Collecting Hidden Consumer Data Online: Research on Homosexuals

Collecting highly private data from consumers with nonapparent or even hidden characteristics, such as homosexuals, is difficult for two reasons: First, the resulting data sets are rather small and nonrepresentative due to reachability and nonresponse problems.

Collecting Hidden Consumer Data Online: Research on Homosexuals

Felicitas Morhart, Sven Henkel and Walter HerzogUniversity of St. Gallen, Switzerland


In their quest for untapped market potential, companies are aiming to unearth consumers' more hidden characteristics, interests, and needs that can subsequently be targeted by tailor-made new products. Consider, for example, the growing market of services for people with eating disorders, financial problems, or difficulties in socializing - just to mention some of them. Without question, out of these new “not-so-obvious” segments, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community has gained extraordinary interest...

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