New York, New York
Howard Buford, 50, has created LGBT-targeted advertising for companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Hyatt, and Showtime. Each year, Prime Access reports on which brands are perceived to be the most and least gay-friendly.
"Economically, it's not efficient to spend money on broad national advertising to reach the 7% to 12% of the population that identify as LGBT. Technology is driving more efficient ways to target the audience. For Hyatt Resorts, our digital plan-ners use specific social-media sites where LGBT customers are sharing their travel experiences, such as gaycities.com and purpleroofs.com. Technology has allowed us to be so fine-tuned that we can advertise only on the pages that are about the specific destinations where Hyatt has resorts. At the same time, we reach out to the LGBT travel blogs and offer content, in the form of an interview, for example, with a Hyatt executive. It pushes beyond banner ads and shows a certain seriousness, placing all that information in context. You can't just tell somebody something."
A version of this article appeared in the November 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.