Think Pink, Then Think Again
Maggie Prescott marches though the manicured headquarters of “Quality Magazine” in the ultra-chic Technicolor love letter to all things fabulously ’50s, Funny Face, commandeers the intercom system and issues an order that has echoed 50 years later in the offices of some of the biggest companies: “Banish the black, burn the blue and bury the beige —from now on, think pink!” With tube sites multiplying at a rate that would rabbits to shame, the number of productive affiliates plummeting faster than an Arab dictator’s approval rating, and content being pirated faster then the latest designer bag, it seems perfectly logical that a straight program would seek to augment their revenue stream with a gay program. Just as the bean counters found out during the course of the movie, however, turning pink into the new green is not as easy as it sounds.
Every time I say this, I am greeted with the frozen, dazed look of Bambi in the headlights when I reiterate the reality that she-male sites do not belong at all in a gay program acted like a flat tire on the “all aboard to gay town” party bus.
So if your first gay sites had less then stellar conversions and tranny sites were not the panacea you had hoped for, what is? No matter what side of the market you are in, there are two facts we all must live by equally; content truly is king, and that all content is not created equal.
Few program owners, or the affiliates who promote them, would argue that the best selling sites have one thing in common: exclusive content.
One of the biggest mistakes companies seeking to enter the gay market make is the content disconnect: if your top producing straight properties are built around freshly shot, exclusive content surfers can only find on your sites, is it really such a surprise that gay consumers are not whipping out neither their credits cards nor their scholngs for a gay site filled with catch-as-catch-can licensed images produced when Rosalind Carter was still twirling around the Rose Garden in a gingham day dress?
Regardless of what you are trying to sell or to whom, the golden rule of the adult entrepreneur still holds true: offer the kind of sites for others that you would want to join yourself. But what do you do when a gay site is something you would never join? Simple: bring aboard those that would.
I can hear you now, “we hired a gay rep and that did squat for us.” Hiring a gay marketing person does not hurt, but if the sites they are charged with promoting are not up to par, it usually does not help much either. You’re most strategic gay or gay-indoctrinated hires need to be where you need them first and foremost, behind the camera shooting exclusive content with fresh, niche specific models. Just like you would not put up BBW in your teen site, no daddies belong in a twink site either.
It comes down to this; when you call that toll-free number for customer service, how frustrating is it trying to talk with someone who learned English from a three day seminar? Apply that same philosophy to your potential consumer looking for his own sexual resolution only to be stooped in his tracks, and back out of your join page, when he discovers there is a language barrier between him and his orgasm. He wants the same thing you do – common ground and satisfaction.
The key to starting a successful gay program is finding experienced professionals who can provide him with that.
The gay market is not going away anytime soon and indeed, those willing to put in the due diligence on what makes a successful gay site will indeed reap the rewards.
That is exactly why so many companies are going for the lavender dollar these days, though very few execute it properly. The clear marching orders to “think pink” from half a century ago still resonate in the post ”Devil Wears Prada” world of the adult industry today but remember if you want to make the green, content is queen. That’s all!