IRISH gay consumers are the biggest untapped marketing group, a new study has found.
While many people have slowed their spending in the midst of a recession, homosexual punters are still spending heavily on clothes and music downloads.
A new survey claims to be the most comprehensive analysis of the 195,000 recorded gays and lesbians living in Ireland, who earned a massive €8.75bn in 2007.
It has been revealed that out of this income, this group spent over €58m on fashion, more than €33m on grooming products and put a total of €16m on their credit cards.
Marketing experts are advising their business people to appeal to the gay and lesbian consumers to cash in on the big spenders in this time of recession, following a survey which suggests that the the multi-billion-euro homosexual demographic is still spending heavily.
The Out Now GCN Readership Survey found that gay and lesbian consumers offer marketers significant opportunities to grow their revenues during the country's worst economic conditions in more than 20 years.
"Gays and lesbians are obviously not immune to the effects of the general economy," said CEO of Out Now Consulting Ian Johnson. "But as a market grouping with much less competitive brand noise, and the positive effects on household disposable incomes of very large numbers of DINK -- Double Income No Kids -- consumers, the gay market makes a lot of sense for mainstream brands to target, especially at this time of recessionary fears.
"This research shows that gay consumers offer a significant new market opportunity for companies in a number of consumer categories that are currently hurting because of the recession in Ireland," he said. "Targeting this very brand-aware, extremely loyal market simply makes for smart business.
"That has always been the case, but this market is relevant now more than ever as marketers need to direct limited marketing budgets towards consumer target markets with the greatest disposable spend potential."
The survey was undertaken on behalf of Irish gay glossy magazine GCN. Managing editor of the magazine Brian Finnegan said: "A new, diverse trend has grown in advertising towards the gay community of late. While luxury lifestyle brands continue to be perceived as relevant to gay consumers, more and more everyday issues and products are targeting this market."
Already financial institutions, financial advisors, diversity employers and household brands including HMV, Vodafone and Swatch have seen the potential in the gay market.