Monday, January 11, 2016

Pink Banana Media: Unifying All Elements of LGBT Online Marketing


“We’ve had an excellent opportunity to take a front row seat to the myriad of developments in the online world, starting with sites that began as print magazines and migrated to the online world… along with the development of membership and personals into these sites, thereby creating a sense of community,” stated New York City based Pink Banana President Matt Skallerud; who celebrated 20 years in the LGBT marketplace this past year.

Pink Banana Media specializes in LGBT online marketing via content marketing and social media:

We’ve been a part of the e-commerce and advertising advances in the online world, developing some of the first online retailing experiences for LGBT consumers, as well as working with clients large and small in targeting the LGBT community online in those early years with stories and content, e-mail campaigns and those new ad units we called banner ads,” Matt said.

Matt Skallerud, President
Pink Banana Media

Matt and the Pink Banana team recently launched LGBT Brand Voice: “a name to this concept of unifying all of the elements of an LGBT online marketing campaign under one umbrella… one unified strategy and one cohesive campaign,” Matt stated. In addition to integrating social media into clients’ campaigns and optimizing their SEO efforts, Pink Banana Media has worked to help clients align their message with their e-mail campaigns and targeted banner advertising as well.

Since its inception, Pink Banana has worked with clients from the entertainment industry, such as HBO and Universal Music, to the financial world, with patrons like Wells Fargo and Prudential. They have also helped travel clients like Visit Sweden and Spain Tourism, along with American Airlines target their LGBT demographic online.

Speaking of travel, Matt and his husband of two years, Richard, are avid jet setters: “Our motto seems to be ‘Eat Well… Travel More,’ which is a sign Richard found recently and posted front and center on our living room wall!  That pretty well sums up our personal life together.” The two visited Shanghai this past fall, and spent the holidays in Dublin and London. The two met in 2007 through the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, and moved to New York City in 2013. When they aren’t abroad, the couple enjoys exploring new restaurants and just enjoying life in the city.

Matt has been involved with the NGLCC since its start, and joined the NGLCCNY when he and Richard moved to New York. This year is Pink Banana Media’s 9th year hosting the LGBT Marketing & Advertising conference in NYC: an event that started as a one day conference about the latest in LGBT marketing & advertising techniques: 
       
“We ran into that wonderful problem of having more companies able and willing to present on LGBT marketing & advertising topics, as well as more companies wanting to attend than what we could accommodate in a one-day conference.  So we grew the conference to a 2-day event, and added LGBT business, marketing & advertising workshops, symposia and panels to the rest of the week, working with various partners to produce and put these programs together under the umbrella of the newly formed LGBT Week NYC, now entering its 2nd year”.

In 2015, Pink Banana partnered with the NGLCCNY, StartOut and NYC & Company to host additional educational events for the LGBT business community at locations like Google and Microsoft. “Next year, we anticipate an even stronger program with additional partners, including the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association,” Matt said.
Matt possesses a degree in Aerospace Engineering, and worked in an R&D lab developing high-powered lasers in the late 80’s. From there he went into high-tech sales:

“It was this combination of understanding and enjoying technology, along with my love of working with clients to explore ways of applying that technology, that allowed me to grow with my own business on the Internet when it first made its public debut at the end of 1994”

In 1995, Matt started GayWired.com in LA: one of the first websites dedicated to the LBGT community: “We thought it would be a small, fun business to start… little did we know that it would grow into one of the largest LGBT websites online,” Matt said.  That same year, PlanetOut.com and Gay.com were born. By 1998, the three websites were featured in the Wall Street Journal as the top LGBT websites to watch. In 2006, the company was sold to Here Media, who also acquired Gay.com and PlanetOut.com: “A lot of what we created has been rolled into these sites today,” he stated.

“We look back fondly at what we did in the 90’s and early 2000’s, but as technology has advanced, so have we… working more as a consultancy/agency and striving to stay relevant with our clients, keeping them and us ahead of the curve in today’s ever-developing world.”

To learn more about Matt and Pink Banana media, check out their website and follow them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus).





Written by Ashley Bellman,
Corporate Journalist, Media Communications Committee.


If you'd like to be featured in one of our upcoming communications, please contact me at ashley@nglccny.org.



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