NEW YORK: Imre has brought on Joe Keenan as executive director of LGBTQ and entertainment, a newly created role.
Keenan will be responsible for the growth of the firm’s LGBTQ and entertainment practices and integrating LGBTQ and entertainment work with the agency’s other offerings. He started at Imre this month and reports to Christine Pierpoint, SVP of financial services. Keenan will be based in the Los Angeles office, which has about six staffers.
"Brands are starting to look at [the LGBTQ audience], with changes in culture and society, as part of the overall marketing mix and how it fits into the bigger picture and a fully integrated effort," Keenan said.
Dave Imre, CEO and founder of the firm, said Keenan had been working as a consultant for about a year before joining full time. The agency works with Toyota and asset management firm T. Rowe Price, among others, on LGBTQ marketing. Imre expects the area to "grow substantially."
"We’re seeing a lot of Fortune 500 companies want to break out and devote resources to the LGBTQ segment," Imre said. "Not just to reach that group, but it is a kind of bellwether for whether they're able to communicate with millennials. When millennials see a company doing right by segments like LGBTQ, African-American, and Hispanic, both employees and customers deem that a socially responsible company."
Keenan added that brands need to pay even more attention to reaching LGBTQ audiences in the coming years because Gen Z is even more focused on inclusion.
"That trend is getting even stronger when you look at research about Gen Z, where diversity and inclusion is more of an expectation," Keenan said. "It’s the only diverse segment that crosses all other lines -- LGBTQ folks can be Hispanic and African-American, too."
Most recently, Keenan was president of New Avenue Marketing, an LGBT marketing agency in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, he was VP in MWW’s LGBT practice. Keenan has also worked in business development roles at marketing agencies including Gigunda Group, Momentum, and GMR Marketing.
Imre, a certified LGBTQ-owned company, has offices in Baltimore, New York, and Los Angeles. The agency earned about $15 million in global revenue last year, up 3% from the previous year.