying power in 2007, and that will rise to $835 billion by 2011. Major business media such as The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, and others are closely watching for trends and seeking expert data.

Companies are increasingly aware of the presence of lesbians and gays as consumers, shareholders, employees and business owners. Competition among companies also has turned this awareness into creative marketing possibilities – underscoring the urgency for credible market research. Marketers are taking a close look at the 15 million self-identified GLBT Americans and learning important new details about brand loyalty and customer preferences, as well as the value, size, and characteristics of this long overlooked and under-served population.

Access to the Largest GLBT Research Panel and Much More

We start by fully understanding your objectives and then determine the best way to meet those requirements. Using quantitative and qualitative research, either traditional or Internet-based methods, we provide you with accurate data and insights that you can act on. We do this with our:

  • strategic partnership with Witeck•Combs Communications – the leading GLBT marketing communications firm
  • proprietary GLBT Specialty Panel – approximately 45,000 individuals with a corporate commitment to grow globally**
  • proprietary Harris Poll Online PanelSM – our multimillion member global online panel

**Harris Interactive is committed to recruiting transgender persons so that our GLBT panel is more reflective of the gay community. Also, we are happy to share that our GLBT panel responds three times higher than other specialty panels.

Clients have used our research to:

  • Understand the impact of GLBT markets purchasing power and behaviors
  • Reveal GLBT consumer preferences vis-à-vis non-GLBT consumer preferences
  • Determine which companies have the best and worst reputations among GLBT consumers
  • Test advertising messages and product concepts targeted to the GLBT market, vis-à-vis how non-GLBT markets respond
  • Understand voting behaviors and decision-making processes
  • Determine the drivers of loyalty
  • Uncover where GLBT individuals go to find health-related and other information

Why Internet Surveys Can Make the Most Sense

When surveying the GLBT communities, the benefits to using the online methodology are clear. Online research allows respondents to complete surveys with anonymity and privacy, so respondents are often more comfortable sharing their experiences and concerns. In an Election 2000 survey, we tracked the incidence of GLBT and found that about 6% of our sample classified themselves as being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Using an in-person survey with a blind envelope, only 4% identified themselves as GLBT and the telephone survey found even less–only 2%.

Other benefits include:

  • Convenience: Respondents decide when they want to complete the survey
  • Productivity: More questions can be asked in the same amount of time
  • Rapid turnaround: Surveys can be conducted more quickly than telephone surveys
  • Better follow-up: Reminders can be sent out efficiently
  • A visual medium: The technology allows respondents to review images, especially helpful for concept and copy testing
  • Lower cost per complete: Data collection is more efficient compared to other survey methodologies

Contact Us

If you are interested in the GLBT market, we have the experience you can trust to better understand and market to these populations. Call us at 877.919.4765 or email

For more information on our strategic partner, Witeck•Combs Communications, visit their website at or call 202.887.0500.


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