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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. Second, data quality is often unsatisfying, for example, due to social desirability problems. To handle these problems, we recommend an online research strategy. We make our case by reporting on a Germany-wide online study on homosexuals where we applied a three-step procedure for recruiting participants. We were successful in generating a sample of considerable size (n = 6,274) and heterogeneity, and in obtaining high-quality responses. Implications for marketing researchers and advertising professionals are provided.
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