Pink Media Group – Specialises in advertising to Gay And Lesbian Community: Start-up Profile
Pink Media Group
By Michelle Hammond
Pink Media Group is a Sydney-based business that aims to connect brands with the “pink dollar”. In other words, it specialises in advertising to the gay and lesbian community.
Brands such as Durex, IVFAustralia, HOSTPLUS, Google, Skoda, Interflora and Optus have engaged Pink Media Group to provide campaign strategy, management and reporting.
According to founder and managing director Ben Mulcahy, advertisers are ignoring the pink dollar.
“One in 10 Australians is same sex attracted, so this market is around 2.2 million people with a reported annual disposable income of $20 billion,” Mulcahy says.
Mulcahy talks to StartupSmart about how he’s attempting to hone in on an overlooked group of consumers.
You began working fulltime on Pink Media Group in July 2011. Is this when the business was founded?
Yes, although I have worked in advertising for 15 years and my media partners have been around collectively for over 100 years, so the industry is familiar with us.
What prompted you to launch it – what’s your background? What niche did you identify?
I have sold media in both the UK and Australia for 15 years for some of the largest media owners in both countries.
At the same time, I have been following gay media. Having studied marketing and been within the demographic, I have been aware of the pink dollar and its influence.
For many years, I wondered why the advertisers who were spending millions across other media channels were not targeting the gay and lesbian community
We tend to be SINKS (Single Income, No Kids) & DINKS (Double Income, No Kids) and, as such, have higher than average disposable income. We are a marketer’s dream.
Until now, it has been difficult to reach this community with relevant communications in relevant media.
How did you fund Pink Media Group?
Between 2003 and 2006 I established, managed and then sold a business called Apple Sports Advertising.
This business specialised in advertising to health conscious Australians through poster advertising and product sampling within 550 gyms, sports and aquatic centres nationally.
I was recently accused of a career built on selling my lifestyle – it’s true.
Apple Advertising was successfully sold in 2006 and is still going strong today. This is how Pink Media Group has been funded.
How many staff do you have?
We have around 40 media partners who all have a vested interest in Pink Media Group being successful. They realise that there is strength in numbers.
In the gym business, if one gym rang a major advertiser saying they had hundreds of high disposable income, health conscious consumers available for advertising, they would have been considered too small.
When we approached major national advertisers with 550 venues nationally, and an audience of millions, we got their attention.
Each of the media partners and their staff indirectly work for Pink Media Group, just as we work for them.
We also have a team of around 15 people specialising in different aspects of the business contributing.
How do you promote the business?
PR and advertising industry coverage has been brilliant. The industry has really embraced this concept, and been happy to report regularly on news, developments and breaking campaigns.
We also have a Facebook fan page and a monthly e-newsletter with thousands of subscribers.
We also directly approach companies and their agencies if we think they have products or services which would be right for this market.
How do you stand out in the market? What’s your point/s of difference?
We are the only business in Australia that specialises in advertising to the gay and lesbian community across such a diverse portfolio.
We have exclusive representation contracts with many of our media partners. A business like this has not existed before.
What are your revenue projections for 2012/2013?
We are aiming for a seven-figure turnover for 2012/2013.
What’s the biggest risk you face?
The momentum has been brilliant from day one. Finding and keeping the right team to take this to the levels we are aiming for is one of the major challenges.
Managing cashflow is always a challenge with new businesses and growing at a sustainable pace is also key.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Since day one, this business has had a life of its own – the pace of growth is brilliant. Whilst moving so fast, there are daily decisions that need to be made quickly. So far so good.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Follow your passion. Play to your strengths and do what you love. It makes work more fun.
Follow your gut and, when you have a good idea, go for it. A calculated roll of the dice can be so exciting and rewarding.
I have found having a network of other entrepreneurs and business owners is inspiring, inspirational and invaluable as a sounding board.
I also couldn’t do this without regular exercise – this idea came from a run around Albert Park Lake. Keeping fit and finding regular thinking time is important.