IBM Corporation: Targeting the LGBT Segment

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG217
Case Length : 26 Pages
Period : 1997-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : IBM Corporation
Industry : Computers, IT and ITeS
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

The origins of IBM can be traced back to the end of the 19th century, when Herman Hollerith (Hollerith), a German-American statistician, founded the Tabulating Machine Company (TMC) in 1896. In 1910, Hollerith suffered some health problems...

Targeting the LGBT Market

IBM's usual marketing efforts were targeted at business-to-business markets and customers, using mainstream advertising channels. However, for marketing to the fast emerging LGBT segment, it launched ads that explicitly targeted them...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

In 1997, IBM marketed its products by publishing its ads in gay publications including gay magazines and gay journals. It started its LGBT marketing with the gay community since there was enormous potential to be tapped in that segment...

IBM published its ads targeted at the LGBT market by posting ads on gay sites like,, etc. It used the Internet as a marketing channel since gay Americans were 1.5 times more likely to have an Internet connection with high speed, according to Witeck-Combs Communications Inc. (Witeck) and Harris Interactive (Harris), in 2002...

The LGBT-focused sales team headed by Siegel and Bertolotti was set up in 2000. By setting up this team, they planned to leverage on IBM's strength of supporting LGBT employees and the customers...

To increase its visibility in the LGBT community, IBM started sponsoring several LGBT Networking organizations. With this, IBM aimed to make the LGBT customers predisposed toward IBM and to buy its products...

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